Why Sign the Compliance Statement?
Organisations today are expected to conform to the laws of the countries in which they operate and Rotary is no different with Rotary International clearly stating that every Rotary club is expected to comply with the laws of the country in which it functions. Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland has developed appropriate policies and procedures to support clubs in meeting their legal obligations across the four key areas of compliance, for: Health and Safety; Equality and Diversity; Safeguarding for Children and Vulnerable Adults; and Data Protection.
Our Rotary insurance cover is provided on the basis that organisationally we have current policies and procedures that detail the legal requirements clubs must operate within, and our cost effective premium rates reflect the commitment of our clubs to these policies. As part of our evidence of understanding and commitment, each year, Clubs and Districts are asked to sign the annual Compliance Statement. The statement is designed to reinforce the requirement of clubs to adhere to the four policies.
Often I am told that a club will not sign the annual Compliance Statement because it feels they should not be challenged on the way in which they operate. People try to say that ‘insurance will be invalidated’ if the form isn’t signed, this is not entirely accurate of course, as it is fundamentally the action, or lack of action, that has been undertaken by a club that will ultimately determine whether insurance has been invalidated in each specific case.
HOWEVER, insurance premiums and our ability to continue to be able to purchase insurance at all, is dependant in part on the attitude that is presented towards these important areas of risk assessment, protection of others and discrimination. The sign-off of the Compliance Statement shows a willingness to adhere to the policies and that goes a long way towards presenting our organisation as one which is responsible and willing to do all that it can to mitigate the risk of civil or legal challenges resulting from breaches in Health and Safety, Equality, Safeguarding or Data Protection.
Clubs that refuse to act in a responsible way will be challenged and ultimately run the risk of having their Membership Charter removed.
We know that proportionally the number of clubs acting in an irresponsible manner is very low but for so long as any club refuses to treat people equally, fail to ensure that risk assessments are undertaken and adhered to, fail to use personal data in a secure and responsible way and to don’t ensure that only suitable people are working with children and vulnerable adults, the whole organisation will remain at risk from reputational damage and an inability to purchase adequate insurance cover.
Club Presidents and Districts Governors are ultimately responsible to ensure that compliance is taken seriously… but it is every member’s responsibility to do what is right and to ensure that Rotary remains a trustworthy and valuable service organisation for the communities it supports.
Take time to review the policies and learn what you need to do to protect yourself and others around you.
The Constitution of Rotary GB&I (Article 5, Section D) provides that every club in the Area (Great Britain, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) is bound in all things, not contrary to law, by the Constitution and the By-Laws of the Association and shall observe the provisions thereof. Clubs are also bound by the general law of the jurisdiction within which that club is located.
Rotary GB&I does not seek to advise clubs on matters of general law, but does try to help clubs to ensure that they comply with certain specific legal frameworks which are likely to apply to the regular activities of all or most clubs.
To that end, Rotary GB&I has produced the following documents:
Equality and Diversity Policy- incorporating Dignity Policy
Health and Safety Policy Statement
Safeguarding (Vulnerable Adults) Policy
Data Protection policy- incorporating GDPR Privacy Notice
Rotary GB&I and District 1070 Compliance Team has invited clubs to read and adopt these documents.
Adherence to these documents should ensure that no club inadvertently finds itself in breach of these areas of general law.
It is therefore requested that this Compliance Statement be signed by the Club President or Secretary on behalf of the club, thereby confirming that your club has read and adopted the documents referred to above along with the Insurance Guidance document – all of these documents are located at:
This compliance confirmation should then be returned to your District Compliance Officer as soon as possible.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Will Cowell, District 1070 Compliance Officer
Moira Penney, District 1070 Safeguarding Officer
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