BMDC  of GB Constitution

Every club has to have rules, and the Club Constitution is the collection of our rules which are a mandatory part of the club, required under Kennel Club rules for a KC registered club. It sits alongside the Club Code of Ethics and together they spell out  behaviours and practises that are incumbent on, or recommended for,  members.

The club rules are greatly influenced by KC requirements, many of them are mandatory and will be common to any KC registered club whilst others will be required but the exact content is up to the club, e.g. we have to specify dates for AGM proposals to be received but we can state exactly when they are for ourselves.

The Constitution can only be amended following the laid down procedure of proposal and seconder prompting discussion and a vote at the club’s AGM, the committee are not in charge of any of its content, it is for the club and produced by the club. If the committee, or anyone else, want to change any part of it they have to take it to the AGM for approval.  Following changes being properly agreed at the club AGM these still do not become part of club structure and applicable to members until approved by the Kennel Club, usually a few months after the AGM.

It is a condition of membership that members have to follow the rules and serious breaches could lead to expulsion from the club following the procedure laid down in rule 18. The committee have no power to expel anyone, only a Special General Meeting of members, correctly adhering to the laid down process can do this.

The latest Constitution is published below.

Bernese Mountain Dog Club Of Great Britain

Constitution and Rules

(including amendments adopted at the AGM of 25 March 2023)

  1. NAME AND OBJECTS: The Club shall be called the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Great Britain and its objects shall be:
  • to foster and promote the breed in Great Britain;
  • to impress upon exhibitors and judges the true type as defined by the breed standard;
  • to protect the interest of the breed and to assist members wherever possible in matters relating to the breed.
  1. THE CLUB: shall consist of a Patron, President, Chairman, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Treasurer, a Committee of twelve and an unlimited number of members whose names and addresses shall be kept by the Membership Secretary. The Chairman, Hon Secretary and Hon Treasurer shall be designated Officers of the Club. The Society must maintain an up to date list of members’ names and their addresses and make the list of names available for inspection if so requested by members of the Society or by the Kennel Club.
    • The Annual General Meeting (AGM) may award Life Membership in recognition of extended and/or exceptional service to the club or breed. This award to be the highest honour the club can extend and Life Members, (and joint members on their membership at the time of the award), will receive free annual membership during the lifetime of that life member.
    • In addition, an unlimited number of ex – officio, non-executive Vice Presidents may be appointed by the AGM also in recognition of notable service to the club or breed.
  1. MEMBERSHIP: All applications for membership of the Club shall be made in writing or online via the official process to the Membership Secretary on the current form prescribed by the committee.

Joint members shall be two or more adults having, for Club mailing purposes, only one address and therefore only receiving a single copy of each mailing and each joint member shall enjoy the benefits of individual membership. Junior members, who must be under 16 years of age, will be entitled to membership but will not be eligible for election as Officers or Committee members and shall not have voting rights. Overseas members shall be deemed to be associate members, receiving all copies of newsletters etc. but not voting papers.

The committee reserves the right to refuse any application for membership; any such refusal must be by a majority vote.

  1. SUBSCRIPTION: The annual subscription payable on application or on 1st January each year shall be:

Single UK household:         £21

Outside UK per household: £35

as agreed by the membership at the 2023 AGM.

The subscription of any new member joining after 1st October shall be valid for the following year. No member whose subscription is unpaid shall be entitled to any of the privileges of membership and if any member shall fail to pay the annual subscription by the 1st of February, the committee shall have the power to erase his or her name from the list of members.

Any member who wishes to resign shall notify the Secretary in writing of his or her intention to do so and will thereby forfeit any subscription paid to the Club up to that date.

  1. MANAGEMENT: The management of the Club shall be in the hands of the President, Officers and the Committee who shall be elected to serve for three years, one third of whom shall retire annually but shall be eligible for re-election without nomination.

Officers and Committee members of the Club must not be Officers or Committee members of any other club solely devoted to the Bernese Mountain Dog.

All aspects of Club activity shall comply with GDPR and any other legislation applicable to Club affairs.

  1. The President, Hon. Secretary and Hon. Treasurer shall be elected to serve for three years, one of whom will stand for election every year in rotation but shall be eligible for re-election without nomination.
  1. The Chairman of the Committee shall be elected by the Committee from amongst Committee members and Officers at the first Committee meeting held after the AGM. The Chairman of the Committee shall, ipso facto be Chairman of the Bernese Mountain Dog of Great Britain. In addition to a vote as a Committee member, the Chairman (or nominated deputy) shall also have a casting vote.
  1. Committee meetings shall be held as often as deemed necessary by members of the Committee. At least 7 shall form a quorum for the transaction of business.
  1. The Committee shall have the power to appoint sub-committees.

All sub-committees must contain at least one main club committee member who must be present at all meetings and involved in every decision taken. Such sub-committees can be awarded executive power to complete and perform tasks and decisions within their remit but must report back to committee on all matters. The committee shall have the power to dissolve such sub-committees without the agreement of the subcommittee if necessary.

  1. The Committee shall have the power to deal with or dispose of any questions which may arise on any matter whatsoever which are not expressly provided for in these rules.
  1. Any member of the Committee failing to attend three consecutive meeting of the Committee, without a reasonable explanation, shall be deemed to have resigned. The Committee shall have power to co-opt members to replace those who have ceased to be members of the Committee with due regard to unsuccessful candidates at the last election. Those co-opted shall only hold office until the next General Meeting of the club at which an election of Officers and Committee takes places and must be proposed and seconded in the usual way.
  2. The Hon. Secretary or deputy shall be required to summon and attend all meetings and keep the signed minutes of any such meeting in an appropriate accessible format and to conduct the correspondence of the club.
  1. Should the Hon. Secretary or Hon. Treasurer resign from their positions during their term of office the Committee may appoint a temporary/acting Hon. Secretary or Hon. Treasurer. At the subsequent election of officers, the acting Secretary or Treasurer must be proposed and seconded in the usual way, if willing.
  1. GENERAL MEETINGS: the financial year of the Club shall be from 1st January to 31st

14.1. The Annual General Meeting shall be held before 30th April of the next year to receive the       report of the:

  1. Secretary (summarising Committee and club activities)
  2. Treasurer (including the Statement of Accounts and Balance sheet)
  3. Membership Secretary
  4. Rescue Coordinator
  5. Health Coordinator
  6. Club’s monitoring of its Code of Ethics and agreement of any cases to be taken forward using rule 18 of the club constitution.
  7. Any other specific report, by prior notification to the committee, will be included on the agenda.
  8. Discuss any motion signed by the Proposer and Seconder which has been duly placed on the agenda.
  9. The result of the Election of Officers and members of the Committee – as per Rule 5.

        14.2.  With effect from the 2024 AGM a minimum of 7 members in attendance is required to form a quorum.

         14.3. AGM and SGM process:

  1. At least 42 days prior to the AGM, fully paid-up members shall be notified of the Meeting and shall be invited to submit items for the Agenda and nominations for candidates to the offices of President, Vice-President, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Treasurer and Committee members for the ensuing year. This notification shall be given to members in hard copy via the normal Club mailing unless they have elected to receive club communications by email and shall be posted on the Club website. It may also be given by publication in the Club’s own magazine if this meets the specified time schedule.
  2. Prior written notice of any motion or nomination must be in the hands of the Secretary by the date notified by the Committee which shall be at least 28 days prior to the meeting.
  3. Only a member who has been a member for at least three consecutive years immediately prior to the election or co-option is eligible for nomination for an office or committee and must be proposed by one member and seconded by another.
  4. In cases when there are more nominations than positions available a voting paper recording the names of the nominees shall be sent to each member at least 14 days prior to the meeting. These voting papers on which members must record their votes must be returned for counting by impartial scrutineers by the dates stated on the voting paper. The sealed envelope in which the results are recorded will be opened in the presence of the members at the AGM. The candidates receiving the largest number of votes shall be declared by the Chairman to be the Officers and the Committee Members for the ensuing year. In the event of the same number of votes being recorded for any two or more candidates for the last place on the Committee, a final decision between these candidates will be made by a ballot of members present at the meeting.
  5. The committee shall have the right to put motions and nominations on the agenda proposed by them without a formal seconder. These motions to be agreed by normal committee process.
  6. Members shall be notified of the AGM agenda at least 14 days prior to the date of the meeting.
  7. The committee has the right to call a Special General Meeting (SGM).
  8. Additionally, a SGM shall be summoned by the Hon. Secretary if thirty-five members send either a signed requisition by post or a requisition from a personal email account, stating the subject to be discussed. No business other than the matter on the agenda can be discussed at a SGM. Members shall receive 14 days’ notice of a SGM. Thirty-five shall form a quorum at such a meeting.
  1. CLUB PROPERTY AND DISSOLUTION: the property of the Club shall be vested in the Committee. If, at a SGM called for such a purpose, a resolution for the dissolution of the club shall be passed by a majority of the members present, then and in such case the members present at such SGM may decide upon the disposal of the assets of the club after discharging all the liabilities of the club, save that trophies which have been donated to the cub shall be disposed of in accordance with the wishes of the donors or the executors of the donors if such wishes are known at the time of the dissolutions. If this should prove impracticable then the value of the trophies may be realised and the proceeds donated to a canine charity or service selected by the Committee.
  1. CLUB ACCOUNTS: A bank account(s) and if deemed necessary, other specialist accounts the committee feel appropriate for the effective management of the club’s finances, shall be opened in the name of the club, into which all revenue of the club shall be paid. The Hon. Treasurer shall be responsible for the management of such accounts. The accounts shall be kept by the Hon. Treasurer and a qualified accountant, independent of the committee, shall be appointed at each AGM who shall audit the clubs accounts for the ensuing year before the Annual General Meeting. The certified accounts will be made available on request to members fourteen days before the AGM.
  1. Specific club positions will be entitled to an annual honorarium, the positions and amounts awarded to be determined on a yearly basis by the AGM giving due cognisance to any guidance from the committee or Treasurer.
  1. EXPULSION OF MEMBERS: Any member who shall be disqualified under Kennel Club Rule A11.j.(5) and/or Kennel Club Rule A11.j.(9) shall, ipso facto, cease to be a member of the society. If the conduct of any member shall, in the opinion of the committee of the club, be injurious or likely to be injurious to the character or interests of the club, the committee of the club may, at a meeting, the notices convening which include as an object the consideration of the conduct of the member, determine that a SGM of the club shall be called for the purpose of passing a resolution to expel him/her. Notice of the SGM shall be sent to the accused member, giving particulars of the complaint and advising him/her of the place, date and hour of the meeting so that they may attend and offer an explanation. If, at that meeting, a resolution is passed by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting, his/her name shall forthwith be erased from the list of members and he/she shall thereupon cease to be a member of the club, except that he/she may within two calendar months from the date of such meeting, appeal to the Kennel Club upon and subject to such condition as the Kennel Club shall impose.

If the Club expels any member for discreditable conduct in connection with dogs, dog shows, trials or competitions, the society must report the matter in writing to the Kennel Club within seven days and supply any particulars required.

  1. The rules of the club shall not be altered except at an AGM or SGM. The notices of any AGM or SGM shall include the full details of any proposed rule changes. Any alterations to the rules shall not be brought into force until the Kennel Club had been advised and given its approval to such alterations.
  1. The established judges lists shall be drawn up by the judges sub-committee and a majority vote in favour of each judge shall be needed for approval. Nomination for judges to be included on judging lists or to be transferred from one list to another, should be sent to the club on the judges application form, available on the Club’s website for approval. Membership of the club is not a prerequisite for inclusion in the lists. Nomination for judges to be included may be sent to the committee by any member of the club for approval at a meeting. Each list shall begin and end on a specific date and on expiry a new list shall be drawn up.
  • . In line with KC guidance, a second set of Judges lists shall be compiled in line with the JEP process, this set will originally run alongside but replace the established lists in 2024
  1. Judges for all Club shows (Open and Championship) are chosen at the discretion of the committee from the Club’s Judges lists.

No one shall judge the Club’s Championship Show more than once in 10 years. It is also a requirement that they will not have judged BMDs in the UK within a 24 month period prior to the show. Any overseas judges selected are to be acknowledged Bernese breed specialists in their country of origin.

No one shall judge the Club’s Open Show more than once. It is also a requirement that they will not have judged any BMD Club Show in the UK within a 24 month period or at a general open show within a 12 month period and a radius of 150 miles, prior to the show.

  1. ANNUAL RETURNS TO THE KENNEL CLUB: the officers acknowledge that during the month of January each year, maintenance of the title fee will be forwarded to the Kennel Club by the secretary for continuance of registration and prior to 31st July each year, other returns, as stipulated in Kennel Club Regulations for the registration and maintenance of the Title of Societies and Breed Councils, Affiliation and Agricultural Societies and Municipal Authorities be forwarded to the Kennel Club. The officers also acknowledge their duty to inform the Kennel Club of any change of Secretary of the Society which may occur during the course of the year.
  1. The club shall not be classed as a Trading Business so that all profits from any source, function or activity of the Club shall be maintained for the benefit of the breed and for the further education of the members in the management, training, showing, breeding and all aspects pertaining to the improvement of the breed.
  1. No person who can be shown to have knowingly exported or assisted in the export of a dog or dogs to any country which does not have legislation for the protection of animals similar in intent to such laws in Great Britain, and which does not have a reciprocal agreement with the Kennel Club, shall be accepted for membership. Any existing member who exports or assists in the export of a dog or dogs to any country which does not have legislation for the protection of animals similar in intent to such laws in Great Britain, and which does not have a reciprocal agreement with the Kennel Club shall be deemed to have offended against Rule 18. The committee shall consider their continued membership in the light of the circumstances. A breach of the Club’s Code of Ethics by a member/s, for example cross breeding Bernese with other breeds, contrary to Para 15 of the Code of Ethics, may result in termination of membership in accordance with Rule 18.
  1. No person whilst an undischarged bankrupt may serve on the committee or hold any other office or appointment within the club.
  1. No dealer shall be elected a member of the BMDC of GB, neither shall any member knowingly provide puppies, adults or stud dog services to a dealer. The word “dealer” is to be defined as someone who solely, or in partnership regularly sells dogs, in the judgement of the committee, exclusively for commercial gain. Criteria to be considered in this judgement to include excessive number of litters, house keeping of the dogs or any other factors the committee feels relevant. If an existing member is asked to leave the said Club for these reasons, then the committee shall follow the SGM procedure, outlined in Rule 18. The only exclusion to this rule would be any BMD or other breed’s recognised Rescue/Welfare Societies.
  1. The Club’s Rescue Coordinator and assistant Rescue Coordinator must have been members of the Club for at least three years and will be approved and appointed by the committee but need not be elected committee members. They will be accountable to the committee and provide regular reports to the committee for every committee meeting and at other times if requested to do so and will refer any major issues to the committee for consideration. The bank account for rescue funds will be managed by the club’s elected treasurer.
  1. The Kennel Club is the final authority for interpreting the Rules and Regulations of the Club and in all cases relative to canine matters and Club matters. The Club shall not join any Federation of Clubs or Societies.