First steps to setting up a new local FSA group

If you are already part of a group that may want to affiliate with the FSA then please read the the page on ‘Forming an FSA affiliated group‘. However, if you are an FSA member who is thinking about setting up a totally new group then please double check on the map that there isn’t already a group in the process of being set up that covers your geographical area. Once you are sure, then your first step will be to request that the FSA create an on-line group, on the FSA website, for members from your area. You can do this by submitting the e-form in the page ‘Tell the FSA: I want to set up an affiliated local group‘ (members only).

Please read the following first.

1. A local group must cover a county. The exceptions to this are:

  • where there is already a group set up in practice that covers a wider area, or
  • it can be demonstrated that there are too few members in any given county.

Of course we want to avoid setting up too many groups that cover larger areas at this stage because we are still building up our membership numbers. Groups may have to merge or split at a later date if the boundaries are not working.

2. An on-line group should only have 1 administrator but may have as many moderators as it wants. The administrator is solely responsible for the conduct of the on-line group. They will have the power to kick and ban members from the group. The FSA executive has the authority to remove an administrator if they are not fulfilling the role correctly.

3. The first person to request that a group be set up may not be the best person to administer it in the long run. Groups must have the opportunity to ‘find their feet’ and then self select the best people for the job. Once a group has 9 members there must be nominations and a vote on who should become the administrator for the group. The group must vote for their administrator at least annually. A vote can be triggered if 3 group members or 20% of the group request it (whichever is greater). Until the group has voted the webmaster will share administration responsibility with the group’s founding member. Other members can be invited to take up a moderator role. This concept of self governance is important because it is hoped that on-line groups with a geographical interest will evolve into real FSA affiliated networks on the ground.

4. A local group must initially be publicly visible and accessible to all members. If it later evolves into a formally affiliated FSA Group then the administrator may choose to make the group private at that stage (future members will only be able to join by request).

5. To request that a group be set up on the website a member should submit this on-line form with the following information:

  • The purpose of the group
  • The proposed name of the group
  • If a local group, then the geographical coverage
  • Stating whether or not you are prepared to become a group administrator or moderator
  • Some text to be used to describe the group under the group directory

A video tutorial explaining how to manage an on-line group will be produced and placed under ‘Members networking, How to use the members network’.

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