Associations’ operational rules and regulations
The highest set of rules regulating associations’ operations is the Finnish Associations Act. The Associations Act regulates, e.g., association meetings, membership and disbandment. It is advisable for all persons working in association boards to review the Associations Act in full at least once. Additionally, each association must have their own set of rules to more specifically regulate these matters and, e.g., the board’s operations.
The aim of rules and regulations is to primarily enable an association’s operations rather than overtly limit them. This should be taken into account during rule revisions. If rules and regulations are found to hinder the operations without a justifiable reason for such rules, they can be changed. Rule revision is typically a lengthy process, but it should not be feared. Associations change along with society, so associations’ rules should also be changed to enable updated operations. Updated rules and regulations must be forwarded to the PRH (Finnish Patent and Registration Office) for approval and to the Finnish Register of Associations to be archived. In the event of the rules getting lost, a new copy can be ordered from the archives of the PRH’s Finnish Register of Associations for a fee.
Mode of operation
An association’s operations are affected by the general mode of operation for associations, as well as the association’s own established mode of operation. This typically consists of so-called unwritten rules, and each association can benefit from writing them down and training new association workers based on them. You can learn more about the established mode of operation from, e.g., OYY’s Organisations Meeting training sessions and the book Yhdistystoiminnan käsikirja (written by Kari Loimu). The book can be checked out from, e.g., the university library.