Policy Guidelines

Policy Guidelines for Group Leaders

Policies are there to make sure we do things consistently, legally and in line with the principles of the u3a.  They are all based on national guidelines.  Following them will make sure that we are covered in the event of anything untoward happening.  This is a summary of the key points but full versions are on the website.

Code of conduct

Everybody linked to the u3a is expected to abide by the code of conduct.  It outlines things that we would take for granted anyway like treating people with respect and tolerance and is linked to the equality and diversity policy.  There are grievance, complaints and disciplinary policies in place should there be a problem.  However the main message is that if there are problems, the best thing is to talk about them so they can be sorted out quickly and effectively.  

Data protection

As a group leader you will have access to personal information about people in your group, including addresses and contact details.  These are confidential so please keep them securely.  They must not be shared with anybody else unless you have checked in advance.  Use blind copying (bcc) when sending e-mails to prevent this happening.  


As a group leader you should not be out of pocket as a result of your work.  If you have to purchase things in order to run your course, you can claim the money back provided you have a receipt.  Please always check with Jeanne before you do this especially if large amounts of money are involved.  If you are buying things like materials on behalf of people in your group or if you are sharing lifts, then it is reasonable to ask them to make a contribution.  If you think somebody in the group might struggle financially with these costs or the 50p donation, please use your discretion.  We will always find the money to make sure that everyone in the group can join in.  


We all have a duty to look after people who are vulnerable from abuse; physical, financial, sexual or emotional.  It can happen to anyone.  If you think somebody is being abused or if somebody makes a disclosure to you must pass on this information.  The designated person in charge of safeguarding is Robert Jackson, the chair, who will decide what to do next.  Please always err on the side of caution and don’t think “it couldn’t happen here”.  

Health and Safety

We are jointly responsible for the safety of people in your group.  Any problems with the venue or with the equipment you are using should be reported to Jeanne so that we can sort it out.  If somebody is behaving in a way that is unsafe or you believe is not fit for the activity then you can refuse to let them take part.  People have a responsibility to let you know of any medical conditions that might affect them in your group.  However it is worthwhile reminding people of this and asking them to let you know in confidence of any conditions that you need to be aware of.  You should also have an emergency contact number for every person and should have this with you at every session just in case.   For the same reason, please take a register at the start.  

To show that you have taken all reasonable precautions to prevent any accidents you must complete a risk assessment.  In most cases this is very simple (see example) and you only need one for the whole year.  It just says what the possible risks are, what you have done to reduce them and what you will do if somebody has an accident.  More hazardous activities or activities in different locations will require individual risk assessments.  Any member of the committee can help you complete your risk assessment.  

If somebody has an accident that requires medical attention you should complete an accident form.  This will be a record of what happened and should be sent to Lis who as secretary is responsible for all the paperwork.  Again if in doubt ask Jeanne or any member of the committee for help.  As in so many things the golden rule is “if in doubt err on the side of caution” even if the person assures you they are ok.