The National Gamekeepers' Organisation is very conscious of the danger posed by incidents or individuals bringing the gamekeeping profession, or the NGO itself, into disrepute. As the lead body for gamekeeping, the NGO has a responsibility to discourage such actions and, if they take place, to distance itself from them.
The NGO National Committee agreed a clear policy for disciplinary procedures in December 1999 and last revised it on 14 October 2012. Disciplinary matters are considered by the Disciplinary Sub-Committee of the NGO (comprising the NGO Chairman, Vice-Chairmen and the NGO's PR/Political Adviser), which then provides advice to the NGO National Committee.
1. The NGO will act swiftly and firmly to condemn, in public if appropriate, anyone or anything proven to have brought the profession of gamekeeping, or the NGO itself, into serious disrepute.
2. The NGO defends and promotes gamekeeping within the law and therefore automatically condemns any illegal gamekeeping practice.
3. The NGO is a sponsoring body of the Code of Good Shooting Practice and likewise condemns any activity in breach of that Code.
4. The NGO Constitution gives the NGO National Committee the right to expel any member whose conduct is not felt to be in the best interests of the Organisation. The National Committee has set up a Disciplinary Sub-Committee to investigate allegations of such conduct and to make recommendations to the National Committee.
5. Well-founded allegations of misconduct by members will be investigated as soon as is reasonably practicable by the NGO Disciplinary Sub-Committee which will determine:
(a) If the misconduct alleged relates to matters with which the NGO and the Code of Good Shooting Practice are concerned. It is not for the NGO to make comment or to take action against individuals operating other than in those contexts.
(b) If the alleged misconduct has a proven basis in fact. In this regard, the verdict of a Court of Law may be accepted as clear proof, provided no appeal is pending (see paragraph 7 below). So too will be an admission of guilt on the part of the offender. Other very clear evidence of misconduct (eg film of misconduct taking place) may also be taken as conclusive.
(c) If the relevant, proven misconduct brings the gamekeeping profession and/or the NGO into serious disrepute. This is a matter for the judgement of the NGO Nationl Committee, based on the advice of the NGO Disciplinary Sub-Committee.
6. Where the Disciplinary Sub-Committee finds against an individual on all three counts in paragraph 5 above, the National Committee will invariably act to suspend or expel the member concerned from the National Gamekeepers' Organisation.
7. In circumstances where an NGO member is convicted in court of a wildlife crime, that person's membership will automatically be suspended forthwith, pending the decision of the NGO National Committee. The National Committee will at its next meeting decide, in the light of the court's findings and the procdure outlined in paragraphs 5 and 6 above, whether the suspended member shall be expelled or re-admitted. If an appeal is pending, the existing automatic suspension will remain in place until the appeal is heard, whereupon the National Committee shall make its decision as above.
8. The NGO Constitution does allow any member expelled by the National Committee to appeal, and it sets out the procedure for their so doing.
9.The NGO will inform partner organisations in the Shoot Summit of the name of any member expelled from the organisation as a result of being found guilty in a court of law. This is a reciprocal arrangement.