Operational Policies Revised 20th July 2022
The Great Western Chapter U.K. (number 6655) is an officially recognised H.O.G. Chapter, affiliated with H.O.G. UK. The Sponsoring Dealer of the Chapter is:
Riders of Bristol, 519-521 Stockwood Road, Brislington, Bristol, BS4 5LR
All members must agree to abide by the H.O.G. Chapter Charter, GWC Operational Policies, including Rideout Guidelines and Code of Conduct. This is agreed when joining GWC via the Join It platform by signing the waiver form. If you don’t hold a current H.O.G. membership, you relinquish the right to be a Chapter member.
Membership runs from 1stApril to 31st March of the following year.
Chapter Members must be current members of H.O.G.
Where two members (spouse/partner) are owners of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and are confirmed full members of H.O.G., they may apply for Joint Chapter Membership. The second full member benefits from payment of a reduced annual Chapter membership fee. This fee is identical to that paid by members who are Associate Members of H.O.G..
have access to all events, open and closed.
have voting rights at the Chapter’s AGM and at other times, where necessary.
have priority booking over “guests” for activities, see appendix 1.
Each Chapter Member may invite ONE guest to “Closed” events (defined in the Chapter’s Annual Programme of Activities and as specified in Appendix 2 to these Operational Policies). Guests are welcome to attend a maximum of THREE times. After that the Guest is required to become a member of the Chapter, in order to attend any further Chapter activities.
It should be noted that because Guests are not members of GWC or H.O.G. they are not entitled to any of the benefits of GWC or H.O.G. membership, including the wearing of any H.O.G. Chapter pins or patches or any similar items, or clothing made specifically for GWC.
Where a GWC event involves making a group booking, or where the number of participants is limited, GWC members will be given priority, over guests of a GWC member. Therefore, a guest may not expect to benefit from any group booking discount offered to GWC members.
It is the responsibility of the Chapter member inviting a guest to ensure they comply with the above, and the guest signs a release form when attending a GWC activity /event, whether riding, pillion or other.
N.B. H.O.G. Chapters exist for the collegiality of Harley-Davidson motorcycle riders. Accordingly, any "Guest", who has been invited by a GWC member to join a rideout, must be riding a Harley-Davidson or Buell motorcycle.
MULTIPLE H.O.G. CHAPTER MEMBERSHIPS
Members may join as many chapters as they wish. However, membership of another chapter, other than the Great Western Chapter, #6655, may lessen the eligibility of becoming a chapter officer of Great Western Chapter, as a conflict of interest could occur.
The Director is:
Chosen by the Dealer Principal from the Committee (A statutory one year minimum served on the Committee is required)
The Director will remain in office:
Until they either stands down, or is asked to do so by the Dealer Principal (subject to review, with opinion being taken from the Committee Members)
After their term of office, upon stepping down, the Director should be available as a mentor/ consultant for the new Director for a period of one year. This is a non-Committee position.
The Director will appoint up to three Assistant Directors from the Committee, whom they feel will support them during their term of office. The post of Assistant Director will be given with the proviso that this person would be willing to be considered for the role of Director if this were offered in the future. These positions will generally be for a minimum period of 2 years and held in conjunction with the term of office of the current Director who chose them. The Director must gain agreement from the sponsoring dealer for any Assistant Director appointments.
CHAPTER SECRETARY & TREASURER
The positions of Secretary and Treasurer will be appointed from within the Committee by the Dealer Principal and Director, as these roles require specialised knowledge and an understanding of the Chapter and H.O.G. articles.
These posts will be held:
For a minimum of 2 years or until they either stand down or are asked to do so by the Dealer Principal or Director.
All Primary Officers will remain in post for the Duration of the Director’s Term in Office. With each change of Director, there will be the opportunity to replace the Primary Officer Post holders. Should a Primary Officer resign from their position mid-term, then a replacement will be appointed by the Current Director and will serve for the remainder of that Director’s term in office.
After their term of office or upon stepping down, the Chapter Secretary & Treasurer should be available as mentors/ consultants for the new Chapter Secretary / Treasurer for a period of one year. These are non-Committee positions.
The following Committee positions will be filled by nomination. Nominations will be invited from the Chapter membership within a time frame to allow for role shadowing where this benefits a role handover. All nominations will then be reviewed by the Committee to ensure all applicants have the best interests of the Chapter at heart. This will ensure that anyone who has been excluded from the Chapter previously, or who has a conflict of interests, will not be invited to pursue their nomination at the AGM. Following agreement from the Dealer Principal and the incumbent Director will discuss with any nominee who is not invited to go through to the election process at the AGM, the grounds upon which their nomination has been declined. The decision of the Committee is final and there is no process of appeal.
Secondary Officers positions elected on an annual basis are:
Ladies of Harley Officer
Head Road Captain
Photographer / Historian
Appointment to these roles is for a period of one year (with the option of standing for re-election). This is to ensure members wishing to take on such responsibilities recognise that it is a long-term commitment and that this period in office provides continuity in the running of the Chapter. Should a Secondary Officer resign from their position mid- term, then a replacement will be appointed by the Current Director and who will serve for the remainder of the Chapter year. At the AGM, they can submit their nomination should they wish to do so.
All members of the Chapter are eligible to apply for a position on the Committee, provided that they are fully paid-up GWC Secretary
with a copy to the Dealer Principal of Riders of Bristol. Applications for any of the Secondary Officer positions are on condition that:
The member has no conflict of business interest towards the sponsoring dealer.
The member holds no committee position within any other motorcycle club.
In the event of more than one nominee for the same role, the GWC membership will vote to determine who joins the committee for the following year.
Election to Secondary Positions:
This will be by email vote (by Full and Associate Chapter/ and votes must be received by the date notified. One vote per member. The timescale for voting will depend on the need for a new officer to shadow the incumbent officer to ensure a smooth handover. The MailChimp system stores the votes for transparency.
The successful applicant will be declared by the Chapter Director a.s.a.p. after the nomination / voting process is completed.
Past Officers – Upon completion of an individual’s term of office, or resignation from that post, they would be eligible to receive and wear a H.O.G. “Past Officer” patch. To receive a patch, the past officer would normally be expected to have served the Chapter in this capacity for a full year.
Meetings will be held throughout the year to discuss and plan the day-to-day running of the Chapter. Committee meetings will normally be held on a monthly basis at Riders of Bristol.
The Committee may appoint small sub-committees, including both Committee and non-Committee members. The role of the sub-committees is to assist officers within specific areas and to make suggestions to the Chapter Committee. These areas may include – Chapter Social Activities; the riding programme for the year; Editorial matters for RoadHOG, and the annual Chapter rally.
Committee meetings should consist of: The Chapter Director with Primary and Secondary Officers and, whenever possible, the Dealer Representative.
At every meeting, full minutes are taken by the Chapter Secretary. Minutes of Committee meetings are made available to Chapter members:
A summary is published monthly on the GWC website.
Committee Member Expenses:
Reimbursement of GWC member personal expenses, whilst on Chapter business, is at the discretion of the Committee and must be agreed prior to any incurred cost.
The Chapter Treasurer will liaise with the Chapter Director and Dealer Principal of Riders of Bristol, who will audit the Chapter accounts. These will be made available to all members at the Chapter AGM.
The Chapter performs the majority of its expenditure transactions via electronic banking. The Treasurer has responsibility for the execution of these transactions, subject to approval by the Dealer Principal.
The Treasurer provides a monthly financial report to the Chapter Committee (including the Dealer Principal), detailing all income and expenditure incurred.
Road Captains/ Marshals
Marshals and Road Captains will be chosen by the Head Road Captain. Post December 2011, they must have gone through a process of selection:
1. Ideally, they should have satisfactorily completed a motorcycling proficiency course/test approved by H.O.G. e.g., Bike Safe, Riders Edge or an approved IAM course. Road Captains / Road Marshals appointed, who have previously held either position pre-January 2012, are exempt from item 1.
2. All new GWC RCs, since January 2012, are required to attend and successfully complete the H.O.G. Road Captains training course.
3. Road Captains will be appointed on a yearly basis.
4. Our Road Marshals will be guided/trained by H.O.G. - trained Road Captains. This training period allows
assessment of the suitability of a Road Marshal to move into the role of Road Captain. If appropriate, the
Road Marshal will then be put forward for mandatory Road Captain training, provided by H.O.G.
5. New ride team members must organise at least one rideout per season and help on other rides when asked
to do so.
6. All ride team members must wear high visibility tabards when undertaking their role. 7. Rideouts to be conducted in accordance with all relevant road traffic legislation.
GREAT WESTERN H.O.G. CHAPTER CODE OF CONDUCT:
The Chapter requires all members to treat everyone with value and respect, regardless of their race, nationality, ethnic origin, creed, disability or gender.
The Chapter expects all members to show tolerance, and to respect the beliefs and views of others, even if they are not in line with their own.
The Chapter expects all members to honour the H.O.G. Chapter Charter and GWC Operational Policies.
This Code of Conduct applies to members, not only whilst attending Great Western Chapter events, but also in their out-of-Chapter activities, in so far as these relate to H.O.G. , Harley-Davidson Dealers, other chapters, or any other situation directly related to the Great Western Chapter, H.O.G. and Harley-Davidson.
Disciplinary and Complaints Procedure
As a family-oriented Motorcycle owners’ group, it is important members feel they are safe to attend events and activities without fear for their own personal well-being or that of their families. In the event that any member should exhibit behaviour which is antisocial, disruptive or disrespectful of the culture or viewpoint of other Chapter members, or in contravention of the ethos of the Chapter and, or H.O.G., then the following complaints procedure will be followed, in order to deal fairly with any such incidents:
In the event of a verbal complaint(s), the Chapter Director will discuss its substance with the member(s) alleged to have acted in breach of the above. This will be at a time, as close as reasonably possible to the complaint having been made, in order to achieve a prompt resolution.
In the event of a written complaint(s) to the Chapter Director, the following process will apply:
The Chapter Director will appraise the Dealer-Principal
After consultation with the Dealer-Principal, the Director will write to the member, about whom the
complaint has been made, and make that person aware of the accusations brought against them.
The member will then have 14 days in which to make a written response. (If the member chooses not to
reply, a decision will be made based on the information already received).
The Director, in consultation with the Dealer Principal, may hold a formal discussion with the member. The
final decision, based on all the information received, is the responsibility of the Dealer-Principal.
A letter giving details of the decision will be sent to the member against whom the allegations were made.
This decision is final and there is no appeal.
Action taken against any member exhibiting antisocial behaviour, which is in direct opposition to the ethos
of the GWC, H.O.G. or basic human rights, will range from a formal warning, to expulsion from the Chapter.
In the event that a decision is made to suspend or revoke a membership of the Chapter, the person in
question will receive a letter from the Dealer Principal confirming the cancellation of membership. This letter will set out the reason(s) for the cancellation of membership, in clear concise terms. A copy of the cancellation letter will be sent to the H.O.G. UK.
Appendix 1: Priority Booking for GWC Members
Appendix 2: Rules relating to Guest Attendance at GWC Activities