Gabriola Island Power and Sail Squadron Policy Manual

This Policy Manual is provided as a guide to the policies and operations of Gabriola Island Squadron. The Squadron is at liberty to change any of the precedents or policies it has developed and agreed upon, as time and circumstances may require but, nothing detailed in the manual is contrary to the CPS‐ECP By‐laws or Board Regulations.


Policies are guidelines for the organization as a whole. They form part of the overall mission of the Squadron and its general fundamental operation. Policies tend to be fairly broad statements addressing a particular subject therefore do not fit adequately within the normal rules and regulations under which the Organization conducts its business.

Policies are created by a majority vote of a quorum at a Squadron Executive Committee meeting.

The current policies that have been approved by the Gabriola Island Squadron Bridge are contained in this Policy Manual. All members of the Bridge are to be conversant with its contents.


The policies of CPS‐ECP so noted on the Web Based Admin System (WBAS) form part of this policy manual.


Policy changes after the date of acceptance of this document will be added to or shown as amendments to a policy reflecting the date of meeting and minutes effecting the change or addition.


This Policy Manual, at a minimum, will be reviewed annually at either the September or October meeting of the Bridge. The Commander will set the review date and place on the agenda accordingly.

1. The Squadron Year

1.1 AGM

1.1.1 The AGM is held on a Saturday or Sunday late in April.

1.2 Bridge meeting dates

1.2.1   Based on historical precedent, Bridge meetings take place at the following times throughout the year:

(a) early in May after the late-April AGM
(b) the middle of June
(c) late August
(d) late September
(e) around November 20
(f) around January 20
(g) late March

1.3 Squadron community activities

1.3.1   Most of Gabriola's outdoor community activities in which the Squadron takes part, with an eye to promoting the Squadron and its mission, occur in the summer or early fall:

(a) World Oceans Day in early June
(b) Concert on the Green in early August
(c) Salmon Barbecue in early August
(d) Gabriola Theatre Festival in the middle of August
(d) Great Canadian Beach Cleanup in late September

1.4 Squadron social activities

1.4.1   The Squadron strives for two Squadron socials in the fall and two in the winter in addition to the Christmas party and the AGM.

1.4.2   The Squadron strives to have at least one Squadron social cruise during the summer.

1.4.3   The Social Committee, in consultation with the Bridge, decides on invitations of guests who are not members of the Squadron. The invitations are made by the Commander on behalf of the Squadron.

2. Squadron Communications

2.1 Electronic Communication Limits

2.1.1   Electronic policy discussions and decision making by the Bridge as a replacement for actual Bridge meetings shall not occur.

2.1.2  No Bridge member shall attend a Bridge meeting by electronic means, unless agreed to unanimously by the Bridge members in attendance.

2.2 Website

2.2.1   The web site has to meet a set of minimum standards. It must
(a) at all times be up-to-date
(b) promote the Squadron's mission
(c) be an administrative resource
(d) be an online course registration tool
(d) be a communication and information tool for Squadron members
(e) promote the CPS - ECP brand among the public
(f) be a historical resource

2.3 Squadron Newsletter Scuttlebutt

2.3.1   Scuttlebutt’s role in communicating to the membership regarding
(a) our past achievements
(b) our future plans and projects, eg. courses offered, Squadron socials
(c) introducing our Squadron members
(d) reports from various officers, eg., Commander, SEO
(e) official announcements, eg. the AGM
(f) items of interest to boaters and boating safety
(g) Squadron news and CPS - ECP news

2.3.2   Scuttlebutt will be published early in
(a) May
(a) September
(a) November
(a) January
(a) March

2.4 Dissemination of Minutes and Officers Reports

2.4.1   All minutes and officers reports are published without restricted access on the Squadron’s web site.

2.5 Protocol for Communications to Members and Media

Effective communication among Bridge members, with Squadron members and the public depends on Bridge officers following certain uniform and predictable practices.

2.5.1   The Bridge should notify the Squadron membership in a timely manner of all events pertaining to them.

2.5.2   The newsletter editor ensures that an outline list of events is included in Scuttlebutt in each edition – date, place, time and information of what the event is about. The given information should be sufficient, brief and clear and presented in an attractive manner.

2.5.3   Bridge officers should ensure that notices should be sent out by the Communications Officer as soon as the event is set, preferably at least a month prior to the event.

2.5.4   The Communications Officer should send out a reminder a week to 10 days prior, and again one to two days before the event.

2.5.5   Bridge officers organizing events and activities are to send all information to the Communications Officer as soon as the arrangements are set.

2.5.6   In all instances the webmaster is to be copied in time for posting to the Squadron's web site at the time the notices are circulated.

2.5.7   All communications to the membership shall include references to the website.

2.5.8   When the Communications Officer is away another designate shall follow the protocol.

2.5.9   An up to date list of members’ email contacts should be in the possession of the Membership and Communications officers, the Commander and the Executive Officer.

2.5.10  Prior to any Squadron member sending out notices, invitations or information in the name of the Squadron to outside media, the Bridge must be aware of the details.

3. The Executive or Bridge

3.1 Definitions

3.1.1   This Squadron uses the terms Bridge and Executive interchangeably and all Bridge members have an equal say in decision-making processes, except the Commander, who may cast a second vote in case of a tied vote.

3.2 Bridge Membership

3.2.1   The Squadron Bridge shall consist of persons in the positions identified in section 9.4.1. of the Board Regulations:
(a) Commander
(b) Educational Officer
(c) Secretary
(d) Financial Officer
(e) Membership Officer

3.2.2   In addition to the essential positions outlined in the CPS - ECP Board Regulations section 9.4.1 and the office of Past Commander, which does not require election or appointment, the Squadron usually elects additional officers:
(a) Executive Officer
(b) Public Relations Officer
(c) Webmaster
(d) Communications Officer
(e) Newsletter Editor
(f) Privacy Officer
(g) members-at-large

3.2.3   The duties of any of these offices may be performed by one person, except, as Board Regulations (2015) notes in regulation 9.4.2, "...the offices of the Squadron Commander and the Squadron Financial Officer cannot be held by the same person."

3.2.4   An Assistant Educational Officer is not part of the Bridge by virtue of that position.

3.3 Setting the Bridge’s Meeting Date

3.3.1   Meeting dates should be an agenda item at every meeting and the Bridge decides the date of the next meeting. If the Bridge fails to do so, the task will fall to the Commander.

3.3.2   The Commander reserves the right to call a meeting to resolve issues that cannot wait until the next scheduled meeting, but adequate and reasonable notice must be given to all members.

3.4 Quorums

3.4.1   The Secretary shall remind or notify all members, in writing, not less than one week in advance of the meeting.

3.4.2   Bridge Officers are expected to send “regrets” at the earliest date before the meeting if they are unable to attend.

3.4.3    A quorum for a Bridge meeting is the attendance of 50% or more of Bridge officers.

3.4.4   At the beginning of each meeting where attendance by Bridge officers is less than 50%, the Chair will ask the Bridge if it deems that a quorum exists. If there is unanimous agreement, the meeting will proceed. If there is dissent regarding the quorum, an informal discussion session may proceed.

3.5 Squadron Commander

The Commander's duties areidentified by CPS-ECP.In addition, this Squadron finds the following particularly important. The Commander

3.5.1   is the spokesperson for the Squadron, and represents the Squadron in the best interest of the Squadron

3.5.2   is responsible for communications between the Squadron and media, and other organizations

3.5.3   may delegate responsibility as deemed appropriate or necessary

3.5.4   serves on the Nominating Committee

3.5.5   is ex-officio member of all committees

3.5.6   calls a meeting of the Bridge at the earliest convenient date after the AGM to review with all officers the expectations of the duties of their position

3.5.7   chairs Bridge/Executive and General meetings

3.5.8   oversees all functions of the Squadron to ensure the objectives are being met, and provides for assistance where indicated

3.5.9   encourages respectful relationships among the membership.

3.6 Educational Officer

The Educational Officer's duties areidentified by CPS-ECP.In addition, the Squadron finds the following noteworthy as well.

3.6.1   The Educational Officer proposes the planned course and workshop offerings to the Bridge.

3.6.2   The Educational Officer arranges the course dates and the course venue.

3.6.3   The Educational Officer can decide on the minimum and maximum number of students, as long as the decision falls within the parameters laid down by the Bridge.

3.7 Secretary

The Secretary's duties areidentified by CPS-ECP.This Squadron notes the following as well:

3.7.1   The Secretary works in close collaboration with the webmaster, as all notices, agenda postings, minutes and reports are posted on the Squadron's web site.

3.8 Financial Officer

The Financial Officer's duties areidentified by CPS-ECP.The Squadron also provides for the Financial Officer to

3.8.1   disburse funds, without further prior approval, throughout the year on matters which were specified in the Squadron's annual budget approved at the Bridge meeting following the AGM.

3.9 Membership Officer

The Membership Officer's duties areidentified by CPS-ECP.

3.10 Executive Officer

The Executive Officer's duties areidentified by CPS-ECP.

3.11 Public Relations Officer

The PRO's duties areidentified by CPS-ECP.The Squadron also notes that the PRO

3.11.1 is a member of the Squadron's Communications Committee

3.11.2  has the responsibility of advertising and marketing the Squadron's course offerings throughout the Gabriola Island community which may include
(a) roadside sandwich boards
(b) fence banners
(c) articles in the Gabriola Sounder
(d) the prominent display of Li'l Gabe, our mascot vessel, at Gabriola's community events
(e) the prominent display of Li'l Gabe, with appropriate signage, advertising the Squadron's course offerings
(f) the distribution of information pamphlets about our Squadron and its courses.
(g) posting information about the Squadron and its activities on social media.

3.11.3 solicits support or support in kind from the Gabriola Island business community for the Squadron's projects and activities.

3.12 Webmaster

3.12.1 The webmaster should code according to W3C standards and preferably by hand.

3.12.2 The coding should be self-explanatory through descriptions of usage in the cascading style sheet files.

3.12.3 The webmaster must ensure that all information, particularly regarding course offerings and upcoming events is up-to-date.

3.12.4 The webmaster must keep course offerings up-to-date on the CPS-ECP web site and on the web site.

3.12.5 The webmaster must be aware of all the Squadron’s activities and should take an active interest in the Squadron’s various committees, such as Communications and Policy.

3.13 Communications Officer

The duties areidentified by CPS-ECP.This Squadron finds the following particularly important.

3.13.1 The Communications Officer's prime role is to communicate information in a timely manner to the general membership of the Squadron.

3.13.2 The Communications Officer chairs a Communications Committee, consisting of the Commander, the Public Relations Officer, the Webmaster, the Squadron Educational Officer and others when required.

3.14 Scuttlebutt Editor

3.14.1 The editor’s duties are to prepare at least five editions per year of the Squadron Newsletter entitled Scuttlebutt.

3.14.2 The latest issue of Scuttlebutt is forwarded to the Webmaster for posting and mailed out electronically to the Squadron members. The District Bridge and other Squadron newsletter editors in VIND are notified by the Editor by email which includes a link to the Squadron's web site home page.

3.14.3 The Editor should include a rich display of photos of Squadron activities, notices of upcoming meetings and events, as well as articles of general interest in safe boating relevant to our purpose. A touch of humour, tastefully presented goes well in each edition.

3.15 Privacy Officer

Every organization in British Columbia is subject to the privacy laws of the province. The overriding principle is that the rights of individuals to privacy must be respected. The Squadron’s Privacy Officer’s duty is to see that the privacy laws are adhered to.  

3.15.1 The officer provides the Squadron with the rules and guidelines to follow,

3.15.2 The officer publishes the rules and guidelines on the Squadron website,

3.15.3 The officer deals with any breaches of privacy or complaints by members according to the Squadron’s Privacy Policy.

3.16 Members-at-Large

3.16.1 are elected in the same manner as the other Executive officers

3.16.2 are expected to contribute, like the other Executive officers, to the work of the Bridge

3.17 Past Commander

The Past Commander's duties are outlined in article 3.18.

3.18 The Squadron Nominating Committee

The Squadron Nominating Committee's duties are identified by CPS-ECP in itsBoard Regulationsand itsGuidebook for CPS Officers (2012)The Squadron also notes the following:

3.18.1 The Nominating Committee will meet in the early fall, well before the November Bridge meeting.

3.18.2 At the November meeting the Committee will report to the Bridge of its progress to date and its plans for the remainder of the year until next year's April AGM.

3.18.3 The Commander Nominee and the Nominating Committee work together as a team to prepare a slate of officers.

4. The Squadron in Action

4.1 Management of the Squadron’s Assets

Management of the Squadron's assets is a shared responsibility.

4.1.1   The PRO is responsible for all assets pertaining to the duties of the PRO, namely sandwich boards, banners, pamphlets, Li'l Gabe.

4.1.2   The Commander is responsible for the Squadron's memorabelia and regalia.

4.1.3   The Webmaster carries the responsibility for the Squadron's digital assets.

4.1.4   The SEO manages all education materials and audio-visual equipment.

4.1.5   The Secretary holds custody of the Squadron warrant, the Squadron regulations, and keeps copies of the CPS-ECP bylaws and governing board regulations available for reference at all meetings. This may be done by electronic means through collaboration with the webmaster.

4.2 Regalia Purchases and Sales

4.2.1   From time to time the Bridge may approve the purchase and sale of Squadron regalia such as Squadron burgees or caps for profit or at the very minimum to break even.

4.2.2   The Bridge may purchase name tags and plaques or awards as part of promoting its educational programme.

4.3 The Squadron’s Awards

The various awards, the award criteria and the recipients can be found on theOur Award Winnerspage. The responsibility of deciding the recipients of these awards is as follows:

4.3.1   The Arthur J Nielsen Award is announced by the SEO.

4.3.2   The Rudy and Frieda Bohm Award is decided by the Bridge.

4.3.3   The Windchime Award is decided by the Bridge with or without the SEO's participation in the decision-making process.

4.3.4   The Past Commander's Award is presented to the immediate Past Commander at the AGM when a new Commander takes office.

4.3.5   All Awards are presented at the AGM, and decisions on recipients made in time for appropriate engraving.

4.4 Remunerations and Compensations

Remuneration and compensation areidentified by CPS-ECP.

4.4.1   As a rule, the Squadron has not compensated Bridge members for small expenses, such as those incurred by attending District Council or making long-distance telephone calls.

4.4.2   The Bridge will examine each compensation proposal on its own merits and on a per case basis.

4.5 Course Offerings and Workshops

4.5.1   On the advice of the SEO, the Bridge decides on the Squadron's course offerings. Historically, Gabriola Squadron has offered the following courses or their predecessors:

(a) Boating Basics (PCOC)
(b) Boating 2: Beyond the PCOC
(c) Boating 3: Introduction to Navigation
(d) Maritime Radio
(e) Boating 4: Near Shore Marine Navigation Level 1 (formerly - Seamanship)
(f) Weather
(g) Other advanced courses

4.5.2   On the advice of the SEO, the Bridge decides on the Squadron's workshop offerings. Below is a sample of the types of topics that have been offered by the Educational Department in recent times:

(a) Your 12 Volt System
(b) Medical Emergencies
(c) Emergencies at Sea
(d) Navigation Aids Refresher
(e) Rope Splicing
(f) Electronic Navigation
(g) Maritime Radio Refresher
(h) Low Visibility Navigation
(i) Flare Training Exercise
(j) The Practical Boater, a Basics Refresher
(k) Youth
(l) Anchoring
(m) Docking
(n) MOB
(o) Sail Handling and Trim and Rig Tuning
(p) Weather

4.6 Course Numbers and Financial Considerations

4.6.1   While the financial objective of the Squadron's course offerings is to break even or run a modest profit, it is recognized that for the good of the educational programme at times it is desirable to run a course at a modest loss.

4.6.2   If a course is to run at a modest loss, the Bridge is to decide the matter on an individual basis.

4.6.3   If a course is to break even or stands to make a modest profit, course student numbers and course offerings can be left to the discretion of the Educational Officer.

4.6.4   As part of the decision-making process, close liaison with the Webmaster is necessary to receive current information on registrations. Online registration should be actively encouraged, but all efforts to accommodate last minute registrations should be made.

4.7 Squadron Social Events

4.7.1   All social events are free to Squadron members except where the Squadron incurs a significant cost, such as the annual Christmas party.

4.7.2   All social events are posted well in advance on the website under "Upcoming Events" as well as publicized via email by the Communications Officer and in Scuttlebutt.

4.7.3   The Gabriola Squadron Mission Committee's Statement of June 2013 sums up the values governing the Squadron's social events in that "our social events should reflect our focus." (Officers Reports for June 5, 2013)

4.8 The Squadron in the Community

4.8.1   The purpose of the Squadron's community involvement is to make our organization known and to promote our programmes accordingly.

4.8.2    Exposure in the community on two fronts is encouraged – selling our courses and providing information about safe boating to the community.

4.8.3    Efforts to involve youth in our educational programmes are to be encouraged where possible.