Skip to content Skip to navigation
Club Kayaking Activity

Club Affiliation

Join the network of over 80 clubs across Scotland. 

What are the benefits of affiliation?

  • Civil Liability Insurance for recognised club activities
  • Employers liability insurance
  • Club featured on Club Finder on SCA Website
  • Scottish Paddler, official magazine of SCA every quarter
  • Advice and help with paddling related queries via the SCA Office
  • Discipline specific advice from volunteers serving on SCA Committees
  • Subsidised courses (e.g. safety and leadership)
  • Free training (e.g. equality, disability, data protection)
  • Club Development Conference 
  • Club Volunteer Conference 
  • Access to the Paddlesport Activity Assistant scheme
  • Right to organise events (with permission) under the auspices of the SCA
  • Help and advice on Child Protection and the processing of the relevant forms
  • Safeguarding advice, case support and PVGs
  • Case studies 
  • Analytics & Reports 
  • Access to data on club members  

How to Affiliate to the SCA

Affiliation can now be carried out online via SCA Self Service. If you do not yet have Club Admin permissions enabled, please contact the SCA office 

Requirements of Affiliation

1. People

a. Maintain an up to date membership list in SCA Self Service, adding new members by the time of their 5th club session.  
b. Provide contact details for Club Secretary and, if the club has any under 18s a Safeguarding Officer

2. Governance (template constitutions and policies are all available here)

a. Constitution - A constitution, or other governing document, meeting the SCA’s minimum requirements, see here. (Required for all club affiliations after 31st July 2018)
b. Safeguarding - Adopt the British Canoeing/SCA Safeguarding Policy or have a similar policy in place  (where the club contains any under 18 members)
c. PVG - Have access to PVG checks either through SCA or another organisation and comply with PVG scheme requirements (where the club contains any under 18 members)
d. Data protection - Adopt the SCA Data Protection Policy or have a similar policy in place. (Required for all club affiliations after 31st July 2018). See data protection guidance.
3. Safety  
a. Event Safety - clubs organising events to non-club members are required to comply with the British Canoeing Event Safety requirements including appointing an Event Safety Officer (if the club has any events for non club members).
b. In addition, we recommend clubs consider implementing the following documents. Guidance and templates are available on this page
i. Standard Operating Procedures
ii. Health and Safety Policy
iii. Risk Assessment(s)
4. Declaration
From October 2017, club secretaries will be required to accept these declarations when renewing the club affiliation. This will be a single tick box online. Please ensure the Club Secretary has the authority to agree to them at time of affiliation/renewal. 

Only when the above requirements have been met and the club has received formal confirmation via the SCA office is affiliation complete. Affiliation is valid for 12 months. 

We are very mindful that increasing the number and degree of things required to affiliate to the SCA places even more of a burden on the volunteers running the clubs. We are here to help - whether it be through a phone call, a meeting or sharing templates or examples of things from other clubs (with their permission). So please do get in touch with any of the SCA staff or the volunteer Regional Officers and let us know how we can assist you. Contact details are available here

More information and guidance for clubs, including Marketing, Club Case Studies and SCA Policies is also available here.


Club Constitution - Information

In order to affiliate / re-affiliate to SCA, clubs constitutions (or other equivalent governing document) are required to meet the following criteria. The requirements below are based on generic sportscotland criteria required by all organisations receiving any funding e.g. Awards for All.

A template constitution is available from sportscotland help for clubs.

The document must: 

  1. State the name of the club
  2. Be formally adopted by the club (e.g. evidence of an Annual General Meeting when the document was adopted). 
  3. State the objectives or aims of the club; with aims aligning to those of the SCA
  4. State that the club will be affiliated to SCA
  5. Explain the management – who is on the committee, what they do, how the club will manage matters arising. Clubs with under 18s must explicitly list Safeguarding Officer as a committee role. 
  6. Annual General Meeting and Extraordinary General Meeting - date by which AGM dates place each year, number of members required to attend, define notice period
  7. Dissolution – In the event that the club will cease to exist detail how the club will spend/transfer its remaining funds and how it should be dissolved
  8. Explain the club is not for profit distributing / Non Commercial and genuinely not-for-profit and therefore no payment to Directors, Committee members etc
  9. Include an open to all clause - updated to meet Equality Act 2010
  10. Be gender neutral (e.g. refer to “Chair” not “Chairman”)
  11. Have equal representation for male and female specific posts (if they exist) on committee (e.g. if there is a male captain there must also be a female captain)
  12. Outline a disciplinary procedure including a right of appeal 
  13. Membership: 
  • Define membership categories and voting rights
  • Have an appeal procedure for rejected membership applications and expelled member
  • No separate male and female memberships
  • No Proposer and Seconder required in order to be a member
  • No probationary period for membership

Club Safety

We recommend clubs consider implementing the following documents:
  • Standard Operating Procedures
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Risk Assessment(s)

Club Standard Operating Procedures
This is a simple description of how the club operates on a day to day basis. It should cover who is responsible for carrying out certain tasks within the club. You’ll find the Club Standard Operating Procedure Template download a useful guide to which areas need to be covered on your procedures. Not all may be applicable to your club but equally there may be other procedures you observe which could be entered. It can be used as guidance or as a template for your written procedures.

Please see the links below for more information.



Club Affiliation Fees

Affiliation fees are based on the number of members who are not Individual Members of the SCA. 

Club Size     from 31/12/18 from 1/12/19
Clubs with up to 20 members who are not individual SCA members     £105 £110
Clubs with up to 21-40 members who are not individual SCA members     £160 £170
Clubs with between 41 and 100 members who are not individual SCA members     £210 £225
Clubs with between 101 and 200 members who are not individual SCA members     £345 £365
Clubs with more than 200 members who are not individual SCA members     £415 £435

Individual SCA members are those who pay an annual membership fee to the SCA for Full, Junior, Recreational or Family membership


SCA Connect - commission from membership

SCA membership continues to grow and we are keen for more affiliated club members to be part of the SCA and benefit from some of our many benefits including insurance cover for individuals for all paddling activity whereas club insurance only covers club member engaged in official club activities.   

The commission rates are as follows:

  • Full membership - commission to club £10
  • Recreational membership - commission to club £5 
  • Junior membership - commission to club £3

Commission only applies to first time SCA members or those who have not been an SCA member within the last 2 years. 

Memberships are processed via Go Membership in exactly the same way as club secretaries currently register a new club member, but instead select the appropriate membership type and complete the payment. Payment can be made online via credit/debit card, or an invoice emailed automatically so that the club can pay the membership fees by cheque or bank transfer. Upgrading an existing club member to become an SCA member is also only a few clicks. 

If your club would be interested in taking part, please contact the office: or 0131 317 7314. 

Partnership Impact Programme

In 2017 SCA launched our new Partnership Impact Programme to support a group of club and other organisations. Partners with a real commitment to improve their pathways and progression and/or to drive achieve ambitious membership growth can apply to join the Programme.



Data Protection in Clubs - GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (the GDPR) came into force in the UK on 25th May 2018. Although this is EU legislation, the GDPR will be transposed into UK law and will replace current data protection law including the Data Protection Act 1998. It applies to all organisations regardless of size and status - therefore it applies to affiliated clubs as well as to the SCA.

Many of the principles that underpin the GDPR are the same as those on which the Data Protection Act was based. However the GDPR contains several notable differences and has an increased emphasis on the rights of individuals about how their data is provided to organisations and how it is used:

Changes have been required in the following areas:

  • Privacy Notices - individuals have greater rights about being informed about how their data will be used (processed) by organisations
  • Consent - there are new rules on how consent must be obtained by organisations compared to e.g. pre-ticked boxes that we might have seen in the past
  • Additional Rights of Individuals - including Subject Access Requests and the right to be forgotten

The SCA has produced a briefing document which has been sent to Club Secretaries/Club Data Protection Officers and template privacy notices are available which clubs can adapt for their use. Please email if you need further informaiton

The processing agreement in place between the SCA and each Affiliated Club defines the transfers of personal data in both directions between the SCA and clubs. This can be downloaded from this page as a pdf.

Club+ Managing club membership, events and payments online

Now available to SCA Affiliated Clubs is an extension to the Go Membership platform for clubs to process the clubs own memberships, event bookings and payments.  We know many clubs have already started utilising other online systems and payment methods whilst some are still using more manual methods but seeking other solutions. 

A primary benefit is single source data - all the data is in one place with full GDPR compliance. You have no need to enter data in another system. Members log in to one system to manage all their information for the club and SCA. Payments are sent directly to the club's own bank account.

Club+ is a competitively priced subscription based service with a small monthly fee and a transaction fee for credit / debit card payments. Cheques are recorded free. 

There are many benefits to integrating the clubs processing with the existing SCA Go Membership system. 

For more information contact or visit the Club+ section in the SCA portal



Well Run Clubs - Development Framework

SCA Well Run Clubs is a framework is designed to prompt clubs to think about what they currently do and how they do it - with prompts and suggestions about how to improve and increase the operation of the club. The Well Run Clubs framework includes a tool which clubs can use to rate themselves in a variety of different aspects of operation - with a view to the club coming up with actions and initiatives that will help move the club forwards.

The Well Run Clubs framework is currently in draft format comments and suggestions are invited as to how we can improve the content, the wording and the presentation. The aim is to finalise the framework mid-January after feedback has been received.