Oxford University Cave Club

TGM Michaelmas 2001 


Minutes, etc.

"OUCC this term"

OUCC Home Page

Present are: Hilary Greaves, Alison Waterfall, Tim Guildford, Chris Densham, Steve Roberts, Simon Goddard, Gavin Lowe, Joan Arthur, John Pybus, Pippa Crosby, Chris Rogers

Apologies: Paul Garver


  1. Apologies 
  2. Matters Arising 
  3. Officer's Reports 
  4. Buying equipment 
  5. SRT training 
  6. Bureaucracy

Meeting started at 9.25

The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted.

Matters Arising: The possibility of building a new hut etc. at the back of Bevington Rd has been mentioned to Bob Barnes, but nothing else has been done about it. Steve will put out a feeler at the Clubs Committee meeting.

The club no longer has too much money.

The membership fees were reduced, but not by the amount agreed in the previous meeting as Hilary couldn't remember what was agreed. The fees will be put back to what was originally agreed.

Gear was left in Spain this year.

Officer's Reports:

President: Nothing to report Chair: Nothing to report Secretary: We need to have a safety briefing with Howard Jeffs. Treasurer: Gave summary of last years accounts (see attached sheet) Gear Officer: Wanted to buy some new rope and to chop up some of the longer rope into useful lengths, as we don't have many 25 or 30m ropes. It was decided we probably don't need to buy new ropes but should chop some of the longer ropes into shorter lengths. Simon will be standing down as gear officer at the next election. Meets Sec: Nothing to report Lamp Post: Absent Van Man: Nothing to report. We still have a rusty van Expedition Leader: There is an expedition meeting on Monday.

It was decided to discuss the purchase of new equipment and SRT training, after discussing the risk assessment / code of conduct.


The OU Sports Federation require us to have a constitution, code of practice and risk assessment. The risk assessment and code of conduct have been written by Steve, with significant modification by comments from Chris. The risk assessment is based on that from Sheffield University, with significant changes.

The code of conduct has been written from new. It tries to codify what we already do. However it deviates from this where the NCA recommends something different for university clubs. It was attempted to avoid excessive bureaucracy, certifying people, etc. The ethos is personal responsibility beyond first trip.

Tim thought these were an astonishingly good response to the requirements.

The code of conduct and risk assessment were gone through paragraph by paragraph, and suggestions were made for changes. It is important to separate our views of what is the right thing to do, and what is written in the document, as we don't want to make ourselves liable. The aim is to put responsibility for themselves on people as much as possible. They have been looked at by lawyers within the club. Their worry was that things might be too prescriptive, and should be less detailed. Steve doesn't think we can get away with less than what they have.

Code of Conduct:

It should be remembered that this is not a caving manual. It was felt that defining a novice as the first trip only may be a point which we have problems getting past the university. The argument for this is that after the first trip you have a much better idea what is involved in caving. If the club hasn't got someone's details, e.g. next of kin, they shouldn't be allowed to go caving. The gear and lamp officers have to keep an inventory of equipment and logs of ropes, ladders, helmets, lights, and club belts. They should check equipment regularly. We are going to resist keeping a log of use of individual equipment, but we have committed to logging kit in and out. The NCA recommend keeping a log of condition. We have to number each rope. We only need to log safety critical equipment. Maillons are not safety critical equipment as you always use more than one. We want to avoid logging maillons. Ropes on expedition don't need to be numbered until they get back to England. The code of practice should include a few words about conservation

Risk Assessment

This just puts down what is good practice anyway. It shouldn't make us more liable.

Everyone applauded

Guidance notes for novices: Tim thought these were good, and even gave briefings before setting off. "In the case of bad air nothing will drop out of the ceiling but rocks"

The code of conduct and risk assessment are still being examined by the NCA

Purchase of Equipment

We were going to buy new gear before expedition but this didn't happen. Purchases for next year's novice trips need to be considered at the Trinity term TGM. It could be a good idea at this stage to have a mini gear order. It was suggested we could buy things on the Wales weekend.

SRT training

We could get subsidised training from the NCA. It was suggested we could have a SRT rescue training course. Hilary will write to the NCA. Gavin will organise with Andy Sparrow. The end of 9th week was the preferred date.


Equipment log: We need a special meetings to decide on a numbering system. Hilary and Simon volunteered.

Chris gave the database to the OUSF to simplify registering trips. Gavin thinks this may be against the data protection act. We could tell them that it is probably illegal to give them the data. Not all the people in the list are OUCC members. Steve will produce a list of the relevant people. Chris will swap the lists.

John asked if anyone had contacted the novices. Pippa will email the novices telling them about the mailing list.

Meeting ended: 11.05pm