The full details of the range of Code of Conduct, Rules (Articles) and Guidance are contained within each respective document(s). In some circumstances, such as Diver Training, the whole supporting documentation is relevant and will apply to anyone holding that qualification, in others only parts of the guidance will be applicable to an individual. However, it is important that all individuals acquaint themselves with the general principles that apply. The following provides a brief summary of some, but not all, key guidance.
The BSAC Code of Conduct sets out the principles by which members, including BSAC branches and Centres, should conduct their interactions with each other. Compliance with Code of Conduct should prevent the need for any disciplinary action but also provides the framework by which any disciplinary action or complaints should be dealt with.
Articles of Association
The Articles of Association forms the governing document by which the Club is managed for the benefit of members. It sets out the formal rules governing the organisation including the conduct of business through General meeting and the conduct of Council meetings and their ability to delegate authority. The principles of disciplinary action are set out in the articles as well as the key requirements for the management of BSAC branches. Branches are required to adopt Bye-Laws that do not conflict with BSAC Articles of Association and other BSAC Code of Conduct, Rules and Guidance.
BSAC has adopted a wide range of Policies to comply with national legislation and fulfil our responsibilities as a national governing body for the sport. In particular the protection of vulnerable groups, prevention of discrimination, promotion of accessibility and diversity and protection of our marine environment are key areas of concern for BSAC and members.
Child and young person Safeguarding procedures and guidance are essential in fulfilling our duty of care to this vulnerable group. All members have a responsibility to act to ensure the safety of young people and be prepared to speak out when witnessing any form of abuse.
Vulnerable Adult Safeguarding
Adults who are classed as vulnerable (defined in the guidelines) also require protection and support from any potential abuse.
BSAC has been actively developing diversity by the development of education in accessibility awareness, adapting training materials and methods and awarding qualifications responsibly to enable those with a disabilty to access the sport. BSAC has advisors who have the relevant knowledge, experience, expertise and enthusiasm to promote accessibility, break down stereotypes and prevent discrimination.
Equality, diversity and inclusion
The BSAC Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy and Procedures apply to all individuals involved in BSAC to ensure those in our community are treated equally, with respect, and are physically and psychologically safe. We all have the responsibility to protect each other from any harm. This policy sets out how to protect the rights of all our members. The policy and procedures document outlines what is expected of members and what to do if you have a concern.
Members of BSAC are uniquely placed to witness first-hand the impact of human activities on the underwater environment. BSAC recognises that we are in a climate and biodiversity emergency, and life is under threat unless we act now.
The Divers Code of Conduct, within BSAC Safe Diving, also sets out some long-established principles of responsibility by divers especially regarding offences involving wreck and the conduct of spearfishing.
The policy is complimentary to other BSAC policies and allows for individuals to report their concerns to the person responsible for an area or activity. It also provides a mechanism to report concerns regarding the person responsible for an activity or if inadequate action is being taken. The policy reassures individuals that they will be protected from reprisals or victimisation for whistleblowing.
The BSAC publication Safe Diving contains recommendations and guidance to help divers reduce risk in their diving activities. Whilst not a rigid set of rules the guidance is informed by many years of experience and analysis and relate to how to avoid potential injury or death and so should be treated seriously.
All aspects of BSAC training including diver, instructor, technical, seamanship and related SDCs provide the most appropriate and up to date knowledge and skills practice to ensure safe diving. Following your training is an essential process in diving safety and forms essential guidance for all divers. Where changes in training have taken place to take account of changes in knowledge, practice or procedures all divers should remain up to date and follow recent guidance.
Branch Bye Laws
In order to comply with the requirements of BSAC Articles of Association, BSAC provides branches with a model set of Bye-Laws to act as a minimum framework for adoption by a branch. BSAC advises branches to minimise amendments to the model as well-intentioned amendments can lead to differences in interpretation of the meaning and intent of the contents, which can in turn lead to unnecessary disputes and conflicts within a branch. In order to ensure branch Bye-Laws do not conflict with BSAC Articles it is essential that any proposed changes to certain specific clauses are approved in advance of adoption by BSAC.
In any instance of a dispute arising in relation to branch Bye-Laws BSAC should be contacted for clarification on the relevance and appropriateness of any disputed clause(s).
Branch Bye Laws guidance
To complement the model Bye-Laws and minimise the potential for misinterpretation an annotated version is available to explain the meaning and intent of each clause.
Branch Officer Guidance
Branches form the backbone of BSAC, allowing many like-minded people to come together with a common purpose. Branch Officers are vital to the success of a branch and their contribution will allow your members to do the thing they love the most – go diving. BSAC provides guidance to help run a branch. Setting out the committee’s role is to ensure the smooth running of the branch in accordance with its members' wishes and within the BSAC Code of Conduct.