Every incorporated association must have rules. The rules:
- are a written document
- guide how your association operates
- are a contract between the association and its members
- set out your association's purposes
- list the rights and responsibilities of members and office holders.
Members should know the rules. They have the right to inspect the rules and obtain a copy on request.
Statement of purposes
Under new laws that commenced in November 2012, an association's statement of purposes is no longer a separate statement, but is automatically included as part of its rules.
If an association changes its rules, it must include its statement of purposes in the proposed new rules.
Some suggestions are on this page here
Changing the rules (Information from Consumer Affairs Victoria) - Process
To change its rules, your association can:
- notify us (Consumer Affairs) that it has passed a special resolution to approve adopting the model rules, or
- apply for approval to change its rules (after passing a special resolution) and we approve the request.
Your association can take the following steps to change the rules:
1. It proposes the change and notifies members at least 21 days before the upcoming general meeting. The rules should specify how this notice must be given (for example, by letter or verbally).
2. At the meeting, your association approves the changes through a special resolution. A special resolution will pass if:
- at least 75 per cent of members (either in person or, if the rules allow, by proxy) vote in its favour, and
- any further relevant requirements from the rules have been met.
For more information on special resolutions, view our Membership, meetings and special resolutions - incorporated associations page.
3. The secretary must lodge the Application for association change of details (Word, 323KB) within 28 days of the special resolution being passed. Lodgement details are on the form. The form must be attached with:
- a copy of the notice of the special resolution stating the changes
- a declaration signed by at least two committee members stating that the special resolution was passed in accordance with the law and the rules
- a copy of the rules with all paragraphs numbered, which clearly shows the changes, and the fee (if applicable - see below).
Note: until 26 November 2013, the fee for adopting model rules has been waived (where there are no changes to the association's existing purposes or financial year end date) and the fee for an association changing its rules has been reduced to $75.20.
If you wish to change your association’s financial year end date and it is contained within your association's rules:
- this is considered a change of rules, and
- you have to pass a special resolution.
For more information on how to change your financial year end date, view our Update incorporated association details page.
Approving rule changes
We will approve or refuse proposed rule changes based on whether they meet the requirements of the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 (the Act).
If an association requests multiple rule changes and some changes do not comply with the Act, we may approve some changes and not others.