New clubs and how to affiliate your club with the BMC

Whether you are an established club looking to affiliate to the BMC, have questions about what affiliation may mean to you and your club, or would like to set up a club and are not sure where to start, this is the place to find out.

Setting up a new club

If you are a new club, or would like to set up a club, or have further questions, then some of these options may help to answer them:

  • Check out the BMC Club Support Pack with lots of information for climbing, hill walking and mountaineering clubs or get in touch with us via clubs@thebmc.co.uk

  • Sport England has a fantastic resource to support club leaders, managers, and committee members whether the club is little more than an idea you wish to turn in to reality or has been established for decades.  Go to Buddle to check out what is available for you. If you are based in Wales you may wish to check out the support that Sport Wales has for clubs.

BMC Club Affiliation

Affiliating your club with the BMC is a straightforward process and you and your members gain many benefits from doing so. Below you will find downloadable support packs available and links to the affiliation forms. This affiliation form is also for student clubs who wish to affiliate.

Benefits of affiliating your club to the BMC:

  • Combined Liability Insurance

    All club members, whose names and addresses we hold, benefit from £15 million Combined Liability Insurance worldwide.

    The BMC provides Combined Liability Insurance cover for your club and its members.  The policy covers you for combined liability in connection with hillwalking, climbing and mountaineering.  The limit of indemnity in respect of any claim made during the period of insurance is £15 million in any one event. (For members who are resident in the Republic of Ireland, the total limit for Public Liability is £10m). More details can be found on the BMC Insurance Website.

  • Access to the BMC Club Training Workshops

    The BMC provides a range of training opportunities for your club officers and committee members, club leaders and club members.  Ranging from courses about working with novice members, to qualifications in outdoor first aid, to improving your navigation or scrambling or climbing skills, and to workshops to help committee members.  More details can be found on the Courses page.

  • Specialist Club Guidance Notes

    Access to specialist advice from BMC staff and the volunteers on the Specialist Committees, such as through the Club Guidance Notes

  • Hut Access

    Access to BMC Mountain Huts through the BMC reciprocal arrangement scheme where you may advertise your club hut on the BMC hut list, and make use of other affiliated club huts for club meets. There are currently over 60 buildings providing great value, high quality, self-catering accommodation for hillwalkers, climbers and mountaineers - typically situated in the heart of the popular mountain areas in the UK.  Most are managed by affiliated-clubs, with others run by the BMC and Mountaineering Scotland for the benefit of BMC and MS members.  Click here for the full listings. You will also be able to access the BMC National Huts based at the Roaches, Glencoe and on Skye.

  • Annual Summit Magazine

    We send out the spring issue of Summit for all members you provide names and addresses for. The remaining issues can be downloaded to your smartphone or tablet through our Summit app using your membership number and email address.

  • Access to BMC Travel and Activity Insurance

    Our specialist policies are designed for those participating in mountaineering activities – BMC Insurance is the most comprehensive travel and activity insurance around. Members of affiliated clubs can take out our BMC Travel Insurance to cover medical, rescue, baggage and cancellation.  Rates are available to cover activities from beach holidays to an ascent of Everest, from 3 days to annual cover.

  • BMC Areas

    Our local areas offer you and club members the opportunity to take an active part in the work of the BMC by attending area meetings and exercising your right to discuss and vote on issues raised

  • Outdoor Retail discounts

    BMC club members can get discounts on all their outdoor gear purchases when shopping with the retailers on our list - see the full list of retailers here and can also get further discounts on travel, mapping and accommodation services. All members get 15% off at Cotswold Outdoor and Snow+Rock. You can also get the Reciprocal Rights card for discounts in Alpine Huts.

  • Access to Mountain Training registration

    If you wish to undertake any Mountain Training qualifications such as Mountain Leader Award, Rock Climbing Instructor, Hill& Moorland Leader Award then you need to be a members of the BMC

  • Facility to claim back club fees for any club member affiliated via more than one club

  • Be part of an organisation that represents your interests, fights your corner and is there for you when you need help and advice. Our access and conservation work is one of the most important and highly regarded of the BMC functions.  Over the years, the programme has gone from strength to strength coordinated by BMC officers in England and Wales with many regional access volunteers and specialist advisors.  "On the ground" work is undertaken by area volunteers who, backed by the BMC officers, liaise with landowners and conservationists in their areas to negotiate access agreements and deal with any conflicts that arise.

The process

Club membership runs from 1 January each year through to the 31 December.  For Student Clubs, membership runs from 1 October to 30 September.  However, a club can apply for membership of the BMC at any time of the year.

The process for applying for membership and accessing the benefits listed above is very straightforward and is as follows:

  1. Club to complete the application form in the New Club Pack
  2. Club to send the application form with the required documentation to the BMC office along with payment for your members
  3. The application will be assessed in the BMC office
  4. The club will be contacted with the decision.

The cost

The only cost for affiliation to the BMC is the individual membership payments for each member, there are no additional fees to be paid.  The 2024 BMC fees for each Club member are:

  • Adult - £23.90
  • Student - £19.75
  • Discounted rate - £17.70 (for Under 18's, unemployed, or furloughed members)

For any new members joining from 1 July 2023 the fee for the remainder of the year is £11.95. Should a club member wish to upgrade their club membership to include all the benefits of Individual membership it will only cost an additional £17.95.

Additional documents

Some additional documents are required to be submitted when you apply for membership.  Below are short descriptions of what is required for each document.

Governing Documents (i.e. Constitution)

The Club Constitution is the usual governing document for most sports clubs.  It explains how the club will be run, what the membership levels are, what officer positions there’ll be on the committee (i.e. President, Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Meets Secretary etc.), the procedures for an AGM (Annual General Meeting) including voting arrangements, how the finances of the club will be managed etc.  Constitutions are also required by many people who provide funding for clubs.

The BMC has two template constitutions that clubs are welcome to use to produce their own constitution. The first is for adult clubs where all members have voting rights at an AGM, including voting on committee positions:

DOWNLOAD: Constitution template for clubs where all members can vote (over 18s)
The second is for clubs where not all members have voting rights and is particularly suitable for clubs aimed at young people (such as "Youth Clubs") where most of the members are under 18 years old.

DOWNLOAD: Constitution template for clubs with voting and non-voting members

If you require more support in producing a constitution for your club then please contact Jane Thompson (Club Development Manager). For clubs that are set up as a charity, company limited by guarantee, charitable incorporated organisation etc. their own governing document will need to be submitted rather than a constitution as above.

Club rules

These are rules that don’t naturally sit within the formality of a constitution.  For example, your club may have rules for booking out items of club equipment, for booking a place on a club meet, about acceptable behaviour from club members or for reserving a bed in the club hut. More advice and support in affiliating your club can be gained from the BMC office (office@thebmc.co.uk or 0161 445 6111). You may also find these links useful: