Constitution and Bylaws

Rules of incorporation or a constitution provide associations and clubs with a document outlining their objectives, structure and responsibilities.

Following the development of your constitution, you should also develop a set of by-laws that provide more detail on sections of the constitution.

Further information & templates

A constitution is an essential document, ensuring the smooth administration of an association or club and is a legal necessity to protect the interests of members.

A good constitution needs to be reviewed regularly to ensure it is still serving your organisation, and still adhering to state laws.  If an incorporated association does not have its own constitution, they automatically default to the consumer affairs incorporated regulations.  It is quite detailed and may impede with your bylaws and it is imperative your bylaws work in conjunction with your constitution.

A sample constitution has been prepared for our affiliated associations and clubs and is aligned with current best-practice governance for sports organisations. The template meets the statutory requirements of a Victorian incorporated association under the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 (Vic) (as at 14 June 2017).  The template is drafted within a traditional federated sports structure, where the association will affiliate with Netball Victoria and Netball Victoria is a member of Netball Australia. It is designed specifically for sport and is tailored to the needs of a sporting organisation.

It is very important to note that any amendment (or replacement) of the constitution of an incorporated association must be lodged with Consumer Affairs Victoria. It does not take effect unless and until the amendment or new constitution is approved by Consumer Affairs.

By-Laws (sometimes called regulations) are more easily adjusted and have a more operational tone to them. This is where you can include more detail of the policies and procedures that underpin the constitution.

Typically, by-laws might deal with matters, such as, uniforms and dress codes, competition rules, fixtures, player eligibility, club colours, awards, code of conduct and tribunals. Your association by-laws should clearly outline the requirements of all clubs, teams and individuals (as members of the association or club) along with the penalties for any breaches of the by-laws.