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Festival Code of Conduct

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CAMRA’s Member Code of Conduct


The purpose of this Code is to offer guidance to members of the Campaign for Real Ale on how they are expected to represent CAMRA whilst going about any CAMRA activity.

Where the terms shall, shall not, must or must not are used, these directives must be adhered to.

Matters and issues relating to the CAMRA Code of Conduct should, in the first instance, be reported to your branch chairman or appropriate person as set out in CAMRA’s Complaints and Disciplinary Procedure. If local resolution is not possible then further escalation may be needed as set out in the same document. In some cases, depending on the seriousness of the matter, the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee may be informed or involved.

Personal Conduct

Members should behave in a way that would not cause any embarrassment to the Campaign. Common sense should prevail in dealings with fellow members regardless of age, gender, ethnic origin, creed, disability or sexual orientation. In the first instance, regard all members as friends or family and treat them with respect and civility. While you may not get on with a particular person, this should not manifest itself in unreasonable behaviour towards them.

When communicating with CAMRA members of staff by telephone, email or in person you should treat them with respect and civility in the same way as you would at work or towards a business colleague. You should remember that they are only doing their assigned job and are not responsible for defining internal and external policy or setting campaigning objectives, which are the
responsibility of the NE and national committees. This principle includes staff involvement in committee meetings where it is the responsibility of the committee chairman to ensure members of staff are treated appropriately.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If you disagree with what another member is suggesting or proposing, the disagreement should be dealt with in an appropriate, business-like and respectful manner, particularly when in the presence of non-members, the press or any other media representatives.

When invited to represent CAMRA at official engagements, members should consider and be aware of their appearance and conduct themselves in a professional manner that befits the image of CAMRA as an established and respected national consumer organisation.

Members must not commit CAMRA at local, regional or national level to any undertaking which is contrary to the Articles of Association or accepted policy as defined in any of the campaign’s policy documents.

When attending official regional and national CAMRA meetings that are designated as dry no alcohol is permitted to be drunk during the meeting until such time as the chairman declares otherwise.

When attending official regional and national CAMRA meetings which are not designated as dry meetings, members should limit their alcohol intake in order to avoid disrupting the business being conducted.

Members must be mindful of the manner in which they interact with other volunteers at CAMRA events particularly when in a position of authority (e.g. as Beer Festival Organiser or Bar Manager) to ensure that they do not say anything or act in a manner which may cause offence, physical injury or lead to accusations of harassment and/or bullying.

Members must be mindful that anything published on social media which could be construed as representing CAMRA, including private accounts, constitutes publication. Therefore, posts and comments must not be disrespectful, use inappropriate language, give out other members personal details or behave in any such way that could result in reputational damage of the campaign or a
member of the campaign.


Before discussing CAMRA policy publicly, members should consult the campaign’s policy documents and obtain advice from the relevant Regional Director or appointed representative of the NE to ensure they are clear on the
up-to-date position.

When representing CAMRA on official business, for example media interviews members must only state CAMRA policy and must avoid expressing personal opinions or making statements that differ from stated policy.

If expressing personal opinions, in a non-official capacity, or making statements that differ from stated policy, this should be made clear with a disclaimer, particularly if the statement is included in a CAMRA document that could be read by non-members and/or published on the internet.

Documents or information that are clearly confidential and intended for internal CAMRA use only should not be made public whether in printed form, on a website, blog, social media or any other such internet communications, nor should hard copies be left in rooms after meetings. Examples are minutes, financial accounts and internal correspondence including memos, emails and letters. This also includes adherence to electronic security including not sharing passwords. Laptops or tablets shall not be left unattended whilst
unlocked or left unprotected from potential theft.

Any correspondence between CAMRA members that is addressed to a particular person and is intended for personal consumption must not be reproduced in either printed or electronic form so that it can be viewed or read by a third party without the agreement of the corresponding parties.

CAMRA publications (Branch magazines, websites, social media and the like) and correspondence must not be used to attack, criticise or castigate another member, Branch, committee or employee of CAMRA nor publish or impart information that could be viewed as defamatory against, for example, a pub or brewery.

CAMRA members or Branches should not ask for, or expect a discount from any pub, club, brewery or cider maker.


CAMRA stationery which include the CAMRA logo including letter headings, compliments slips and emails must only be used for official communications and correspondence. Official correspondence includes, but is not limited to, the following:
• Letters, memos or emails on behalf of a Branch;
• Letters, memos or emails by one Branch Official on behalf of a Branch that are done with the approval of the Branch Committee and do not include personal opinions or views;
• Letters, memos or emails by a Regional Director or other appointed representative of the NE, provided that they do not include personal opinions or views particularly if these are contrary to stated CAMRA policy;
• Letters, memos or emails by a member of the NE, provided that they do not include personal opinions that are contrary to stated CAMRA policy
• Letters, memos or emails by a full-time member of staff in the normal course of administering the Campaign.

Individual members must not use CAMRA stationery to communicate personal opinions or complaints to an external party or non-member of the Campaign.

Members must consider the sensitivity of information when communicating a warning or advice. For example, when a beer has been condemned at a Beer Festival for whatever reason, the first parties to be advised should be the brewer or brewing company and the Brewery Liaison Officer, it must not be CAMRA or other internet groups, the general public or the media.

Members must not release or circulate any information that is considered to be Commercial in Confidence and/or could cause embarrassment if made public in the media. For example, when a Branch selects pubs for inclusion in the Good Beer Guide (GBG), the status of a particular pub (included or not) should not be unnecessarily circulated to members, discussed in public, and most
definitely not with the owners, licensees or landlords prior to the GBG being published unless it is made abundantly clear that the communication of this information to a third party is embargoed until after the GBG is published.

All correspondence undertaken on behalf of CAMRA that specifically identifies an individual must be factual, polite and appropriate.

Declaration of Interest

Members are expected to declare conflicts of interest where members’ outside interests conflict with those of CAMRA. The Charity Commission defines conflict of interest as:

“A conflict of interest is any situation in which a trustee’s personal interests or loyalties could, or could be seen to, prevent the trustee from making a decision only in the best interests of the charity”. This can apply to anyone not just a director (trustee), including a volunteer or member of staff.

As well as direct financial interest, members should declare an interest and refrain from discussing and voting on any item where it could be reasonably seen by members of the public that they might be biased on the basis of their indirect financial interest, employment or the similar interests of a close relative or partner.

An example of this might be licensees who are involved in voting for Branch GBG entries or pub awards. Where their pub is in the Branch area, an interest should be declared, and the member concerned should not participate in the decision by either speaking or voting. If the member is chairing the meeting, they should vacate the chair for that item.

This guidance is not intended to be overly prescriptive on this issue and, for instance, should not be taken to mean that someone with a handful of shares in a major brewery should be prevented from participating in GBG discussions where the brewery has a tied house in the area (usually shareholdings are normally considered significant when they exceed 1% of issued share capital). However, CAMRA is an independent consumer organisation and anything that brings that independence into dispute clearly weakens the ability to campaign effectively.

Accordingly, it is recommended to all members that if they have an interest that might suggest that they might be voting for reasons other than those of supporting the interests of local drinkers then they must declare an interest and not participate in the debate or vote on the matter.

Related Documents
• Articles of Association
• Complaints and Disciplinary Procedure
• Commercial and Communications Policy Document
• Conference Procedures
• Events Policy Document
• Finance Policy Document
• Membership Booklet
• Brand Guidelines
• CAMRA staff structure
• Volunteers’ Charter
• Membership Charter

If you have any suggestions for revision or inclusion in this Code or are in doubt as to its content or implementation, then please contact a member of the National Executive, People Committee or a national committee chairman

Further resources

Download our Members Code of Conduct here. The related documents listed above can be found here, in the Members Area of the website.

If you are looking for our Festival Code of Conduct, which covers everyone who attends our events rather than just our members, then you can find it here.