Operational Rules


Section C2: Officials

REGULATIONS FOR THE FIT AND PROPER PERSON TEST

These Regulations are binding on all Persons Subject to the Operational Rules. 

The RFL has adopted these Regulations with the purpose of:

(a)   ensuring that individuals who have engaged in conduct which has adversely impacted the Game (or any Club) or whose past behaviour means that in the Board’s opinion they are likely to do so, are prohibited from controlling or influencing any Club; and

(b)   protecting the long term health and viability of Clubs.

(the “Fit and Proper Purpose”)

Any breach of these Regulations resulting in a charge of Misconduct shall be dealt with in accordance with the Operational Rules. All other decisions by the RFL shall be made by or under the authority of the Board and shall be made at their absolute discretion.

 

INTRODUCTION

In these Regulations the following words shall have the following meanings:

Authorised Signatory” means a person duly authorised by a resolution of a Club’s directors to sign the Declaration on behalf of the Club.

Bankruptcy Order” means an order adjudging an individual bankrupt.

Bankruptcy Restriction Order” and “Interim Bankruptcy Restriction Order” means the orders of the same name made under the provisions of Schedule 2A of the Insolvency Act 1986.

Declaration” means the form as prescribed by the RFL and shown at Schedule 1 to these Regulations to be signed by both the Influential Person and an Authorised Signatory (who may not be the same person).

Disqualifying Conditions” means the criteria set out in the Declaration.

Individual Voluntary Arrangement” means an arrangement made under the provisions of Part VIII of the Insolvency Act 1986.

Influential Person” means in respect of any Club, any individual person operating the powers that are usually associated with the powers of a director of a company incorporated under the Companies Act including but not limited to:

 

(a)   a person registered as a director or secretary of the Club with the Registrar of Companies;

(b)   a person exercising direct or indirect control over a corporate director of the Club;

(c)   a person who has been elected to become a director of the Club at a meeting of the board of directors of the Club or of the members of the Club;

(d)   a person in accordance with whose directions or instructions the persons constituting the management of the Club are accustomed to act; or

(e)   a person who exercises or is able to exercise direct or indirect control over the affairs of the Club.  For these purposes of this definition a person shall be regarded as being able to exercise direct or indirect control over the affairs of the Club in particular but without limiting the generality of the preceding words if that person owns or is entitled to acquire 25% or more of the share capital of the Club or the voting power in the Club.

There shall be excluded from the definition of Influential Person any legal or professional advisors acting in their legal or professional capacity without any interest (In excess of a 5% shareholding) in the Club.

Insolvency Event” has the meaning given in the Articles of Association of the RFL.  For the purposes of paragraph (g) of the Declaration, the definition of Insolvency Event in the Articles of Association of the RFL shall be read to apply to all companies and not just companies who are members of the RFL.

Relevant Offence” means any unspent conviction (or where the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1975 does not apply for any reason, having a conviction within the period that would have rendered that conviction unspent had the provisions of that Act applied) for any offence (including any attempt to commit the same) that can reasonably be considered to fall within the following categories of offence: (i) an offence involving an act which would reasonably be considered to be dishonest; (ii) corruption; (iii) perverting the course of justice; (iv) any breach of the Companies Act 1985, 1989 or 2006 or any statutory modification or re-enactment thereof; (v) conspiracy to commit any of the offences set out in (i) to (iv); or (v) a like offence to any of the above offences determined by a competent court having jurisdiction outside of England and Wales.  The RFL has the power to alter, add or delete such offences as it determines.

Serving Influential Person” means any person qualifying as an Influential Person before 1 January 2010 and continuing to qualify as such at that date.

GENERAL

C2:1 These Regulations come into force on 1 January 2010.

C2:2 No Serving Influential Person who becomes subject to a Disqualifying Condition on or after the 1 January 2010 may continue to act as an Influential Person of a Club save where such Serving Influential Person intends to or is seeking an exemption under Clause C2:10 and the RFL agrees in writing that the individual may continue to be an Influential Person pending the outcome of such exemption hearing.

C2:3 No Serving Influential Person who is subject to a Disqualifying Condition as at 1 January 2010 for which he would be disqualified, save for the fact that he is a Serving Influential Person, may become an Influential Person of another Club until such time as he is no longer subject to the Disqualifying Condition.

C2:4 No person who is subject to a Disqualifying Condition (and who, subject to Clause C2:3, is not a Serving Influential Person) may become an Influential Person of a Club.

C2:5 Any club that:

  1. fails to inform the RFL of the identity of any individual who qualified as an Influential Person of that Club; or
  2. has, as an Influential Person, any individual who pursuant to Clause C2:2 to C2:4 is not entitled to be an Influential Person,

shall be guilty of Misconduct (unless the RFL has granted an exemption in accordance with Clause C2:10).

C2:6 Any Club or Influential Person that negligently, recklessly or with intent provides to the RFL a Declaration or other information that proves to be false shall be guilty of Misconduct.

Reporting Requirements

C2:7 Not later than 21 days after any individual qualifies as an Influential Person of a Club, that Club shall provide a completed Declaration in respect of that Influential Person to the RFL. Any failure to do so shall be Misconduct.

C2:8 Upon the happening of an event that results in an Influential Person becoming subject to a Disqualifying Condition or that results in a change to any other information contained in the Declaration the Club shall immediately advise the RFL in writing.

C2:9 Subject to Clause C2:2, upon the RFL becoming aware by virtue of the submission of a Declaration or in the circumstances set out in Clause C2:8 or by any other means that an individual is subject to a Disqualifying Condition, the RFL shall notify the Club in writing that that individual is not permitted to hold the position of Influential Person (the “Notice”) unless an exemption has been requested and granted in accordance with clause C2:10.

Appeal Mechanism

C2:10 Any person who is subject to a Disqualifying Condition has the right to ask for an exemption from the prohibition on becoming/remaining an Influential Person at a Club. Any application for an exemption shall set out the grounds for such application and shall be determined by the Board. In determining whether to grant such an exemption the Board shall consider the Fit and Proper Purpose. As part of their decision, the Board shall also set the terms of any disqualification (including, but not limited to, the date the disqualification takes effect).

DIRECTORS & OTHER OFFICIALS

C2:11 Each Club shall submit to the RFL prior to the start of each Season a list of Club Officials including its Directors, Company Secretary and any other executive officers. For the avoidance of doubt each Club must have and must name a Chairman who must be one of its Directors. Any Club failing to do so or any Club submitting a false or misleading list shall be guilty of Misconduct. Each Club shall be obliged to ensure that each Club Official bound by the Operational Rules by virtue of their position is aware of and the extent of their obligations under the Operational Rules.

C2:12 Each Club and each Club Official shall ensure that it and he/she complies with the Fit and Proper Purpose Regulations issued by the RFL from time to time as shown above.C2:13. Within 14 days of the appointment or removal of any director of Club, such Club shall provide written notice to the RFL together with such details as are required to be filed with the Registrar of Companies

C2:13 Each Club shall ensure that its directors and officials are entitled to become or to remain directors or officials under the terms of the Memorandum & Articles of Association and any Club that fails to ensure this or who includes a director or official who is not entitled to become or remain a director or official on its annual list of Club Officials shall be guilty of Misconduct.

CLUB EMPLOYEES

C2:14 All Clubs must ensure that any contracts of employment entered into with their employees include an obligation not to knowingly breach the Operational Rules.

LIST OF COACHING, MEDICAL & SUPPORT STAFF

C2:15 Each Club shall register with the RFL prior to the start of each Season, a list and details of its entire coaching, medical and support staff including its timekeeper in whatever format the RFL shall request from time to time and shall list the posts that member of staff will carry out for that season.
Within 7 days of the appointment or removal of any member of coaching, medical and support staff or timekeeper, the Club shall provide written notice to the RFL.
Notwithstanding the above no person who is not registered with the RFL as a player, member of coaching, medical or support staff may appear on a team sheet or take a seat on the bench or take part in any Club training or conditioning programme or enter the dressing rooms at a Ground during or immediately before or after a Match. Coaching and support staff shall not be upgraded to a new job role without prior registration with the RFL and must have the appropriate qualifications for the role that they are carrying out at any particular time. It shall be considered Misconduct to allow a person to carry out the role of coaching, medical or support staff without being registered with the RFL and it shall be considered Misconduct to allow a person to carry out a role other than the one(s) for which they are registered.

QUALIFICATIONS

C2:16 Clubs shall only register coaching, medical and support staff who have the appropriate qualifications as notified by the RFL from time to time. The most recent qualifications are listed in Section E17 of these Operational Rules and this list shall be current until replaced by the RFL. It is the responsibility of the Club to ensure that staff have the appropriate qualifications and that those qualifications are up to date. However the RFL shall not register any person who does not have the appropriate qualifications or shall deregister any person whose qualifications expire or whom it becomes apparent is carrying out duties for which he is not qualified.

OFFICIAL REGISTER

C2:17

  1. The RFL shall maintain a Register of Club Officials, which shall include all Directors, Company Secretary, other Executive Officers and all coaching, medical and support staff. Anyone included on the Register of Club Officials or who would be included on the Register of Club Officials but for a Club or individual’s failure to notify the RFL in accordance with Section C2 shall be bound by the Operational Rules. To be removed from the Register of Club Officials, or to be deemed to be removed from the Register of Club Officials in the event of a Club or individual’s failure to notify the RFL in accordance with Section C2, and to be no longer bound by the Operational Rules a person or Club must provide written notice of the person’s desire to be removed or deemed removed from the Register of Club Officials. Such de-registration will take effect 12 months from the date the Notice is received by the RFL and the Club Official agrees to be bound by the Operational Rules until that date.
  2. The purpose of this rule is to ensure that appropriate, qualified, competent staff are employed by professional clubs so as to protect the health and safety of players, the integrity of the competitions and prevent the Game being brought into disrepute.

C2:18 The Board shall be entitled to refuse or terminate the registration of any member of coaching, medical or support staff if it reasonably believes that to accept the registration or allow the registration to continue would:

  1. bring the Game into disrepute or adversely affect the integrity of any competition; or
  2. allow a person to be registered who is under a relevant suspension or ban imposed by the RFL or another governing body of sport in any part of the world; or
  3. allow a person to work in a role without the appropriate qualifications or other requirements for that role as set out by the RFL from time to time; or
  4. allow a person to work in a role without the appropriate immigration clearance; or
  5. allow a person to work in a role where they may pose a danger to children.

Prior to reaching its decision the Board will allow the person concerned to make written representations as to why their registration should be accepted and such representations will be considered in reaching the decision.
The person concerned shall have the right to appeal the decision of the Board to the Operational Rules Tribunal as set out in Operational Rule Section D1:33.

DBS CHECKS

C2:19 Each Club shall ensure that an enhanced DBS check is undertaken through the RFL DBS Umbrella Organisation for all relevant persons at its Club. Relevant persons shall mean all those who undertake “Regulated Activity” or those posts for which the RFL requires a DBS check from time to time.

GROUND SAFETY OFFICER

C2:20 The safety of spectators at sports grounds lies with the ground management as set out in the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds.
Each Club shall ensure that an occupationally competent (as set out in the Green Guide) Ground Safety Officer (GSO) takes responsibility for the safe management of its ground on match days. Such GSO shall be a current and active member of the Rugby League Ground Safety Officers Association (RLGSOA).

DISPUTES BETWEEN CLUBS AND COACHES

C2:21 Whilst the jurisdiction of the court and tribunals are not excluded, in matters of dispute between a registered coach and his Club or former Club where the employment is subject to either a RFL standard coaching contract or RFL standard players contract then subject to the dispute being submitted during the period of employment or within three months of the termination of the employment should ordinarily be submitted (by the Coach, Club or the Board) to the Independent Tribunal and any appeal should ordinarily be submitted to the Independent Appeals Tribunal, members of each of which are drawn from the Operational Rules Tribunal. The Independent Tribunal and the Independent Appeals Tribunal shall conduct their proceedings in accordance with the procedures and practices under the Coach’s contract, the Regulations and/or as set by the Board from time to time and shall be entitled to award compensation and costs.

Schedule One
Declaration
To be completed in relation by any individual wishing to become an Influential Person (as defined in the Fit and Proper Persons Regulations) of a Club on or after 1 January 2010.
Any individuals completing this form should read the Fit and Proper Persons Regulations before doing so.
Full name …………………………………………………………………………………………………
Home address …………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………..…………………………………………………………………………………………
Date of Birth...…………………………………………………………………………………………….
Date of Completion of this Declaration.……………………………………………………………….
Relevant Club……………………………………………………………………………………………..
Date became Influential Person of Relevant Club……………………………………………………
I can confirm that:
(a) I am not subject to a disqualification order as a director of a UK registered company under the Directors Disqualification Act 1986 (as amended);
(b) I have not been convicted of any Relevant Offence or where I have this conviction is now considered spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974;
(c) I am not banned by any other sport governing body from involvement in the administration of that sport;
(d) I am not subject to any form of disqualification or striking off by a professional body including the Law Society, Bar Council or the Institute of Chartered Accountants;
(e) I am not an Influential Person of any other Club;
(f) I have not been an Influential Person of a Club that has entered into an Insolvency Event whilst I have been an Influential Person of that Club (or within the 12 months immediately following my ceasing to be an Influential Person of that Club) in the 10 years preceding the date of the completion of this Declaration;
(g) I have not been an Influential Person of 2 or more companies that have entered into an Insolvency Event whilst I have been an Influential Person of those companies in the10 years preceding the date of the completion of this Declaration;
(h) I am not subject to a Bankruptcy Order, Interim Bankruptcy Restriction Order or a Bankruptcy Restriction Order and have not entered into an Individual Voluntary Arrangement in the last 5 years;

I, the Influential Person, confirm that I have read the Fit and Proper Persons Regulations and consent to the RFL holding and processing the above personal data and sensitive data for the purposes of assessing my compliance with the Fit and Proper Person Regulations.
I certify that the above information is correct and I acknowledge and agree that the RFL shall be entitled to undertake such checks as may be necessary to verify the information contained within this Declaration. I acknowledge that if I provide a false declaration I am liable to such penalties as determined by the RFL. I also acknowledge that having submitted this Declaration, in the event that I become unable to satisfy any of the conditions above, I must notify the RFL immediately and I will be unable to act as an Influential Person of a Club from this time.
Signed………………………………………………………………………………………...…………
Name……………………………………………………………………………….……………………
Date………………………………………………………………………………….….………………
To be completed by an Authorised Signatory on behalf of the Club
I hereby confirm on behalf of ……………………………………(insert name of Club) that the above information is correct.
Signed………………………………………………………………………………………...…………
Name……………………………………………………………………………….……………………
Date………………………………………………………………………………….….………………

C2:22