What is a constitution?

A constitution is a set of rules that provides the framework for the daily running of clubs or organisations. It details, the name, objects, methods of management and other conditions under which the organisation operates.

Constitution toolkit

Communities, Sport and Recreation has developed constitution templates reflecting best practice in sports governance.  Download the templates:

Benefits of having a constitution

Having the rules of an organisation clearly outlined in a constitution has several benefits, including:

  • The objectives and purpose of the group are clear to all members and the public
  • Written rules allow for less manipulation by interest groups within an organisation
  • It provides a legal framework within which the organisation operates
  • Sponsors, councils and government are more likely to do business with groups who are properly constituted
  • Internal disputes can be resolved quickly by referring to the rules

What is included in a constitution?

Every constitution must cover certain areas; however, other subject areas can be included according to individual needs. It is undesirable to include too much detail, but too much vagueness defeats the purpose, therefore a balance must be reached.

A constitution should specify the following:

  • The name of the organisation
  • Objectives and scope of the organisation
  • Powers of association in regard to property, finance, contracts and so on
  • Membership
  • Subscriptions
  • Board
  • Meetings
  • Quorums
  • Voting and elections
  • Finance
  • Auditor
  • Dissolution
  • Amendments to the constitution and by-laws