All U3A members are expected to conduct themselves in line with the Movement’s Guiding Principles and agree under the CEDU3A constitution (Para 5i) to abide by any membership conditions properly imposed by the CEDU3A Executive. They are also expected to treat each other with dignity and respect.
Members are expected to know, follow and promote the Principles of the U3A Movement at every opportunity.
Members must always act in the best interests of CEDU3A and the U3A Movement, strive to uphold its reputation and never do anything which could bring their own, another U3A or the U3A Movement into disrepute or expose it to undue risk.
Members are expected to use CEDU3A’s resources responsibly and only to further its stated charitable objects/purposes.
Members are expected to reflect the current organisational policy of CEDU3A, regardless of whether it conflicts with their personal views.
Members are expected to abide by CEDU3A’s procedures and practices.
Members are expected to treat each other with dignity and respect at all times.
Principles of the U3A
The U3A movement is non-religious and non-political. Each U3A is independent, and largely makes its own rules within these national principles. Membership of a U3A is open to all in their third age, which is defined not by a particular age but by a period in life in which full time employment has ceased. Members promote the values of lifelong learning and the positive attributes of belonging to a U3A. Members should do all they can to ensure that people wanting to join a U3A can do so.
The Self-help Learning Principle
Members form interest groups covering as wide a range of topics and activities as they desire; by the members, for the members. No qualifications are sought or offered. Learning is for its own sake, with enjoyment being the prime motive, not qualifications or awards. There is no distinction between the learners and the teachers; they are all U3A members.
The Mutual Aid Principle
Each U3A is a mutual aid organisation, operationally independent but a member of The Third Age Trust, which requires adherence to the guiding principles of the U3A movement. No payments are made to members for services rendered to any U3A. Each U3A is self-funded with membership subscriptions and costs kept as low as possible. Outside financial assistance should only be sought if it does not imperil the integrity of the U3A movement.
Within the U3A principles and any CEDU3A guidance, conveners and group members are largely free to run their groups as they wish. As a general principle, it is good to involve as many members as possible in the running of the group.
All members of a group should agree to respect the principles of the U3A and agree to the purposes of the interest group they wish to join. Members should respect the wishes and expectations of the whole group and discuss, establish and abide by basic ground rules for group activity.
Membership of a group is restricted to people holding a current CEDU3A membership card, or at the discretion of the group convener. Individuals may be admitted without proof of membership if a person’s membership has not been renewed within a 2-month grace period during which the person is still covered by the U3A’s insurance.
Conveners shall list all group members and keep a register of attendance, required in case of any insurance claim. Any walk or similar activity should be planned in advance and a risk assessment undertaken. Any accidents must be reported to the CEDU3A Secretary.
The needs of every member of a group should be met as far as is reasonably possible, in particular those listed in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy and the member’s own health and capability. Any problems, issues, disagreements or unacceptable behaviour should be discussed within the group to seek ways to resolve the matter. In the event that a complaint from a member or members about an issue, disagreement or unacceptable behaviour cannot be resolved with a group it should be raised under the complaints procedure.
Breaches of the Code of Conduct
Any breach or suspected breach of this code of conduct by a member or Trustee shall be dealt with under the complaints procedure. This procedure is intended to ensure any issues are dealt with promptly, fairly and consistently. All parties are encouraged to take a problem-solving approach to achieve resolution.
Based on U3A document U3A-KMS-DOC-016 and Groups Co-ordinator’s Advice to Group Conveners document, this policy was adopted on 4 September 2020.
Review date: 4 September 2023