Come play Badminton in Truro

Disciplinary policy

1.    Introduction

  1. Truro badminton Club is committed to the development of Badminton that is safe for all, ensuring all those involved in the sport can enjoy the game in an inclusive and welcoming environment. 
    1. These Disciplinary Regulations provide a framework to ensure any Complaints or concerns about individuals or organisations are dealt with fairly, transparently and expeditiously at all levels within Badminton England. 
    1. These Regulations have been approved for adoption by the Committee. 
    1. The Regulations are for matters relating to Complaints and Disciplinary Issues only. 
    1. The Regulations form part of the rules of membership of Truro Badminton Club. 
    1. It is important that everyone involved in badminton at any level understands the Regulations and demonstrates their commitment to ensuring the highest possible standards in the sport for the enjoyment of all involved in the game. 
    1. All Members of Truro Badminton Club are required to ensure all Persons under the jurisdiction of Badminton England are expressly bound by, and that their attention is drawn to, these Regulations.

1.8.  Submission of a Complaint

  1. A Complaint should be submitted in writing and include sufficient details of the incident complained of so as to identify the Complainant, the Person complained about and the Disciplinary Issue complained of.

2.     Managing a Complaint

  • On receipt of a Complaint Truro Badminton Club Committee shall appoint a disciplinary Hearing Panel and may delegate the operation and maintenance of the Rules and Regulations to this Panel. 

3.     The Disciplinary Panel

  • The Disciplinary Hearing Panel must consist of 3 people who are members of the Club.
    • No person may sit on the Disciplinary Hearing Panel where they have had any prior involvement in the case or matter, or has any material financial or other relevant interest in the outcome of the proceedings. 
    • The Disciplinary Hearing Panel shall appoint a Disciplinary Officer. 
      • The Disciplinary Officer must be a fully paid member, act on behalf of the Club and be the first point of contact 
      • The Disciplinary Officer must ensure the Committee acts fairly towards all registered coaches, county squad players, affiliated Members and volunteers of the Member Organisation and any other persons when investigating and dealing with Disciplinary Issues;
    • The Disciplinary will select a suitable Chair of the Disciplinary Hearing Panel from the Disciplinary Hearing Panel members. 

4.     The Disciplinary Officer

  • The Disciplinary Officer must: 
    • Acknowledge receipt of the Complaint within 14 days of its receipt; 
    • Investigate the Complaint as soon as practicable; and within 14 days of receipt of the Complaint, inform the Person complained of the substance of the Complaint and invite them to provide a written response within a further 14 days (or such longer period as the Disciplinary/Designated Officer determines). However, if the Disciplinary/Designated Officer considers that providing this information to the Person complained of at this time may prejudice this, or any other investigation, then no such disclosure should be made. Where this is the case, the information must be provided to the Person complained of once there is no longer the potential for prejudicing the investigation. 

5.     Conclusion of investigation.

  • Once the Disciplinary/Designated Officer has concluded their investigation into the Complaint they may: 
    • Decide that no further action is required and must notify the Complainant and Person complained about (provided they have already been notified of the Complaint);
    • Reject the Complaint on the basis that it does not fall within the scope of these Regulations and, if appropriate, refer the Complainant to any other relevant procedures; 
    • Dismiss the Complaint on the grounds that it is vexatious or malicious; or there is insufficient evidence to warrant further action (in which case there is no right of appeal but a case may be re-examined if further evidence is later forthcoming); and notify the Complainant and Person complained about.
    • Refer the Complainant to another authority deemed more appropriate in practice or law to handle the Complaint, including but not limited to, the police for criminal matters; 
    • Deal with the Complaint informally by way of advice or information where the issue is not sufficiently serious to warrant disciplinary proceedings; 
    • Deal with the Complaint by mediation, with the mediator to be nominated by the Disciplinary Committee (or the Case Management Group for safeguarding issues); or 
    • Refer the Complaint to Badminton England Disciplinary Officer to choose the most appropriate course of action; 
    • Where an individual has been charged with a criminal offence or is the subject of an investigation by the police, social services or any other public or investigatory authority (or where this becomes the case during any disciplinary proceedings) in respect of conduct which is, or may be grounds for disciplinary action, the Disciplinary (or Designated) Officer shall seek advice from the relevant agency. Specifically, advice should be sought as to whether or not further consideration of the matter by Badminton England should be postponed pending the outcome of any such proceedings/investigation and as to whether in the meantime an Interim Suspension under these Regulations should be imposed. 
    • Refer the Complaint to the relevant Disciplinary Hearing Panel. 
    • At the conclusion of an investigation the Disciplinary (or Designated) Officer shall report to the Disciplinary Committee or Case Management Group (as the case may be). The Disciplinary Committee (or Case Management Group) shall decide the appropriate course of action. 
    • Prior to reaching a decision the Disciplinary Committee (or Case Management Group) may direct that further enquiries be undertaken. 
    • If the Individual Concerned admits the Complaint or Allegation and the Disciplinary Committee (or Case Management Group) determines there are grounds for disciplinary action the matter can be dealt with either through Summary Procedures or by referral to a Disciplinary Hearing Panel. 
    • If the Individual Concerned does not admit the Complaint or Allegation and the Disciplinary Committee (or Case Management Group) determines there are grounds for disciplinary action the matter must be referred to a Disciplinary Hearing Panel. 
    • It may refer the case to the Badminton England Disciplinary Committee if they deem the issue is particularly complex or is serious and may merit a sanction the Member Organisation Disciplinary Committee cannot impose. 
    • In addition to consideration of disciplinary action, the Disciplinary Committee (or Case Management Group) may direct that a referral, if appropriate, is made to another agency, regulatory body or sport National Governing Body. 
    • If satisfied the investigation has established there is no case to answer, the case shall be dismissed and all concerned parties should be advised without delay. 

6.     Procedure before a Hearing

  • If, before a Hearing, it becomes apparent to the Chair that the case will involve specialist evidence, or has elements which are unusual or complex, the Chair may, with or without a preliminary hearing, issue an order for directions setting out a timetable for the exchange of information and/or evidence, witness statements and/or skeleton arguments in order that the hearing of the case itself may be properly and fairly conducted. The Chair will determine if an interpreter or any other special measures are required. If appropriate a Chair may make such an order during a Hearing prior to granting an adjournment. 
    • Once a decision has been made that a Hearing should take place the Disciplinary (or Designated) Officer will complete and forward a Hearing Notification to the Individual Concerned. The Individual Concerned must be given at least 28 days’ notice of the Hearing. The notification must: 
      • State the specific Allegation(s)
      • Advise the Individual Concerned that it is their duty and responsibility to have available at the Hearing any evidence they wish to present and/or any witnesses they wish to call
      • Advise the Individual Concerned of the requirement that they provide a response within 14 days, and if they do not, this will not preclude a Disciplinary Hearing Panel hearing the case, and the Disciplinary Hearing Panel may draw an adverse inference from the failure to respond, and 
      • Advise the Individual Concerned that they are entitled to be accompanied at the Hearing
      • Advise the Individual Concerned that at least 7 days before the Hearing the Individual Concerned must provide details of any witnesses and/or evidence that they intend to rely on. Should the Individual Concerned fail to comply with this requirement without good reason, it will be for the Chair to decide whether such evidence will be permitted. 
    • Badminton England has a general right to suspend any Specified Person from any, or all, activities under the jurisdiction of Badminton England until the conclusion of any appropriate investigation and/or disciplinary proceedings.
    • The Club Disciplinary Committee has a general right to suspend any Specified Person from the Club until the conclusion of any appropriate investigation and/or disciplinary proceedings
    • An Interim Suspension is a neutral act and is not considered to be a sign of liability. 
    • When considering an Interim Suspension, it must only be used when it is both necessary and proportionate. In making this decision, the following factors should be considered: 
      • Whether there is a risk (or potential risk) of harm, or to the safety or welfare of any individual (including a Young Person);
      • The level of seriousness of the Allegation; 
      • Whether there is a risk of damage to the reputation of Badminton England, the Club and/or the sport of badminton; 
      • Whether there is a risk of damage to, or loss of, property; 
      • Whether a suspension is necessary to facilitate the conduct of any investigation or disciplinary proceedings by the Club, Badminton England or any other authority or body. 
      • The Disciplinary Officer (or Designated Officer for safeguarding cases) shall as soon as practicable notify the individual in writing of the Interim Suspension. 
      • Any concerned party (for instance, the Complainant or a witness) may be notified of the Interim Suspension. 
    • Once an Interim Suspension is ratified it shall be reviewed by the Disciplinary Committee or Case Management Group (for safeguarding matters) thereafter at regular intervals of not less than 8 weeks. Consideration will be given as to whether Interim Suspension remains necessary and proportionate. If this is no longer the case the Interim Suspension must be removed and (if relevant) any concerned party should be notified without delay, and in any case within two working days of the decision being made. 
    • Any breach of an Interim Suspension shall constitute grounds for further disciplinary action under these Regulations.

7.     Procedure during a Hearing

  • A young person may not be required to attend a Hearing to give evidence in person; instead, the Young Person’s statement, or account may be read and will constitute their evidence.
    • If the Individual Concerned is not present, or represented, at a Hearing the Disciplinary Hearing Panel may proceed to hear the matter in their absence provided that:
      • The Panel is satisfied that a Hearing Notification has been served on the Individual Concerned within the appropriate timescale; and
      • Reasonable steps have been taken to ensure the Individual Concerned is aware of the Hearing.
    • The Chair will introduce proceedings and explain the procedure. The procedure to be followed is: 
    • The Individual Concerned shall be asked whether the Allegations subject to the Hearing are admitted
    • if the Allegations are not admitted the Disciplinary Hearing Panel will hear evidence in the following sequence: 
      • The Presenting Officer will be invited to present the case and call any witness or evidence relevant to prove the case; and 
      • The Individual Concerned (or their representative) will be entitled to give and call evidence in rebuttal
      • Witnesses should not be present whilst evidence is given, but may remain in the room when their own evidence is concluded. However, if the Individual Concerned or Complainant is under 18 years (or if any other witness is under 18 years), the witness will not be allowed to remain in the room;
      • Upon conclusion of their evidence, questions may be put to each witness, through the Chair, at the request of either party or by any member of the Disciplinary Hearing Panel;
      • Both the Presenting Officer and the Individual Concerned (or their representative) may sum up their case at the conclusion of all the evidence;
      • In all cases the person answering the Allegations shall have the right of the last word;
      • The Chair will then invite all persons other than members of the Disciplinary Hearing Panel to retire whilst the Panel considers its decision. Decisions are made by a majority of the Disciplinary Hearing Panel;
    • A Disciplinary Hearing Panel is not a court of law and as such the Panel may admit evidence as it sees fit and accord such weight to the evidence as it deems appropriate in the circumstances. However, the Panel must at all times observe the rules of natural justice and ensure proceedings are fair to all parties including the Individual Concerned, Complainant and Badminton England.

8.     Panel Decision

  • The standard of proof is the Balance of Probabilities and not, as in a criminal court, beyond reasonable doubt. The Balance of Probabilities means that, having heard all the evidence and using their knowledge and experience, the Disciplinary Hearing Panel believes that it is more likely than not that the Allegations are proved (or not).
    • Where a Charge relates to a criminal conviction or caution, or a finding of guilt, or proven conduct, in any other judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings, including that of another sport’s national governing body or statutory agency proceedings, documentary evidence of the conviction/caution/finding of guilt is proof of the findings of the court/tribunal etc.
    • A Disciplinary Hearing Panel may on its own volition, or upon request from either party, adjourn the proceedings either during the Hearing, or to a rescheduled date
    • If the Allegations are denied and found not proved then the matter will be dismissed
    • If the Allegations are admitted or found proved the Disciplinary Hearing Panel will determine the appropriate sanction. Before determining sanctions, the Chair will invite the Presenting Officer to make representations regarding sanctions if they choose to do so. Such representations may include reference to the Individual Concerned’s previous disciplinary record if this is relevant

9.     Sanctions

  • In considering sanctions the Disciplinary Hearing Panel should follow the Badminton England Disciplinary Sanctions Guidance.
    • The Individual Concerned (or their representative) may then call evidence as to character and address the Disciplinary Hearing Panel in mitigation of sanction
    • The Chair will again invite all persons other than members of the Disciplinary Hearing Panel to retire whilst the Panel considers the sanction to be imposed under the provisions of these Regulations.
    • The following sanctions are available for a Member Organisation Disciplinary Hearing Panel either singly or in combination:
      • A written warning;
      • An order to undertake specified training within a specific timescale
      • An order requiring an individual to be monitored or supervised in specific matters for a specific timescale
      • A temporary suspension from the Club for a specified period 
      • Termination of Club membership
    • The member must be informed of the outcome in writing within 14 days

10.  Appeals

  1. The Individual Concerned may, within 14 days after receipt of the written reasons for the Disciplinary Hearing Panel’s decision, submit a notice against the decision (including a decision regarding sanction where the Allegation had been admitted) to Badminton England on the following grounds:
    1. The finding or sanction imposed was unreasonable; and/or
    1. There is evidence that could not reasonably have been considered at the Hearing which could have materially affected the finding or sanction