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 Post subject: DIM versus CIM
PostPosted: Mon 19 Feb 2007 16:52 
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Joined: Wed 26 Apr 2006 03:46
Posts: 23
Location: N Wales
A friend of mine, recently, received a membership renewal form for BCA/BCRA. He was a bit puzzled by this, since as a member of a caving club, he pays his sub to the BCA as part of his membership of the caving club (a CIM, in other words). He was further puzzled to note that as a SIM, he is unable to gain membersship of the BCRA, to gain access to Speleologist and Caves and Karst. Yes, I know that Speleologist is sent to each club, but who, aside from the Secretary, and maybe one or two of his close friends, ever gets to see it? So, if he wants to receive the aforesaid publications, he must upgrade (?) his membersship and become a DIM. This leaves him somewhat at odds with his club, who's subscription includes a sum for BCA membership and insurance. They may be unlikely to view this kindly, since in their eyes they have no direct knowledge of whether he carries the requisite insurance, since the membership/insurance card has never passed through their hands (or even his, if he becomes a DIM). Why has he become so disenfranchised (if I may call it that)

RodG


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon 19 Feb 2007 18:18 
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Joined: Wed 11 Jan 2006 18:49
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Firstly, a CIM (Club Individual Member) can become a member of BCRA if he first upgrades to a DIM (Direct Individual Member).

If your friend wants to become a DIM/BCRA member and has already paid his insurance for this year via his Club, he can state this on the form when he returns it and give his Club's name - his details will be on record via his Club's information already supplied to BCA. In this case he can do the upgrade to DIM and join BCRA without paying the insurance again for this year. (Most people do it the other way round, i.e. pay their insurance as a DIM and don't pay via their Club; it's one of the options Clubs know to be aware of when they complete their lists.)

Alternatively, if he simply wants to receive his own copy of Speleology or Caves and Karst Science (or both), he can contact BCA/BCRA and ask to become a "subscriber"; in which case he pays only for the publications he receives plus postage. Details are on the BCRA website, which can be reached via the BCA website or direct.

In either case, the BCA/BCRA Membership Administrator will deal with it - his email address is on the BCA website - use the Great Hucklow postal address for a quicker response if you are sending forms back.

It is planned that BCA membership cards will be sent out shortly for the first batch of DIMs and Clubs who have already renewed their membership this year. There is some final checking to do re. BCRA members but things are beginning to go much more smoothly than last year - which, we admit, wasn't a good start for the new system.

Please be aware that it has been extremely complicated combining the BCA and BCRA databases so, to ensure that no-one was missed out, a general renewal/membership form has been sent to everyone who was on record for 2006 as being a member of either BCA, BCRA or a publications subscriber. There will be a few anomalies but, hopefully, they will all be sorted out in time for next year. The important thing is to let the Membership Administrator know if there is a problem so that it can be dealt with.

Hope this reassures you somewhat.

Jenny Potts
Acting Secretary, BCA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon 19 Feb 2007 21:55 
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Joined: Wed 26 Apr 2006 03:46
Posts: 23
Location: N Wales
Jenny Potts wrote:
Firstly, a CIM (Club Individual Member) can become a member of BCRA if he first upgrades to a DIM (Direct Individual Member).

If your friend wants to become a DIM/BCRA member and has already paid his insurance for this year via his Club, he can state this on the form when he returns it and give his Club's name - his details will be on record via his Club's information already supplied to BCA. In this case he can do the upgrade to DIM and join BCRA without paying the insurance again for this year. (Most people do it the other way round, i.e. pay their insurance as a DIM and don't pay via their Club; it's one of the options Clubs know to be aware of when they complete their lists.)

Alternatively, if he simply wants to receive his own copy of Speleology or Caves and Karst Science (or both), he can contact BCA/BCRA and ask to become a "subscriber"; in which case he pays only for the publications he receives plus postage. Details are on the BCRA website, which can be reached via the BCA website or direct.

In either case, the BCA/BCRA Membership Administrator will deal with it - his email address is on the BCA website - use the Great Hucklow postal address for a quicker response if you are sending forms back.

Hope this reassures you somewhat.

Jenny Potts
Acting Secretary, BCA


Not really, it all sounds dreadfully complicated. Whilst I can see that it might make life easier for the BCA by passing on a lot of the work to club secretaries, etc. it makes a lot more work overall and adds confusion, delays and difficulties in its wake, and still does'nt address why a club member, AS SUCH, cannot get BCRAmembership


RodG


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon 19 Feb 2007 22:17 
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Joined: Wed 11 Jan 2006 18:49
Posts: 33
The decision that ordinary Club members (CIMs) cannot become BCRA members without upgrading to a DIM is a question you should ask BCRA. It was a decision made by BCRA so, if you are or were a member, or your friend was a member, you were welcome to attend the BCRA AGM when it was discussed and have your say in opposition.

The details of how and why the existing BCA/BCRA linked membership system was set up was all discussed exhaustively by regional councils, NCA and BCRA in 2003 and 2004. If you are a club member, your club secretary should have kept you informed of what was going on. You had a chance to have a say at the time, so it really is rather late to be complaining about it now.

As has already been pointed out to you by another volunteer, BCA, the Regional Councils and BCRA are short of volunteers to carry out the work which needs to be done on behalf of all cavers. We are all doing our best to get the job done in the most efficient way we can manage, given that all of us, bar the Membership Administrator, are volunteers who would prefer to be doing other things. The few who are doing the work on YOUR behalf, have provided you with insurance, publications (if you want to pay for them), access to caves where landowners place restrictions such as a permit system, and many other benefits.

I look forward to your attendance at the BCA AGM when you can take these volunteers to task for their "failures".

_________________
Jenny P.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon 19 Feb 2007 23:13 
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Joined: Wed 26 Apr 2006 03:46
Posts: 23
Location: N Wales
Jenny Potts wrote:
The decision that ordinary Club members (CIMs) cannot become BCRA members without upgrading to a DIM is a question you should ask BCRA. It was a decision made by BCRA so, if you are or were a member, or your friend was a member, you were welcome to attend the BCRA AGM when it was discussed and have your say in opposition.

The details of how and why the existing BCA/BCRA linked membership system was set up was all discussed exhaustively by regional councils, NCA and BCRA in 2003 and 2004. If you are a club member, your club secretary should have kept you informed of what was going on. You had a chance to have a say at the time, so it really is rather late to be complaining about it now.

As has already been pointed out to you by another volunteer, BCA, the Regional Councils and BCRA are short of volunteers to carry out the work which needs to be done on behalf of all cavers. We are all doing our best to get the job done in the most efficient way we can manage, given that all of us, bar the Membership Administrator, are volunteers who would prefer to be doing other things. The few who are doing the work on YOUR behalf, have provided you with insurance, publications (if you want to pay for them), access to caves where landowners place restrictions such as a permit system, and many other benefits.

I look forward to your attendance at the BCA AGM when you can take these volunteers to task for their "failures".


Thanks, but it has never been my policy to reinforce failure.

RodG


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 Post subject: Re: DIM versus CIM
PostPosted: Tue 20 Feb 2007 10:31 
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Joined: Thu 16 Mar 2006 23:45
Posts: 494
RodG wrote:
A friend of mine, recently, received a membership renewal form for BCA/BCRA. He was a bit puzzled by this, since as a member of a caving club, he pays his sub to the BCA as part of his membership of the caving club (a CIM, in other words). He was further puzzled to note that as a CIM, he is unable to gain membership of the BCRA


Hello again. Perhaps your friend had previously been a member of BCRA, or a BCA DIM? That would explain why he was on the list. It has not been straight-forward to combine the BCRA and BCA databases (for a number of reasons, human as well as technical).

One of the things that has characterised - or perhaps "dogged" would be a better word - operations over the last two or three years is the desparate need to get insurance details sorted out, and this has tended to mean our racing around sorting that out, whilst paying slightly less attention to the underlying membership operations. This is why, for example, everyone received the same renewal letter, which might not have been 100% appropriate to their situation. For example, in your friend's case, it would have been better for us to have explained why he was receiving the letter (e.g. "as a former member of BCRA, ... bla bla "). But there just wasnt time for this level of service.

As an aside: it is intended, at some point, to allow on-line renewals. This requires a form that is 100% appropriate, or it just doesnt work. Once the on-line form has been created, I envisage that a new paper form will be created, based on the on-line form, and then things will be a bit clearer, perhaps.

Regarding the situation of joining BCRA... As you know, the surcharge for DIMs to join BCRA is £10. As a CIM, your friend can join BCRA - but the surcharge is £25. This involves upgrading him to a DIM first. Its a matter of semantics as to whether this means that CIMs can or cannot "join BCRA". BCRA and BCA have chosen to present it as "CIMs must upgrade to DIMs first".

The concept behind CIMs is that they pay the minimum fee possible. As a result they receive no publications whatsoever and the admin is handled by their club. If you want to receive publications personally you have to pay more money: £15 pays for Speleology, the BCA newsletter and an admin charge to cover the handling of your membership. An extra £10 covers C&KS and the BCRA newsletter.

These costs have been worked out to be the fairest way of dealing with everyone. If your friend was "puzzled" to note that he could not join BCRA, the reason is simply that he has not paid enough money to cover the services he would receive. As I said above, he owes another £25. Whether you imagine this as a surcharge to CIMs or an upgrade to DIM and then a smaller surcharge is up to you. BCA and BCRA choose to view it as an upgrade to DIM in order to maintain the rationale for CIM - that it is a "low service" category of membership, designed to allow BCA to encompass members of caving clubs at a minimum charge to them.

I do hope that this answers your questions, as I have a number of other things to do :)


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