Planning Documents

Planning documents

Before the year starts, it’s essential that all the below documents are completed by all student activities. Not only are these documents required as part of the reaffiliation process, but they are also essential to ensuring that the student activity always operates effectively and within the AUSA regulations.

Development plan

This is one of the most important documents that a student activity should have in place and if used correctly, it is highly beneficial to both the presidents and the overall committee.

This document should outline the main goals for all committee members and the overall activity itself for the year ahead. Enabling committees to track their progress and work out when and what support may be needed to enhance their development further.

The development plan should be monitored regularly during committee meetings and before any big decisions are made to ensure that the student activities work stays in line with the vision set out at the start of the year.

In addition, AUSA analyse all development plans and use the data received to create support workshops for committee members to ensure that the relevant support is there for everyone when they need it. An example is that last year AUSA created a wellbeing officer position and training for all student activities to support student’s wellbeing as a result of feedback given in many development plans.

Development Plan for Societies and Student Groups
Development Plan for Sports Clubs

Constitution

This document is basically a rulebook that outlines all the guidelines that the student activity must follow to ensure that they operate effectively and don’t break any of AUSA’s or their own specific Byelaws / guidelines.

It’s essential that the student activities check their constitution each year to make sure that is up to date and that any necessary changes are made before the start of term.

To make changes to the constitution, please follow the below process:

- The student activity should read the constitution and decide if there are any updates needed
- If so, the committee needs to agree on the proposed changes and then edit the document. We recommend that you make these changes via the ‘track changes’ tool as this will make it easier for members to see the changes quickly.
- The committee should set a date for an AGM or EGM so that members can vote in these changes.
- The proposed changes should be sent to all members along with the date and time of the meeting so that they can read the changes in advance. This should be sent before the meeting to all paid members.  How far in advance should be outlined in your constitution.  If it isn’t, the best practice is 14 days.  If your constitution is less than this, we suggest you update it at your next AGM.
- The changes should then be voted on individually and once each one is approved or declined, the committee should finalise the changes (accept the tracked change).
- Lastly, please send the updated constitution to all your members and AUSA for our records.  AUSA will need to know about any committee structure changes as well if necessary.

If you have any questions regarding the constitution, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with societies@abdn.ac.uk.

Budget

A student activity budget is essential to ensuring the society, group, or sports club is successful.

A template has been provided for you below to help you detail all of the income and outgoings that you expect to be making during the year.

Please remember that a budget is your best guess, no one can plan it out to the penny a year in advance. 

More information and training can be found on the AUSA Skillshub and the template is linked below.  If you have any further questions please contact societies@abdn.ac.uk.

Activity Budget Template

Risk Assessment

A risk assessment is a systematic process of evaluating the potential risks that may be involved in a projected activity or undertaking. These can be risks to staff, volunteers, guests, and reputational risks to both your student activity or AUSA.

Examples: Food poisoning – not following food policy. Slips, trips, and falls – obstruction to dance floor, fire exits, cables not secured.

It is mandatory that when planning an event, activity, or training session that you carry out a Risk Assessment in advance.  Please also be aware of any current COVID restrictions that can be found in our COVID-19 hub as well as in the return to Activity Training which has been emailed to all AUSA emails.

Risk Assessment

Safety Code and Code of Conduct

All sports clubs require a safety code and code of conduct in order to be covered through our insurance.

The following societies which are classed as high risk due to the requirement of extra insurance also need to complete the above 2 documents:

  • 5-a-Side
  • Centre Stage Theatre Company
  • Circus Society
  • Conservation Society
  • Dance Society
  • Highland Faffer
  • Ice Skating Society
  • PrototAU
  • Scottish Dance Society (AUSDS)
  • Scouts and Guides
  • Skating Society
  • Skipping Society
  • Student Show
  • Swing Dance Society
  • Team Aberdeen University (TAU) Racing
  • Treading the Boards Musical Theatre Society
  • Wild Swimming
  • Wilderness and Expedition Medicine Society
  • Yoga Society
     

 

Meetings, EGMs and AGMs

Meetings

Regular committee meetings allow your activity to catch up and ensure you are regularly communicating with one another and working as a team to reach your goals. Meetings should normally follow a structure where all members are given an agenda, minutes are taken,  the agenda is followed and minutes are administered to all members at the end of the meeting. Please find attached a General Meeting Checklist and Minute Template to assist you with your meetings. 

General Meeting Minutes Template 
General Meeting Checklist 

EGM

EGMs should allow you to re-evaluate positions within the committee, evaluate your progress over the development plans of the committee members and activity. EGMs can also allow for an opportunity for any committee members to formally step down due to any unforeseen circumstances and allows the activity members to elect any new members into the committee to help with relieving workload from the committee.  Additionally, committee members can review their workload and decide whether more committee members are required to try and share the workload out better and relieve anyone who is feeling overwhelmed with their workload. 

AGM

AGMs are held near the end of the academic year to allow the committee to summarise what they have achieved for the year. Before an AGM members of the activity should be given around 1-weeks’ notice at least to put themselves forward for a position within the committee. All clubs must run and AGM at the end of the year (around March) in order to be affiliated for the following year.

If run correctly, AGMs should provide your club and your members with:

-A fair and democratic committee election process
- More informed candidates running for positions 
- A clearer handover process between committees
- Improved understanding of budget submission

Please find EGM and AGM templates and further information below:

- EGM & AGM FAQ's
- AGM and EGM Procedure and Template