1 Code of Conduct
Oakley Pedalers (the Club) has a Code of Conduct to help create a culture amongst all cyclists to be more responsible and take ownership of their conduct when using the roads as part of Club activities or when riding in Club kit. This Code will support and enhance the reputation of the Club and importantly assist in making the roads a safer place for all road users.
As the number of bicycles and cars on our roads increases, cyclists have an important role to play in assuring the safety of all road users. We all have the right to use the road but to ensure safety and mutual respect with car drivers, responsible cycling is mandatory to maintain good relationships on the road and preserve the reputation of the Club. We also have a duty to behave responsibly, courteously and safely in the presence of other road users, for example horse riders, pedestrians, motorcyclists and other cyclists.
The purpose of the Code of Conduct (Code) is to outline the type of behaviours which members are expected to follow when engaged in Club activities. It also applies to members who are not engaged in Club activities but are wearing Club kit and are hence representing the Club. It is not an exhaustive description but summarises the core principles that members should adopt so long as they remain a part of the Club. The Club Committee will ultimately be accountable for the behaviours it wishes and does not wish to see in the Club.
1.2 The Code applies to:
- All members of the Club
- Persons acting on behalf of OP, for examples officials and other support personnel assisting or conducting OP Events; and
- All non-members who ride with OP
1.3 Behaviour on Club Events
The Club expects its members to behave in a way that demonstrates respect for other members, external stakeholders and their property, including the general public. It also wishes to operate in an environment that is free from harassment or discrimination. In this context:
Harassment is defined as any action directed at an individual or group that creates a hostile, intimidating or offensive environment; and
Discrimination is defined as not respecting the rights and dignity of every member of the Club equally, irrespective of gender, ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation or religion.
Ultimately it not easy to provide a comprehensive definition of what is unacceptable behaviour but a starting point would be to judge the behaviour in the context of the following questions:
• will the behaviour have a negative impact on the reputation of the Club?
• does the behaviour create significant tension, disharmony or disunity within the Club?
• could the behaviour be considered to be discrimination or harassment as defined above?
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’, the behaviour is likely to be unacceptable.
Examples of unacceptable behaviour include:
- Denigration or intimidation of other individuals, riders or otherwise, in the Club or outside, especially during organised events;
- Repeated use of foul language or insulting behaviour on Club rides;
- Any form of harassment whether physical, verbal, mental or sexual;
- Any form of discrimination;
- Damaging Club or another person’s property;
- Behaviour on the road that endangers other riders;
- Theft of Club or a member’s property;
- The use or encouragement of the use of banned substances (as outlined in the UCI anti-doping policy); and
- Any behaviour that would harm the long term reputation of the Club – especially when out on an organised cycle event. For example, difficult encounters with inconsiderate drivers and other road users are a frequent occurrence so these must be handled with tact and sensitivity, even if the other road user is in the wrong.
1.4 Gross Misconduct
The following are considered as gross misconduct:
- Any act of violence, intimidation or harassment against another Club member;
- Any act that is deemed to be illegal whilst participating in a Club organised activity or whilst wearing Club clothing;
- Riding in a Club activity whilst under the influence of drink or drugs;
- Theft of another member’s or of the Club’s property; and
- Ignoring the requests or instructions from officials such as the police.
2. Reporting an Incident
Incidents should be reported to the Welfare Officer. This may be done verbally and informally in the first instance.
The Welfare Officer will review the incident with the complainant and advise on the subsequent steps which may require a written description.
3. Procedures & Resolution
The Disciplinary Procedure will be used only when necessary and as a last resort. Where possible, informal and/or formal counselling or other good management practice will be used to resolve matters prior to any disciplinary action being taken. The procedure is intended to be positive rather than punitive but takes cognisance of the fact that sanctions may have to be applied in some circumstances.
Suspension is not disciplinary action.
The purpose of suspension is manifold and can be used when it is necessary to remove a member of the club from the club activities pending an investigation for example:
- to allow time for a ‘cooling down period’ for both parties, for their own or others protection;
- to prevent them influencing or being influenced by others; or
- to prevent possible interference with evidence.
Only the Club Committee have the authority to suspend an individual. A member suspended from the Club will receive confirmation within three days of the suspension of:
- the reason for the suspension;
- the date and time from which the suspension will operate;
- the timescale of the ongoing investigation; and
- the right of appeal to the Club Committee should the suspension last more than 7 days.
Counselling is an attempt to correct a situation and prevent it from getting worse without having to use the disciplinary procedure. Where improvement is required, the club member must be given clear guidelines as to:
- what is expected in terms of improving shortcomings in conduct or performance;
- the timescales for improvement;
- when this will be reviewed; and
- the Club member must also be told, where appropriate, that failure to improve may result in formal disciplinary action.
A record of the counselling should be given to the member and a copy kept by the Club. It is imperative that any counselling should be followed up and improvements recognised and recorded. Once the counselling objectives have been met, any record of the counselling will be removed from the club files.
If during counselling it becomes clear that the matter is more serious then the discussion should be adjourned and pursued under the formal disciplinary procedure.
3.4 Disciplinary Procedures
The Committee will appoint a sub-group consisting of three members of the Club. This will typically be the Welfare Officer, one other Committee Member and a non-committee, independent Club Member although the Committee may choose to constitute it differently.
The Sub-Group will take evidence either in writing or verbally (or a combination) from the Member and witnesses.
The Sub-Group will decide (by majority if necessary) on the outcome that will be implemented by the Committee.
- Verbal Warning
A Verbal Warning is appropriate when it is necessary for the Welfare Officer (or Committee member in charge) to take action against a Club member for any minor failing or minor misconduct.
- First Written Warning
A First Written Warning is appropriate when:
- a verbal warning has not been heeded and the misconduct is either repeated or performance has not improved as previously agreed;
- an offence is of a more serious nature for which a written warning is more appropriate;
- the recurrence or accumulation of an offence/offences, if left, will lead to more severe disciplinary action;
- theft, including unauthorised possession of Club property;
- breaches of confidentiality, prejudicial to the interest of the Club;
- being unfit to cycle because of the misuse/consumption of drugs or alcohol; or
- physical assault, breach of the peace or verbal abuse.
- Final Written Warning
A Final Written Warning is appropriate when:
- the club member’s offence is of a serious nature falling just short of one justifying dismissal; or
- the club member persists in the misconduct which previously warranted a lesser warning.
Dismissal means that the rider is no longer welcome at, or eligible to join Club rides nor any other Club events. The Club will refund (pro-rata) the annual membership subscription. Dismissal is appropriate when:
- the club member’s behaviour is considered to be Gross Misconduct; or
- the club member’s misconduct has persisted, exhausting all other lines of disciplinary procedure.
Warnings issued to club members shall be deemed to have expired after the following periods of time.
- Verbal Warnings: 6 months
- First Written Warnings: 12 months
- Final Written Warnings: 18 months (or as agreed and recorded at the hearing). These timescales remain provided that during that period, no further warnings have been issued in respect of the club member’s conduct.
LETTER OF WARNING
All Warnings must contain the following information:
- The letter must be issued within 7 days of the date of the disciplinary hearing.
- The nature of the offence and where appropriate, that if further misconduct occurs, more severe disciplinary action will be taken.
- The period of time given to the club member for improvement.
- The Club member’s right to appeal to the full committee.
- A copy of the warning and any supporting documentation must be held in club files.
- The club members must also receive a copy of the warning which in the case of any written warning will be sent by both electronic means (e.g. Email) and post if not handed to them in person.
- In the case of a final written warning, reference must be made to the fact that any further misconduct will lead to dismissal, and that the club member has the right of appeal, and to who they can make that appeal.
LETTER OF DISMISSAL
The letter confirming dismissal from the club will contain the following information:
- the reason for dismissal and any administrative matter arising from the termination of their membership; and
- the club member’s right of appeal and to whom they should make an appeal.
The member subject to these disciplinary procedures has the right of appeal to the full Committee by writing to the Chairman.