THE ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES OF A CONSTITUENT BODY
‘Clarity, Consistency & Collaboration’
Constituent Bodies (CBs) are a valued and essential part of the Rugby Football Union. All have particular strengths and skills. The aim of this paper is to ensure that those skills are focused to better meet the requirements of local rugby governance and administration while maintaining their individuality.
This paper identifies 7 steps to help CBs work more effectively and efficiently. These steps will also help to improve collaborative working with RFU staff both at a national and local level by aligning our approach to strengthening rugby within the CB:
1. Accept the Core Purpose and commit to the Key Drivers
2. Affirm the Core Values of rugby union
3. Set a Vision for the direction of travel
4. Understand and agree the three key roles of a CB
5. Identify the RFU support available to a CB
6. Review CB management structure
7. The Way Forward
The Core Purpose of a CB
This should not vary in principle from the Core Purpose of Rugby Development agreed at Community Game Board (CGB) but should include those elements that identify the particular role of a CB as being club focused:
‘To support the strengthening of member clubs and grow the game in communities around them through effective governance and administration
Similarly to meet this purpose we need our CBs to undertake tasks and support RFU activity aligned to the 6 Key Drivers supporting the key messages of strengthening member clubs and growing the game:
i. Retain and develop current players
ii. Recruit new players
iii. Retain, develop and recruit high quality coaches, volunteers and referees
iv. Effective and efficient facilities
v. Effective and efficient management & governance
vi. Integration with the local community
1. Core Values of the Game
Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline, Sportsmanship
These five Core Values have been identified and adopted by the game and embody the way in which the game is played, administered and supported at all levels, up to and including the national teams and RFU staff. CBs play an essential part in promoting the Core Values to their clubs.
Working to these Core Values helps volunteers and staff to act in accordance with the roles and responsibilities of their position and the rules and regulations of the game. A Volunteer Charter will set out examples of how to demonstrate the Core Values at a local level.
2. The Vision for CBs
Our aim is to retain a strong and vibrant local rugby leadership across all CBs, their work contributing directly to a strong and sustainable club structure, with more people playing rugby more often in clubs, schools, colleges and universities. Promoting, recognising and rewarding the contribution of volunteers, coaches and referees, and promoting involvement in rugby as a worthwhile and fun activity is a fundamental focus for CBs.
By managing the game in an efficient and effective manner, with a planning process that both manages the present and plans for the future, CBs will support clubs to deliver activity that meets their needs and ensure that all planning and decision making is transparent and understood by all.
Planned activity that identifies clear outcomes that benefit the game while ensuring that any partners share in this success, with CBs and clubs working together, will strengthen rugby throughout England.
This requires a CB to
i. Recruit and maintain a skilled and vibrant CB leadership team
ii. Undertake effective communication
iii. Support and work to the RFU Strategic Plan
iv. Work in partnership with RFU staff and external partners
v. Undertake strong corporate governance
3. The three key roles:
Rule 18 defines the role of a CB as facilitating the administration of the game. These activities are wide ranging and can be categorized within the three roles below
There are a number of tasks undertaken by a CB defined within RFU Rules & Regulations:
i. Secure the representation of clubs and schools on Council (RFU Rule 18.1)
ii. Discipline (RFU Regulation 19.1.10)
iii. Safeguarding (RFU Regulation 21.1.5)
iv. Local competition administration (RFU Regulations 13.1.2(c), 15.8, 15.9.1 & 4, and
v. Annual review of club accounts (RFU Regulation 5.1.3)
vi. Provide CB accounts to RFU (RFU Regulation 5.1.1)
vii. Match approvals (age grade, tours and Sevens) (Regulation 15 and Regulation 10)
There are a number of tasks that a CB is Best Placed to Deliver, supported by RFU staff, for example but not restricted to
i. Promote the Core Values of the game
ii. Planning, Funding and Reporting
iii. Arrange and deliver CB and Club development meetings
iv. Local volunteer Reward and Recognition Programme
v. Work with Referee Societies Premiership and Championship clubs, Legacy Groups, other county NGBs and voluntary bodies
vi. CB Representative teams
vii. CB Development Squads
viii. Assist clubs to comply with any statutory obligations (e.g. incorporated status)
There are a number of tasks in which CBs Play a Part and which are usually delivered or supported by RFU staff and other specialists, for example but not restricted to
i. Development of rugby in clubs, schools, colleges & universities
ii. Player Safety information and support
iii. Development of club and CB volunteers for leadership roles
iv. Investment in Club Facilities
v. Refereeing courses with Referee Societies
vi. Delivery of coaching courses
vii. Developing Player Programme (DPP)
viii. Delivery of technical information from RFU specialists
ix. Delivery of national programmes e.g. all Schools, NatWest RugbyForce
4. RFU Support
Assistance to perform these roles will be provided at a local level (Area Managers, Area Training Manager, Area Facilities Managers etc.) and at national level, where technical expertise is required or national programmes are targeted locally (PFR, Leadership Academy etc.). This will include, but is not restricted to the following:
i. PFR planning – helping to balance national programmes with club needs
ii. Training & Education – developing a skilled workforce and strong leadership
iii. Technical – Player Safety, facilities, health & safety, Safeguarding, Legal and Tax matters iv. Check & Challenge – performing the role of critical friend in decision making
v. Communications – regular monthly communication updates and quarterly and annual meetings with senior staff and volunteers
vi. Conferences – annual or bi-annual national conferences for policy or operational matters
vii. Operational Guide for CB Officers – formalised, simple how to guide that documents what CB Officers need to know about the activities the RFU expects them to undertake.
This is not currently in existence other than in RFU Regulations.
5. CB Structure
CBs are encouraged to take the opportunity to review their CB structure to ensure that they can undertake the roles identified above in an efficient and effective manner. CBs may wish to consider the rationale behind the Rugby Development directorate which created four functions, Game Development (coach, referee and medical), Club Development (facilities, volunteer and club management & governance), Education (schools, colleges & universities) and Growth (broadening opportunities to play the game) in order to deliver a more coordinated approach to supporting the strengthening of their clubs and growing the game. Further support and information is available from Area Managers.
6. Way Forward
It is important that all Constituent Bodies are aligned to a common Core Purpose, Core Values, Vision and Roles to ensure that the community game is administered and supported efficiently and effectively and that volunteers and RFU staff are working with the same aims and focus across the country.
We believe by adopting the guidance set out in this paper we will strengthen the relationship between CBs and their clubs in a number of ways, specifically by:
i. Improving the clubs’ understanding of the role and value of their CB
ii. Improving communications between club and CB
iii. Assisting clubs to be more proactive in their work with CBs and vice versa
iv. Improving needs based PFR planning and delivery
v. Enhancing the partnership working of club, CB and RFU staff