Constitution

Constitution for Northern Inuit Association

Name the organisation and aims

The name of the organisation shall be ‘Northern Inuit Association’. The objectives of the Association are:

– To promote healthy and sustainable breeding of the Northern Inuit Dog
– To breed, in the long term, according to the breed standard and paying particular attention to the temperament of the puppies
– To keep records of all dogs born and registered with the Association
– To improve the health of the breed and reduce inbreeding of the puppies bred to an average of 5% – 12% (measured over 10 generations) by introducing carefully selected outcross dogs within the next 15 years
– To promote, advise, protect and improve the understanding of the breed worldwide through online platforms, social media, breed shows and events held all year round
– To promote positive reinforcement methods of training dogs and raising puppies
– To maintain the highest quality of breeding practices amongst breeders that are members of the Association
– To offer advice and help to the owners of the Northern Inuit Dog
– To rescue any dog bred by the Breeder member if they are unable to rescue the dog themselves
– To achieve recognition of the breed by the UK Kennel Club

All Members are expected to abide by the Northern Inuit Association Code of Ethics. If there is a breach of the Code Of Ethics by a Member, then disciplinary action could follow. The Northern Inuit Association is a not for profit organisation and any profits are to be used to benefit the breed and its further improvement projects as voted by Members of the Association.

Membership and fundraising

1. The Association can have an unlimited number of members.

2. There are three types of membership available: Bronze membership, Gold membership and Breeder membership.

3. Bronze membership is awarded automatically to all Northern Inuit Puppy owners who have purchased a puppy from one of the breeders holding a valid Breeder membership or by rescuing a dog advertised by the Association. It is to be activated by the puppy owner by submitting to the Association a membership code received from the breeder upon purchasing the puppy. If the puppy is purchased jointly then a separate code is to be issued to each person over the age of 18 years old. This type of membership is awarded for the life of the puppy purchased or dog rescued unless the member is disqualified, removed or have left at their own request. This membership does not carry the right to vote. This level of membership is not eligible for any merchandise discounts or show entries discount. Bronze members cannot stand for election to the Committee. Any Bronze member can upgrade his / her membership to Gold membership at any time by submitting a request to the Membership Officer and paying the membership fee.

4. Gold membership is awarded upon payment of the membership fee. Membership renewal payments are due on 1st January each year. If a Gold member fails to pay the renewal fee within 30 days from the due date, then they are to be downgraded automatically to the Bronze membership (if they own a dog bred by the Breeder member) or cease being a member. Gold membership carries the right to vote on the Association’s matters (one member = one vote) and merchandise / show entries discounts. They can stand for election to join the Committee after 12 months from the date of becoming a Gold member.

5. Breeder membership is awarded upon registration of the affix, payment of the membership fee and one off affix fee. Membership renewal payments are due on 1st January each year. If a Breeder member fails to pay the renewal fee within 30 days from the due date, then they cease being a member, be unable to advertise and register their litters and are removed from the Association’s website and social media channels. Breeder membership carries the right to vote on the Association’s matters (one member = one vote). It includes listing on the Association’s website and social media channels as a breeder and their name is proactively promoted across various Association events. They are entitled to merchandise and show entries discounts.

6. Breeder members have access to various breeding and gene pool management tools offered by the Association and social media support group. They are able to stand for election to join the Committee after 12 months from the date of becoming a Breeder member.

7. Breeder members are required to make certain documentation submissions as required by the Committee which may be changed from time to time to ensure that overall breeding strategy, aims of the Association and Code of Ethics are being followed.

8. All members, wishing to join, are asked to provide the Association with certain personal details: Full name, address, telephone number, registered kennel name of their puppy/dog and email address. If a recurring membership payment option is signed, then bank details will also be required. Those details are kept in a secure Membership database and will be used only to ensure that the Association fulfils their obligations towards its members. The Association will not pass any of those details on to 3rd parties unless by specific request made by the member in question.

9. The access to the membership register is only awarded to specific Committee Officers: Finance Officer, Membership Officer and Chairperson.

10. All membership fees are due on the 1st of January every year in advance. They are payable once a year. Members who are joining through the year pay a prorated fee depending on number of calendar days left till the end of the calendar year.

11. All other fees are due as they are incurred.

12. Any increases or decreases of the fees levied by the Association will be voted on by the Committee during the AGM.

13. The Association does not accept cash as a method of payment.

14. Anyone can donate to the Association’s cause however a donation does not constitute automatic Gold membership. The only way the membership is to be awarded is by sending a specific request to the Membership Officer.

15. The funds raised by the Association are used in accordance with the aims of the organisation.

16. Gold and Breeder memberships carry the right to vote on: changes to the Association’s constitution, changes to the Code of Ethics, changes to the Breed standard and enactment of new major projects undertaken by the Association.

17. All breeders wishing to be registered with the Northern Inuit Association are required to hold a valid Breeder membership and register an affix. All Gold and Bronze members wishing for their stud dog to be used under the Association’s banner are required to hold a valid Breeder membership and are required to register an affix.

18. All Committee Officers and Trustees are required to hold valid Breeder or Gold membership.

19. The membership of the Association ceases in any of the following circumstances:

– At the specific request of the member made in writing to the Membership Officer
– At the lead member’s death
– If a Member’s membership remains unpaid 30 days from the due date and he / she doesn’t own an Association’s registered dog
– If a member is being removed from the membership records and being suspended or expelled by prior approval Committee

20. Member’s expulsion or / and suspension with Committee approval might happen in the following circumstances, but it is not limited to the below:

– Breach of the Association’s code of Ethics
– Breach of the Constitution rules with special weight given to the Equal opportunities section
– If they are found to be guilty of animal cruelty and / or breaching the Animal Welfare Act 2006
– Being found guilty of making derogatory / damaging comments relating to the Association, it’s interests, it’s aims or relating to other members of the Association

21. The expulsion of a member follows a prescribed process:

1. The member accused / suspected of breaching the Association’s rules is to be issued with a formal written communication detailing the accusations / suspicions including evidence
2. At the same time the accused member and person making accusations are suspended from the membership registry (as appropriate) until the matter is resolved. Suspended members do not have any voting rights or privileges given to them by virtue of the membership
3. If the accusations made by a member are found to be false, then the accusing member will be subject to the expulsion investigations themselves
4. They have 30 calendar days from the date of the initial communication being sent to them to respond in writing presenting their defence evidence back to the Committee
5. The Committee has a further 15 calendar days to debate and decide by a majority of the votes whether the member is guilty of the charges he / she is being accused of and to be expelled
6. After 15 calendar days, the member is issued with a written communication stating the decision that the Committee has made
7. If the member is expelled then this is executed immediately upon issuance of the written final communication to the member

Equal opportunities policy

1. The Northern Inuit Association is committed to treating all people equally and with respect irrespective of their age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.

2. Diversity
The Association belongs to all Bronze, Gold and Breeder members. We aim to organise a range of events relating to dogs and their owners and members of the public who are interested in the breed (including the dog shows) where the aim is to engage with as many people as possible through some activities that they would enjoy. The Association is open to new ideas, and particularly prioritise opportunities to share their experiences and knowledge.

3. Inclusion and respect
Every member of the Northern Inuit Association should be made to feel equally welcome (Bronze, Gold and Breeder members as well as members of the public where event / social media group is open to the public) and included in all meetings, Association’s web pages, social media sites and any other social events organised by the Association. Sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic or otherwise offensive and inflammatory remarks and behaviour are not acceptable. These constitute harassment, and have no place in the Association.

4. Discrimination procedures
If any member feels they have been discriminated against by the Association or harassed at an Association event they should raise this with the Chairperson. The Chairperson will investigate the complaint, listening to all members involved. If the complaint is against a particular individual, this person will have the opportunity to express their point of view and will have a right to be accompanied by a friend. The person making the complaint will also have this opportunity. If the complaint is against the Association as a whole, the Chairperson must work to ensure that such discrimination is not repeated in the future, and must inform the members of how they propose to do this.

5. Any decision to exclude a person from the organisation due to discriminatory or harassing behaviour is to be made with reference to the Association’s constitution. The Association supports people who feel they have been harassed or discriminated against, and will not victimise or treat them less well because they have raised this.

This policy will be reviewed at least every 2 years. Last review date 28.09.2019

Committee and Officers

1. The Committee exists to represent the Association’s members and not their individual gain.

2. The Committee has the following types of officers: Trustees and Committee Officers.

3. The Committee (including Trustees) is responsible for the day to day running and decision making on behalf of the Association’s members within the boundaries set by the Constitution, Code of Ethics and current Breeding Strategy.

4. The amendments to the following documents are required to be approved / voted on by all members of the Association who carry voting rights: Constitution, Code of Ethics and Breed Standard.

5. Committee Officers (including Trustees) are re-elected / elected into the Office by the members carrying the voting rights.

6. For the first three years, from the date the Association has been established, the Committee Officers are to remain in posts (unless they have resigned or were removed).

7. For the first five years, from the date the Association has been established, the Trustees are to remain in posts (unless they have resigned or were removed).

8. All Committee Officers (including Trustees) have to be, at all times, fully paid up Gold or Breeder members and they are volunteers. They are not being paid for their work on behalf of the Association.

9. Trustees have a dual role of being Committee Officers as well as being entrusted with overall oversight that the Association is fulfilling it’s long terms aims and working towards the current breeding strategy, as well as ensuring that the Association is run according to the Constitution, all members are adhering to the Code of Ethics and all Breeder members are aiming to follow the current breeding strategy and the breed standard. They have financial signatory powers (please see finances section for further details) and are voting on any matters relating to the Association’s trademark licensing.

10. Trustees have to hold at least one Committee position.

11. There has to be always four Trustees assigned at any given time.

12. The Trustees are to be re-elected every two years during the AGM or online (if a Trustee left the post mid-term) by the members carrying voting rights. Only Committee Officers who have been in a Committee post for at least two preceding years can be elected or re-elected as Trustees.

13. If a Committee Officer would like their election to be considered, they need to send a covering letter to the Chairperson a month before the AGM where the re-election / election voting is to be held. The covering letter should include their successes in the current post, why they would like the position of Trustee and what they would bring to the role.

14. If the Trustee role is being vacated mid-term then Committee Officers will be encouraged to apply by sending the same covering letter to the Chairperson within the timescales specified by him.

15. The following are Committee positions which are required to be assigned at all times:

– Chairperson – responsible for ensuring that all decisions are voted on by all Committee members, has an additional casting vote in case of decisions where number of votes for and against are the same, doesn’t get involved in the day to day operations of the Committee, if a complaint is being made, this position is responsible for investigating all the facts and arranging for necessary steps to be followed in accordance with the Constitution, seeks conflict resolution and ensures that all Trustees and Committee Officers are fulfilling the requirements of their office, ensures that the Constitution is followed at all times

– Secretary – responsible for preparation of all official Association letters, forms, ensures that the minutes from the AGM and other meetings are prepared and published according to the Association’s Constitution, organises and calls for AGMs and other meetings as required, records all outcomes of the membership votes and Committee votes, keeps records of all shows, show results and trophies / awards given out and prepares show certificates where applicable

– Finance Officer – responsible for preparation of the Association’s annual accounts and statutory returns (where required), keeps a register of assets owned by the Association, prepares payments for Trustees signature and reconciles fees collected by the Association, responsible for notifying the Committee of any shortage of funding in good time as required

– Health Advisor – responsible for keeping records of health issues, advising on breeding pairs from health point of view to ensure the puppies bred will be as healthy as possible, helping puppy owners with questions regarding the health of their puppies where possible, keeps gene pool management statistics up to date, helps breeders make breeding decisions from health point of view, runs the coefficiency of inbreeding, has to keep their knowledge up to date and in line with the latest research published

– Registration Officer – responsible for litter registration, ensures that the Association’s database is correct and up to date, manages the pedigree database records and issues pedigree certificates

– Membership Officer – responsible for membership management, activates new memberships, manages the Gold and Breeder membership renewals, ensures that the membership database is always up to date and secure, responsible for ensuring that personal data of our members is secure

– Rescue Officer – responsible for ensuring that the Association’s registered puppies are found foster / temporary homes or are rehomed permanently in suitable homes where required and appropriate, can act as liaison between the breeder and dog owner in case this is required, his / her priority are Association’s registered puppies but, at his / her discretion, is able to help Northern Inuit Dogs registered with other breed clubs

– Communications Officer – responsible for all Association’s official communication and announcements, manages Association’s official social media sites and the website, answers all incoming correspondence, responsible for all marketing campaigns and all competitions run on social media and website, ensures that all online and printed content is kept up to date

– Merchandise Officer – organises supply and sales of Association’s merchandise

– Shows Officer – responsible for organising Association’s Dog Shows and events, organises breed showcase stalls, organises sponsorships for the Dog shows, organises and leads fundraisers

16. The Committee can add or merge certain posts as required by majority of the Committee votes. The Committee can make a decision whether some posts have to be shared by more than one person.

17. One person can hold more than one Office.

18. There is one vote per person regardless of number of Offices held.

19. All decisions are democratic and made by the majority of votes.

20. All Committee members are required to vote and they cannot abstain.

21. The Committee Officers, who are not Trustees, are to be re-elected or elected annually during the AGM or online (if a Committee Officer left the post mid-term) by the members carrying voting rights.

22. The Committee is empowered to deal with any matters not provided for by the rules.

23. If a Gold or Breeder member would like their election to be considered they need to send a covering letter to the Chairperson a month before the AGM where the re-election / election voting is to be held. The covering letter should include the successes in their life that they would feel would be relevant to the post, why they would like a position of the Committee Officer and what they would bring to the role.

24. If a Committee Officer role is being vacated mid-term then Gold and Breeder members will be encouraged to apply by sending the same covering letter to the Chairperson within the timescales specified by him / her.

25. Where possible and practical the Committee will ask for voting members’ inputs and opinions on the matters currently discussed by the Committee before it is put to a Committee vote.

Annual General Meeting

1. Northern Inuit Association financial year runs from 1st January to 31 December.

2. Annual General Meeting is to be held annually within three months of the financial year end.

3. The notice of the AGM is to be posted online no later than 60 calendar days before the date of the meeting. The members will also receive a written notification via email.

4. The AGM follows a strict adherence to the agenda set prior to the meeting.

5. Each year the agenda is finalised by the Secretary 14 days prior to the meeting and circulated to all members online. Members with voting rights can submit items to be considered for discussion at the AGM to the Chairperson up to one month before the AGM date.

6. The AGM agenda may consist of the following items (but it is not limited to those):
– Reports and presentations regarding all the work that the Association has done over the previous year
– Presentation of future plans
– Approval and presentation of the annual accounts and Finance Officer report
– Voting on proposed changes to the Constitution, Code of Ethics and Breed standard
– Committee Officers (and Trustees where appropriate) are elected / re-elected
– Any matters that the Chairperson considers urgent

7. Everyone is welcome at the AGM however only Gold and Breeder members are allowed to vote. AGM will be available to be joined via video conference for those members who are unable to attend in person.

8. The minutes are to be taken at the AGM to ensure records are being kept. The minutes from the AGM will be published online no later than 30 calendar days from the date of the meeting.

9. Voting is to be done by secret ballot with results announced on the day. For those members who are joining the AGM via video call, they can send their votes to the Chairperson in a private message or email in real time.

10. If the number of votes is being equal then the Chairperson will have an additional casting vote.

11. The minimum quorum is 10 members with voting rights or 40% of the Gold and Breeder membership population (whichever is higher).

12. The Committee Officers (who are not Trustees) are to be elected / re-elected annually.

13. The Committee Officers who are Trustees are to be elected / re-elected every two years.

14. There is no limit how many years the same Officer can be re-elected.

15. The Committee Officers standing for election at the AGM will be published in the AGM meeting minutes and their resumes will be posted online for the review of all members at least 30 calendar days prior to the voting taking place.

16. Gold members wishing to register their interest in being elected for a Committee position (please see Committee and Officers section for further details) can forward their interest, in writing, to the Chairperson no later than one month before the date of the AGM.

17. Committee Officers wishing to register their interest in being elected for the Trustee position (please see Committee and Officers section for further details) can forward their interest in writing to the Chairperson no later than one month before the date of the AGM.

Other Meetings

1. Other specific Committee meetings are not required as The Committee has access, at all times, to the online forums where issues can be raised, discussed and voted on.

2. All decisions made by the Committee are by a majority of the votes.

3. All Committee Officers are required to cast a vote and cannot abstain (mitigating circumstances where a Committee Officer is allowed to abstain are approved by the Chairperson).

4. If there are any urgent matters that have to be put to the members vote and that cannot wait until the AGM, then this vote is to be put through to the members via online social media group and / or email. The Chairperson is responsible for setting the timescales and closing time for the voting. He / She is responsible for ensuring that the members are aware of those timescales.

5. The votes are made online and are confidential.

6. The votes are to be sent directly to the Chairperson.

7. The minimum quorum for the decision to be binding is 40% of the total members who carry voting rights population or minimum of 10 (whichever is higher).

8. If the quorum is not reached then the voting is to be repeated every week thereafter until the quorum is reached.

9. In case of an equal number of votes being cast on each side, the Chairperson has an additional casting vote.

Finances

1. A bank account is maintained in the Association’s name at an institution approved by the Committee.

2. All incoming funds are deposited into this bank account and all payments on behalf of the Association are made out of this bank account.

3. Trustees are signatories for the bank account.

4. All accounting records are kept up to date and reconciled by the Finance Officer.

5. Official annual accounts for the Association are presented at the AGM and are verified by a qualified accountant.

6. Cash inflows are reconciled with the appropriate source (eg. memberships) to ensure correctness.

7. All monies spent by the Association, are spent in accordance with the aims (including rescue activities as required).

8. The rules for making payments are as follows:
– Finance Officer is asked to make a payment by one of the Trustees or a Committee Member
– Finance Officer requests authorisation in writing to make a payment
– If the payment is below £500 at least two Trustees have to authorise the payment
– If the payment is between £501 – £1,000 then four Trustees are required to give their authorisation in writing
– If the payment is above £1,000 then four Trustees are required to give their authorisation in writing and it has to be approved by the members who have voting rights

9. Accounts are made up using accruals accounting rules.

10. The financial year runs from the 1st January to 31st December.

11. Finance Officer is required to give an overview, for the members review, of the financial year to date accounts every half year.

12. Full accounts and Finance report are presented at the AGM.

13. Finance Officer is responsible for notifying the Committee as soon as possible if he / she forecasts that there might a cash shortfall. Committee is to make decisions on how this can be remediated where / if appropriate.

Changes to Constitution

1. All changes to the Constitution can only be made at the AGM and have to be approved by the members carrying the voting rights.

2. The quorum requirements are the same as for any other voting during AGM or other meetings.

3. The changes are made by approval of the straight majority.

4. The changes are effective from the date of the AGM.

5. The proposed changes to the Constitution are included in the agenda available prior to the AGM.

6. Chairperson has the power to call for a change to the Constitution to be approved outside of the AGM if he / she believes that this is urgent and in the best interests of the Association’s members. The start and end date for voting outside of the AGM is decided by the Chairperson.

7. The changes to the Constitution have to be approved by the members carrying voting rights.

8. The changes made outside of the AGM are effective from the date of the voting being closed.

Breeders Code of Ethics

1. Breeders Code of Ethics is a live document.

2. Any changes to it can be proposed by any member carrying voting rights and being a Gold or Breeder member for at least two years preceding the proposed change.

3. The change is to be voted on by the members carrying voting rights as required.

4. To propose a change to the Code of Ethics a member has to write to the Secretary. The Committee (including the Chairperson) is to review the proposal and put this for discussion amongst Gold and Breeder members prior to voting. The vote is called for by the Chairperson within one month of the proposal being initially submitted to the Secretary.

Breed Standard

1. Breed standard is a live document.

2. Any changes to it can be proposed by any member carrying voting rights and being a Gold or Breeder member for at least two years preceding the proposed change.

3. The change is to be voted on by the members carrying voting rights as required.

4. To propose a change to the Breed Standard a member has to write to the Secretary. The Committee (including the Chairperson) is to review the proposal and put this for discussion amongst Gold and Breeder members prior to voting. The vote is called for by the Chairperson within one month of the proposal being initially submitted to the Secretary.

Breeding Strategy

1. Breeding strategy is a live document and forms a part of the current or past projects run by the Association.

2. Any changes to the current breeding strategy can be proposed by a Committee Officer. The change is to be voted on by the Committee as required.

Dissolution

1. The dissolution can only be proposed by one of the Trustees at any time.

2. The proposal is submitted to the Committee and it has to be voted on within 14 calendar days of the proposal submission date.

3. A straight Committee majority is required for the proposal to be passed.

4. After it is approved by the Committee, it is put to a vote by the Gold and Breeder members. This has to be arranged and voting to close 21 calendar days after the initial proposal being submitted by the Trustee. The same quorum is required as for AGM resolutions and the dissolution is passed by a straight majority.

5. The Association has one month from the date of the members vote to dispose of all of its assets and turn those into cash.

6. The Association’s liabilities are to be paid off first.

7. Any remaining cash has to be split equally between the Gold and Breeder members holding a valid membership at the time of the membership vote to dissolve was held.

8. The Association has one month from the date of the membership vote to dissolve was held to distribute the cash between Gold and Breeder members.

9. Any members that do not respond to the written requests to provide the bank details, for the money to be transferred to their bank account, within one month from the date of the member’s vote are not entitled to their share.

10. The unclaimed share is to be given to the charity decided on by the Committee. At this point the Association is treated as dissolved.

11. If there is a deficit of cash after the liabilities are paid off then the Committee is responsible for settling the remaining liabilities and members are not entitled to any cash distributions.

12. If there are any assets that cannot be turned into cash, their distribution options are decided on by the Committee and then a decision is made by the Gold and Breeder members which one of the options is to be executed. This has to be decided on within one month from the members’ vote to dissolve.

Constitution last amended date: 28.09.2019