Changing your rules

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The new law requires a number of matters to be included in an association’s rules (also known as the constitution). Most of these items will already be provided for in the existing rules of many associations and only minor changes will be required.

Associations have until 1 July 2019 to change their own rules to meet the new law requirements, or adopt the new prescribed model rules. Until an association completes this process it can continue to use its existing rules.

How to pass the changes

Between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2019 the management committee of the association may be able to pass the changes to the rules, without a special resolution of members being passed at general meeting. This option is only available if the changes are to make the rules consistent with the new law requirements.

If the association has taken the opportunity to complete a broader review of its rules and is making additional changes (i.e. more than what is necessary to ensure the rules are consistent with the new law requirements), it will be necessary to pass these changes by Special Resolution at a general meeting of members.

Below are some examples of rule alterations and how they may be approved. If there is any uncertainty as to which method should be used, it is recommended that the proposal be put to members and passed by Special Resolution at a general meeting.

Type of change

Alterations can be passed by:

  Resolution of Committee Special Resolution of members

Adopting the new prescribed model rules



Adding a clause showing the associations financial year



Changing the name or objects




Do the changes meet your association's other obligations?

Depending on the association’s activities there may be other matters that need to be included in the rules.  An association should be careful that any changes made to the rules do not affect its eligibility to hold certain licences, receive taxation endorsements or alter any funding arrangements were already in place. In some situations, associations may also need to have the changes endorsed by outside bodies (for example a national body or other government department) before presenting them to members for a vote or lodging with the Department.  

If in doubt, contact the relevant authorities to discuss the proposed changes. Government agencies associations may wish to consult include:

  • Liquor Licences

Associations who hold a liquor licence are required to include particular information in their rules and submit the rules to the Department of Racing Gaming and Liquor. Further information about the requirements under the liquor legislation is included in the Directors Policy, ‘Club Constitutions – Club and Club restricted Licences’ or by telephoning (08) 9425 1888.

  • Parents and Citizens ‘Associations (P&Cs) and School Councils

All Western Australian Council of State School Organisations (WACSSO) affiliated associations are governed by a single standard constitution which has been approved by the Western Australian Minister for Education, which is required under sections 145 and 146 of the School Education Act 1999.

WACSSO is in the process of providing a revised constitution and will be providing instructions to affiliated associations shortly.  For information please contact WACSSO on telephone 9264 4000 or

  • Taxation concessions

Groups holding charity tax concessions or other tax exemptions may be required to include certain information in their rules. If this applies to your association may wish to visit the ACNC website for more information.

How to notify the Department of change of rules

Watch our helpful video guide on how to let the Department know when you change your rules. 


Go to the INC Guide: Altering the rules

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