Constitution (SCIO)

Being a member organisation places LAYC in an unique and responsible position to ensure the efforts of the organisation are channelled in ways that support those groups who are in ownership. Membership should not just be seen as a convenient/administrative way of accessing services, but as a collective organisation charged with meeting members needs in the most appropriate and effective way.

LAYC is registered as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) and therefore Membership is open to any corporate  and unicorporated body (given the latter nominates an individual to represent that organisation) subject to meeting the following membership conditions.

LAYC is open to any youth and children’s group operating in the local authority areas of Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian and West Lothian providing that it:

  1. accepts the purposes of LAYC;
  2. has a membership/contact with more than 12 children/young people;
  3. holds regular meetings and offers more than one major activity;
  4. keeps appropriate  records including those for insurance purposes;
  5. is operated on a not for profit basis;
  6. is not affiliated to or associated with any political party;
  7. will supply a copy of its constitution;
  8. operates recruitment, selection and appointment procedures for workers which seek to safeguard young people and children
  9. ensures all staff, volunteers and trustees  are aware of child protection measures and adopt appropriate good practice;
  10. carries out such criminal record checks on youth and children’s workers, volunteers and other adults involved in the running of their group as may be required by legislation or local authority regulations;
  11. does not allow individuals with  relevant previous conviction(s)  such as might render them to be deemed not a fit person to be involved  in any aspect of running of the group as determined by legislation;
  12. does not operate as a uniform type organisation;
  13. by affiliating to LAYC will contribute and be beneficial to the work of  LAYC in providing support to youth and children’s work providers
  14. pays the affiliation fee in place at the time.

An individual who supports the objectives of LAYC may apply to become an Associate Member but will not have the right to attend nor vote at Members’ meetings.

A copy of the SCIO constitution adopted at the October 2011 AGM and thereafter approved by OSCR is available via this link or on request from LAYC.

A copy of the latest Annual Report is also available via this link or on request.

Other Constitutions

When setting up an organisation one the crucial things you need to do first is get yourself a constitution, a document that sets out what the organisation is seeking to do and how it will go about doing that particularly how its going to organise itself to carry those functions out. This is a must and if you wish to call yourself and be a charity then you will need to get it approved by the Office of Scottish Charitable Regulator (OSCR).

There are a number of different types of organisations and constitutions you can use but the main ones in our sector are:

  • Scottish Incorporated Charitable Organisation (SCIO) which provides clear legal status and in general terms protection against personal liability if something goes wrong and regulated/registered with OSCR.
  • Company limited by guarantee which is not dissimilar to a SCIO in that it provides protection against personal liabilities but you are regulated/registered by both charitable and company law through OSCR and Company House.
  • Unincorporated association provides a way of governing the organisation and enables registration and be regulated by OSCR but as its not a corporated structure as with the two above, any liabilities ultimately rest with the management committee and members.

All these have their own advantages and disadvantages although the tendency is to have a corporate set up so that committee members or trustees have the protected liability. It is always best to take advice as to what structure might be best to adopt.

For some smaller organisations just getting set up an unincorporated association might suit so a draft template constitution is available to view and download. However, you should always take legal advice and remember templates may not always reflect what you need to have in your constitution so take time to consider what you need to include or not.

LAYC, in conjunction with Morton Fraser, are currently producing detailed guides on how to become or convert to a SCIO and for those Companies by guarantee, how to update their Memorandums and Articles of Association (now called Memorandums). Look out for these comprehensive guides for LAYC members in the new year.