Adopted by Out To Swim Committee: 10 January 2015
Expulsion or suspension from Out To Swim is the most significant sanction that can be imposed on a club member (or a group of club members) by the Out To Swim committee.
When dealing with an expulsion or suspension, Out To Swim will ensure that:
- all parties will be treated fairly
- the reasons for the expulsion or suspension are clearly presented
- the club member(s) subject to the expulsion/suspension process will have the chance to respond
Although the singular form, “club member”, is used throughout the remainder of this expulsion/suspension process document, the process might equally apply to several club members, who are simultaneously subject to the expulsion/suspension process.
This expulsion/suspension procedure will be invoked whenever the Out To Swim committee considers a situation so grave that it seriously impacts the interests of club members and/or brings Out To Swim into serious disrepute. In some such situations, a club member may be suspended with immediate effect, pending completion of this expulsion/suspension process.
A club member subject to this expulsion/suspension process will be entitled to a refund of any club fees paid by them to the club in respect of any period over which the club member is not permitted access to the club by virtue of their expulsion or suspension.
The procedure for expulsion or suspension is similar to the final stage of the Disputes process. It is not necessary, however, for a Dispute to be raised in order for the Out To Swim committee to invoke the expulsion/suspension procedure.
The decision to invoke the expulsion/suspension process will normally be made at an Out To Swim committee meeting (this meeting may take place after an initial suspension where the suspension takes place with immediate effect).
The Out To Swim committee will inform the club member concerned in writing that s/he is subject to the expulsion/suspension process. This letter will set out the reasons for the expulsion/suspension process being invoked and will form the first piece of evidence to be presented at the disciplinary hearing. Where appropriate, the letter will confirm that the club member remains suspended, pending completion of this expulsion/suspension process.
The date of this written notification shall be referred to as the Reference Date.
The club will set up a panel to decide upon whether expulsion or suspension is a reasonable course of action and to execute the expulsion or suspension, as appropriate.
The panel members must be selected by a member of the Out To Swim committee who is independent of the set of circumstances that triggered the expulsion/suspension process. Where no such member of the committee can be found, then a committee member from another ASA affiliated swimming club will be approached to select the panel members.
The panel will consist of three persons, one to act as Chair. A Secretary may also be needed to provide a record of the meeting. The panel will need to consist of people not involved in the circumstances that triggered the expulsion/suspension process, and the Out to Swim committee may ask individuals from outside the Club to sit on the panel to hear the disciplinary matter.
The Chair of Out To Swim will notify all parties of the date, time and place of the hearing, and the names of the panel members. All parties will be given copies of all the papers and every effort will be made to hold the hearing within 21 days of the Reference Date. If all parties to the expulsion/suspension process are in agreement, then these timescales may be changed.
All parties are allowed to bring witnesses.
The hearing will be as informal as possible.
The reasons for invoking the expulsion/suspension process (as set out in the written notification from the Out To Swim committee on the Reference Date) will be presented by a member of the Out To Swim committee who is not on the panel, and the accused will have the right of reply.
- All parties are able to call witnesses, and each party should be allowed to question the other party’s witnesses.
- Witnesses must wait outside the hearing room until they are called. After questioning they may wait in the hearing room, taking no further part in the proceedings.
- The Chair or Secretary of the panel will make notes of the hearing and the panel will make every effort to announce their decision verbally to all the parties without delay, followed by written confirmation to reach all parties within five days. The written confirmation will confirm the terms of expulsion and/or suspension.
- At the end of the process, all parties to the expulsion/will be asked to sign a statement that they will abide with the findings of the hearing (unless they intend to appeal via a Complaint to the ASA).
If this process does lead to expulsion or suspension of a club member, then that club member is entitled to make a Complaint to the Judicial Administrator at ASA. Click here to contact them.