Document on proposed changes to the Membership System of the Scottish Hang
Gliding and Paragliding Federation
22nd 2001. David
is the SHPF ?
SHPF is (and always has been) a Federation of the hang gliding and paragliding
Clubs in Scotland. It receives Grant aid from SportScotland to subsidise
improvements in the standards of flying performance, Coach training, and safety,
and it does this by organising courses and events
(e.g. Club Coaching, First
Aid, Cross Country Skills, Parachute Repacking).
It promotes a Series of competitions to allow Scottish pilots to compete
at a level suitable for their experience. Through
the Reciprocal Sites Agreement, it provides a means for pilots to fly at the
sites of all the Clubs in Scotland, by communicating the relevant site
information (not just location, but
also local rules and restrictions). It
also publishes the Flying Scot to keep Scottish pilots informed about what’s
going on in Scotland.
should I join SHPF ?
pilot in Scotland should be a member of SHPF because every pilot in Scotland
benefits in some way from the activities listed above which SHPF promote.
These are activities which can be best achieved at a National level.
SHPF does not attempt to provide any of the benefits which are best
provided within a Club.
should I join a Club ?
from the obvious social benefits of contact with likeminded pilots, Clubs
provide the structure to assist pilots develop their (post Club Pilot) skills in
a much safer and more effective manner than "learn by your own mistakes
". Even more obvious is the
basic requirement of somewhere to fly;- Scotland isn’t an empty playground of
hills waiting to be flown;- the
vast majority of places we fly are sites negotiated
by the Clubs. By being a
member of a Club, you are contributing to, rather than just using, the existing
do we need to change ?
Currently, a significant number of pilots in Scotland are not members of
SHPF. Some are not members of any
Club, and are unaware of SHPF; some clubs operate a structure where SHPF
membership is optional.
The current SHPF membership system requires each pilot to pay an
individual membership fee, normally collected via one of the Clubs.
e.g. if a new pilot joins a Club he doesn't become a "SHPF
member" until the long and almost untraceable route of a transfer of £6
from him through a club treasurer, to a SHPF treasurer, to a SHPF secretary, to
a Flying Scot editor, and the issue of a Flying Scot before he knows he is a
Some pilots wish to participate in the SHPF events but are not members.
Tracing through the route described above to establish why, takes a large
amount of unnecessary administration effort which the volunteers who organise
events could do without. Despite
much effort, lack of success in this has led to the unfortunate situation of
Scottish pilots participating in SHPF events but not being included in the final
could we change to improve things ?
than each individual pilot effectively joining SHPF by paying an individual
membership fee (either via a Club or not) it would be simpler and more effective
for each Club to pay an annual affiliation
fee to SHPF. All Club members
would, therefore, automatically become SHPF members, thereby largely eliminating
the complications of individual
membership fees, and the exclusion of pilots from SHPF events. Since the SHPF is a Federation of the hang gliding and
paragliding Clubs in Scotland, it seems logical that the only method of joining
SHPF is simply to join one of the affiliated Clubs.
do we achieve the change ?
achieve a situation where every Club member instantly and automatically is an
SHPF member, we need to reduce the dependence on a "per capita"
subscription payment from each pilot. A
significant proportion of a pilot’s SHPF fees is spent on the printing and
distribution of the Flying Scot. If
we could reduce this cost, the SHPF could provide all the benefits it currently
does, but with a much simpler, and successful membership system.
would happen to the Flying Scot ?
plan is to continue to produce the Flying Scot, so all the useful site
information, safety bulletins, competition announcements and results, and
excellent articles by Scottish pilots, would be provided to all Scottish pilots.
However, instead of printing and posting to every pilot on the SHPF
database (ie the ones who have paid their £6 ), an electronic and paper copy will be sent to each affiliated
Club, and they will distribute it to all Club members.
The plan is to coordinate the publication of the Flying Scot and Club
Newletters to send it in one mailing. It
is anticipated that much greater use of Email will mean that most pilots would
receive the FS electronically direct from the FS editor.
It will also be available on the SHPF website as soon as it is published.
We also intend to make more effective use of the "Club News"
page in Skywings for notification of SHPF news.
if I don’t have an affiliated Club near me ?
is precisely what the "individual member" category was originally
intended for. If you happen to live
somewhere remote from where any affiliated Club operates, you can still benefit
from the advantages of SHPF membership - you can participate in all SHPF events,
and will receive the Flying Scot directly. Note the key phrase above - "remote from where any
affiliated Club operates" - This is a significant change.
Any application for “individual membership”,
will be determined by the SHPF committee. It would
normally be anticipated that pilots will be members of the Club whose sites they
if I am a member of more than one Club ?
problem! This proposal removes the
requirement for Clubs to have 2 membership fees (with or without SHPF fees)
because the "per capita" fee due to SHPF will be about the same as a
pint, so unless you’re a real meanie - not worth bothering about.
This will be a huge benefit to all Club and SHPF treasurers who have had
to administer the current system !!
will I know I am an "SHPF member" (or not!)
plan is that each affiliated Club will have its own membership page on the SHPF
website. The Club secretary simply
has to list the names of all the members of that Club (- just names, not
addresses -to avoid Data Protection rules).
By this simple system, all event organisers, will instantly be able to
see who is an "SHPF member". With
the provision of an "individual member" page for those pilots who live
in remoter areas, the whole picture will be instantly transparent.
about money ?
Club would pay an affiliation fee in one sum, fairly early in the season.
This would be proportional to their membership at the end of the previous
year. The fee would, of course, be
proposed by the SHPF committee, when the budget is known, and agreed at
the SHPF AGM.
reducing the Flying Scot distribution costs, and
increasing the number of pilots in SHPF by a significant proportion, each
pilot would contribute less but the same amount of money would be available to
spend on the main aims of the SHPF.
would the proposed changes affect ?
the larger Clubs who currently collect SHPF fees from all members, the change
will be minimal, but will lead to simpler membership administration.
For the Club members who, for one reason or another, find themselves
excluded from events because they have not sorted out their SHPF membership,
they will be "in " rather than "out".
If they have chosen to be "out" (i.e. by refusing to join any
of the Clubs), it will be readily apparent.
Some pilots may be total “loners” – they never fly any Club sites;
never compete in any events; never need any coaching advice; never need any
First Aid assistance – but realistically, there cannot be many in this
category. Hopefully, the pilots who are not currently members of any
Club, can be encouraged to join one of the existing Clubs or perhaps start a new
has been consulted ?
proposals were discussed at the SHPF Committee Meeting on 27th
November 2000 in Menstrie, and the outline described in the December Flying
Scot. To make the proposed
changes work, they need the support and commitment from the Clubs. To this end,
a meeting of LLSC, PPPC, SMPC, and Extreme club representatives was held in
Stirling on Sunday 14th Jan 2001, to discuss all the issues relating to SHPF
membership. The proposals were
discussed and developed at that meeting. The
Clubs not represented at that meeting have been consulted, as far as possible,
by phone or Email. Each Club either
already has or will discuss the proposals at their respective AGMs.
So far, general agreement has been reached.
draft of this discussion document was distributed and discussed at the SHPF AGM
on 17th Feb 2001 at the Scottish Gliding Centre.
How do we implement the proposed changes ?
No changes to the SHPF constitution are proposed, although some clarification could be added when it is next revised.
At the SHPF AGM on 17th Feb 2001, there was unanimous support for the principles contained in the Discussion Document, and for moving towards managing the membership system in the manner proposed, as soon as possible. To this end, it was agreed that, subject to agreement from all the SHPF affiliated Clubs, it would be adopted forthwith, and an Affiliation Fee will be paid by each Club in proportion to its membership at the end of 2000. The total of these fees will be sufficient to meet the planned expenditure for 2001, and will be significantly lower, on a “per capita” basis, than the projected £6.50.
other benefits are there ?
of the benefit of moving towards a true "Federation of Clubs" is
improved Club representation on the SHPF committee.
To achieve this, each affiliated Club has been requested to nominate a
representative on the Committee. Hopefully,
by moving in this direction, we can make better progress on the important
issues which really affect us as pilots -
better communication between the Clubs, better events, improved safety, improved
pilot performance, development of the Scottish Sites Guide etc etc.
the proposals above are accepted and implemented, we will be a long way towards
achieving 2 major aims;-. Firstly,
that every paraglider and hang glider pilot in Scotland is a member of
SHPF and can benefit fully from it's activities and support; and secondly
that, where possible, every paraglider and hang glider pilot in Scotland, is a
member of one of the Scottish Clubs