Alison Macklin, Plunkett’s Community Business Manager, outlines the importance of your society’s Model Rules and the benefits of keeping them up-to-date so that they truly reflect your group’s activities.

Community Benefit Societies are encouraged to make changes to their Model Rules for a variety of reasons:

  • to make them more streamlined or readable,
  • to be more descriptive about the work you undertake,
  • to inform users about new best practice,
  • to adhere to the legal requirements of new laws, such as GDPR.

It can also be a useful process and tool if groups are going through challenging times or if entering a period of change, such as launching a share offer for an extension.

Regardless of the reason for the change, the updates to your legal agreements should be presented to your members before they become effective this should be done as a resolution proposed by the committee.

Members should be made aware of the changes you’re going to make to your Model Rules and how these changes might affect them and how the community business might operate. This can include changes to your company’s ‘objects’ – what your company does as a business.

Your Model Rules are living documents that form the bedrock of the business relationship with members based on trust and fairness; and the contractual basis which legally protects your society.

As neither businesses nor laws are static, a set of Model Rules for a business today may not be the agreement it needs tomorrow so terms and conditions must evolve and vary with the growth and development of the business it represents. The Plunkett model rules are updated every couple of years to ensure that they comply with best practice and allow us to implement suggested changes that have arisen from those using the rules. We are now on version 6 and we also have a Welsh language version.

The new rules can just be adopted as standard however we recognise that occasionally groups wish to tailor the rules to their society and so our rules can be amended if there are certain criteria you wish to change then we would be happy to discuss these with you and liaise with the FCA.

If you are interested in updating or amending your model rules please contact alison.macklin@plunkett.co.uk. It is free for Plunkett members to update their rules at any time. Non Plunkett members can also update the rules from earlier versions of Plunkett rules but there is a small charge for this service.

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