Mornington Chasers Running Club is a friendly, 'open to all' club. As such, we expect that all club members shall make every effort to be inclusive and to encourage other runners of all abilities. In line with this friendly ethos, the club wishes to run its disciplinary procedure on an informal basis for the most part, but accepts that from time to time a formal complaint may be necessary, , for example due to inappropriate behaviour or comments (such as sexism) by a member towards other members, or towards the general public while participating in club activities. Only club members can make a formal complaint about other club members' behaviour except where the behaviour has caused offence to a member of the public and/or brought the name of the club into disrepute. Non-club members shall have the right to informal resolution only. If the matter is a safeguarding issue or a criminal matter, this MUST be reported to the club Chair, or in his/her absence, the club Secretary at the earliest opportunity. We would also encourage members to report suspected criminal behaviour to police authorities.
The majority of complaints can be handled informally. It is most often the case that the person who has caused offence has no idea that their actions or words have caused harm in any way. Therefore in most cases the Committee encourages the aggrieved party to speak informally to the person who has caused offence in order to make them aware of the situation. In the majority of cases, the offending party will be apologetic and not have realised that their actions were harmful in any way. Usually there should be no further action here. However, the Committee recognises that in some cases the member making the complaint may not feel comfortable in a face to face discussion with the club member who caused offence, and in such cases the club member making the complaint should contact the welfare officer or other member of the Committee.
The club member making the complaint may approach a Committee member with the problem. The Committee member shall determine at this stage whether the person wants it to be handled formally or informally. If formally, refer to the procedure below. If informal, the club member accepts that the Committee Member shall deal with the matter in the way that they best see fit depending on the nature of the incident. Words of advice to the offending party and potentially the aggrieved party shall resolve this issue.
The investigating officers shall present a brief summary of the case and their recommendations to the Chair (via the Committee) who shall have the final say on any sanction recommended (unless the Chair is the alleged offender or complainant, in which case an alternative member of the Committee shall have final say such alternative member to be agreed by the Committee). This shall then be conveyed to all parties at the earliest opportunity. Note that in some circumstances, if requested and appropriate to the circumstances, the Committee will maintain the anonymity of the person making the complaint.
Any changes to club rules that may arise from an investigation would have to be passed through the normal constitution change process.