Officer Job Descriptions
General Officer responsibilities
All Officers are expected to:
- Attend Committee and General meetings and produce a report
- Bring to the attention of the Secretary any agenda items for meetings
- Fulfil instructions from the Committee and Full Members
- Regularly check and respond to emails
Officers generally need to be well organised, with good communication skills, have a proactive attitude towards improving northern caving, and sufficient free time to invest into the role.
Officers may ask to co-opt an assistant to help with their role if required.
The Chairman (‘Chairman’ intended to be gender-neutral) should be the first point of contact for people getting in touch with the CNCC and as such should be regularly able to respond to email enquiries or forward them to the relevant Officer.
The Chairman should chair all meetings; ensuring all aspects of the agenda are covered and that discussions are kept focussed and appropriate. The Chairman should ensure all of those attending meetings are given fair chance to speak. It is often necessary for the Chairman to reign discussions back to their original focus or proposal, and to try to draw discussions to a close or a final proposal when they feel is an appropriate point to ensure meetings do not run on excessively long.
An assertive yet diplomatic presence at meetings is therefore essential.
The Chairman is often considered the figurehead of the CNCC and as such should take a proactive role in engaging with other organisations, representing the CNCC at meetings/events, and offering support to other Officers wherever possible.
The Secretary should bring together all necessary resources to ensure meetings are as productive as possible, including ensuring the venue is booked, the date is advertised, and the relevant documents are written and made available on the public site within the necessary timeframe.
This includes writing the agenda which should be issued six weeks before the meeting, and compiling the Officers reports which should be issued at least a few days before the meeting. The role should also involve working to identify any possible agenda items that should be raised, and researching and disseminating information relevant to the scheduled discussions.
Ahead of each AGM the Secretary should actively promote all the positions available.
At meetings, the Secretary should issue voting cards at the start of the meeting and provide an attendance register to sign. They should then take minutes and write them up (preferably within a month) before circulating them for internal review, making any necessary amendments, and then issuing them as draft on the public website. This draft should be updated to a final version after approval at the next meeting subject to any changes.
The Secretary is responsible for all matters relating to membership, including maintaining regular communications with members, and helping to facilitate applications for full membership.
Ensuring constitutional compliance particularly through the membership, Committee and Officer application process and meeting organisation is a key role of the Secretary.
The Secretary may at times need to write various items of documentation, website content or communication where appropriate. Overall, they are responsible for maintaining the professional standard of the CNCC in all outgoing documents and communications and ensuring all website content is up to date as best as possible (through working with other Officers).
The Secretary should take a proactive role in outward communication from the CNCC, including the use of UK Caving, Descent magazine, the BCA Newsletter and social media to ensure the work of the CNCC is appropriately promoted and communicated to the wider caving community. This includes taking a leading role in bringing together the CNCC newsletter (roughly every six months).
The Secretary must have a high standard of written English. They should be computer-literate (word processing software and an ability to utilise the simple website admin areas to post documents and send emails). They should be very organised and communicative.
The Treasurer manages the CNCC’s finances.
This includes issuing payments by bank transfer and cheque and arranging for these to be approved by a second signatory on the account.
The Treasurer should prepare a statement of expenditure and income for each Committee meeting, covering the months since the previous Committee meeting, and AGM, covering the entire year since the last AGM, including arranging an annual audit of the accounts.
The Treasurer has discretion on smaller payments and so should work to ensure that funds are managed sustainably and used for projects appropriate to the CNCC’s core values. The Treasurer should bring any funding requests exceeding the discretionary level, or for a non-standard purpose to the Secretary to schedule for discussion at the next Committee meeting.
The Treasurer is responsible for reclaiming any expenses wherever possible (for example, several expenses can be reclaimed from the British Caving Association). The Treasurer should also manage any necessary matters relating to taxation if relevant.
The role of the Access Officer includes working towards improvements to access across our region.
This includes ensuring any access agreements that the CNCC hold are kept up to date and relevant, and where possible seeking to increase access availability at these locations.
This also includes submitting any necessary details and documents to the BCA or their insurers that are required to ensure appropriate liability cover regarding access to caves in our region. This job may also require input from the Chairman and Secretary.
The Access Officer should ideally be available to phone or visit landowners and land agents when required to deal with any incidents that arise that could compromise access to a particular cave or relationships with locals or landowners. Furthermore, the Access Officer should proactively keep landowners informed of any access related matters that come to light.
The Access Officer should liaise with and build good relations with other access organisations including Local Access Forums and the Yorkshire Dales National Park. This should involve attending meetings of these organisations to represent the CNCC where possible.
The Access Officer should ensure all cave access details on the CNCC website are regularly reviewed and kept up to date.
Good local knowledge (including the location of the major caving fells) is useful for this role. Residence within the major Yorkshire Dales caving region is beneficial but not essential.
The Training Officer should work to identify where the CNCC can help meet any training needs of member clubs and northern cavers. This may include first aid, rigging, SRT, rescue, surveying, conservation, risk assessment, amongst others.
The Training Officer should proactively arrange training (subject to Treasurer approval for any necessary costs), advertise training opportunities and coordinate attendance.
Note that the Training Officer role does not mean the individual in the post should give the training themselves; their role may be purely administrative.
The Training Officer should represent the CNCC to the British Caving Association Training Committee if possible. They should also work to develop relations with the instructed caving community.
The role of the Conservation Officer is to ensure that Conservation is THE central unifying theme across all areas of modern caving activity, by education, publicity and disseminating best practice.
They should represent CNCC on the BCA Conservation and Access Committee, and prepare written reports for CNCC and for the BCA Conservation and Access Officer.
The Conservation Officer should support practical conservation work (and be involved hand-on if they wish, although this is not a necessity), including by being a first contact for sources of expertise and by negotiating with:
- Farmers and landowners/Natural England,
- Yorkshire Dales National Park,
- Representatives of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
- Representatives of Extractive Industries
A major function of the role will be coordination of CNCC Conservation volunteers, drawing up a programme of work (through identification and prioritisation of conservation projects), and ensuring they have the necessary skills and equipment to carry out the work safely and effectively.
The Conservation Officer should manage the CNCC input into the Northern Caves Monitoring Programme.
The Conservation Officer should possess excellent organisation and communication skills as they may be coordinating conservation events via several individuals, organisations or landowners, as well as needing to consider matters such as finance and training.