Rules, By Laws and Statement of Purpose

It is common for terms Constitution, Rules of Incorporation, and By-Laws to be confused. This aims to give a snapshot.

  • Your organisation's Constitution is like its heart and soul. It includes your Statement of Purpose, your adopted Rules of Incorporation and your structure. 
  • It is arguably the most important document you have and guides you to safe and legal practices under the Victorian Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 or otherwise.
The Rules
  • Every incorporated group must have Rules of Incorporation which define how the organisation operates and guides the committee
  • These Rules of Incorporation are a contract with members and are guided by Consumer Affairs - this is how things will be done and are a legally binding document
  • The Rules of Incorporation define the rights of members and the responsibility of the Association in meeting these rights
  • There are Model Rules that Associations can adopt for ease. These meet the basic legal requirements
  • The Model Rules in Victoria have recently changed and supercede previous iterations NOW - even if your rules don't align 
  • Associations need to have adopted the new Model Rules (free to Nov 26 2013) or alined their own Rules to them by Nov
  • An Association's Rules are lodged with Consumer Affairs on incorporation or when changes are made
  • An Association can make alterations to the Rules but need to apply to Consumer Affairs - a lodgement fee applies
  • Changes lodged with Consumer Affairs will be approved or not dependent on whether legislative requirements are met.
  • To change your rules, the process starts with a Special Resolution and then follows a process - Click Here for more details.
  • The best information about the changes to the Model Rules can be found at 
  • By-laws are not law excepting that they must not contradict the Rules of Incorporation
  • By-laws sit under the Constitution/ Rules, however the connection is that it should be included in the Rules that the Association Commitee can change the by-law
  • Changing of by-laws does not require a Consumer Affairs application or approval unless it requirs a change to the Association Rules to administer  
  • By-laws are generally more operational and internal to the sport in nature
  • They define the rules internal to the sport or competiton and are laid down by the state body or the association/league
  • The sorts of things defined in an association's by-laws are e.g.: how often Delegate Meetings are held, how teams register,  age requirements for players, any competition details that relate to all clubs, dress codes, clearance proceses etc.