Managing Activities
Managing Staff & Volunteers
Running The Organisation
Getting Young People Involved
Succession Planning
Planning before the Event or Activity
Managing The Activities
Evaluation and Review
Finding New Staff
Orientating and Inducting New Staff
Training Staff
Recognising and Awarding Volunteers
Managing Behaviour
Managing Bullying
Access and Equity
Child Protection
Clubs, Associations and Businesses
Running Meetings
Money Management
Getting Control of the Paperwork
Work Health and Safety
Planning For The Future
Understanding Youth Involvement
Taking Action: 10 Steps to Engaging Youth in Club Decision-Making
Helpful Links and Resources
Section 1: Introduction to Succession Planning
Section 2: The Succession Planning Process
Section 3: Crucial Ingredients for Steps 1-5
Step 1. Stop and Think
Step 2. Identify Barriers to Participation for Young People
Step 3. Decide How Your Club will Involve Young People in Decision-Making
Step 4. Form Community Partnerships
Step 5. Recruit Young People
Step 6. Induct Young People in to your Club General Induction Information
Step 7. Effectively Communicate with Young People
Step 8. Invest in Young People
Step 9. Mentor your Young Volunteers
Step 10. Recognise Volunteers and Thank Them for Their Work
Step 1: Examine your club’s position
Step 2: Identify skills required to fill critical roles in your club
Step 3: Assess the skills gap in your club and identify potential successors
Step 4: Develop and prepare potential successors
Step 5: Evaluate your succession plan


Planning Before The Event

Prior to starting any event, program or activity, it is essential to plan correctly. A bit of work at the start will save a lot of work later and could prevent the whole project from failing.

The main things you will need to organise for any event or program are:

Project goal:

What is the overall purpose of the project? Who is it aimed at?
Is the project linked to overall goals of the organisation? How?
How do you know there is a need for this project?

Having answers to these questions will help later when you apply for funding, gather support from other services or people and get approval from your board to run the project.  It also helps when you ask yourself if it was really worth all the effort.

Examine the goals and see if they could really work. A common way to check is to ask if the goals are 'S.M.A.R.T.'- are they Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timely.

Is the goal detailed enough so that someone who isn't a part of your team would know what needs to be done and how?

That means asking yourself the following questions and changing your goals so they are:

Measurable : Is there a clear way to measure success? How will you know when you've reached your goal?
Actionable : Is there a clear series of steps to take to reach your goal?
Realistic : Is it possible to reach this goal considering the resources available to your team?
Timely : When will the goal be accomplished?

Once the goals are identified as achievable, it's time to start planning how to meet them. The next step is to break it down into parts. Ask yourself:

  • Exactly how will the objective be achieved?
  • What tasks should be done?
  • Who could do them?
  • Does the project add to other work done in the community? If so, how can we link to the other work?
  • What extra skills will the project team need to do these activities? Where can you find people with these skills?
  • Who will do it? What resources are needed?
  • When will it start? When will it end? When will each activity need to be done, including preparation and evaluation of the program?
  • How is it going?
  • How will it be measured?
  • How will you know if you have met your goals?
  • If you do the activity again, how will you know if you have done it better?)

Once you have thought through and planned for these questions, you should be ready to start putting the plans into action.

Your Local Council

Your local council goes through a similar planning process to make sure that there are enough services in their area. They look at statistics and conduct surveys to find out what are the needs of their area then put it all together in a 'social plan’' Youth services can use the social plan to find out what the local needs are and what the council thinks there is a need for.

Council websites usually have information about the council's social plan, as well as sporting and recreational activities and resources.

Follow this link to find your local council's website: www.alga.asn.au

Youth Services Network

One of the best ways to make your service more effective is to be part of a local youth network. Youth networks can have a real impact on addressing youth issues in an area where one service working alone would have less effect.
Networks provide:

  • A place for exchanging information. They are great places for up to date information about the other services and activities in your area. You can also keep up to date on new funding as it becomes available in your area.
  • Help to make appropriate referrals for the young people you work with.
  • A coordinated approach to the services you provide. Networks prevent organisations from running activities at the same time as each other and help organisations to develop joint programs.
  • A coordinated approach to lobbying for change. They help groups get together and lobby governments to think about the needs of young people.
  • Support for youth workers. This is especially important for solo and isolated workers.

You can find local youth networks across NSW listed at YAPA's website at http://www.youthaction.org.au/lgydn

The Forum of Rural Youth Services in NSW is an e-group set up to connect youth workers and other interested people outside of the cities. An e-group is a group that communicates through email and a website, rather than face to face, although they try to do that as well.

You can join up for free at http://groups.google.com/?hl=en . Once you are a member, you can participate in discussions and look at past discussions and ideas on the website. They have worked hard to get more funding for rural areas in NSW.

If you are already part of a youth network, YAPA has provided a factsheet on improving the youth network at http://www.youthaction.org.au/

Peak Bodies

Peak bodies are organisations that work to meet the needs of a whole industry, usually with a state or national focus. Peak bodies work on behalf of their members to address issues that may be too big or widespread to be addressed by local service providers. They typically work to persuade governments to consider them and their clients when making decisions which affect them.

The Youth Action and Policy Association (NSW) is the state peak body for most youth organisations, and their website is at www.yapa.org.au

Other peak bodies for youth services in Australia are:

Youth Affairs Council of South Australia www.yacsa.com.au
Youth Network of Tasmania www.ynot.org.au
Youth Affairs Council of Victoria www.yacvic.org.au
Youth Affairs Coalition of ACT www.youthcoalition.net
Youth Affairs Network Queensland www.yanq.org.au
Australian Youth Affairs Coalition www.ayac.org.au

Accountability and Teamwork

Most youth services have a weekly team meeting where issues are discussed and plans are made. Team meetings should be chaired and recorded to make them as short and effective as possible.
See the  Running Meetings section for more details.

To help make meetings as effective as possible, this toolkit includes:

Blank Agenda Blank Agenda (54 KB)

Help Sheet - Minute Taking Help Sheet - Minute Taking (19 KB)

Help Sheet - Chairmans Meeting Procedure Help Sheet - Chairmans Meeting Procedure (43 KB)

The team leader (coordinator or manager) of any project should know what their workers are doing and what they are planning to do for the week. Many services do this as part of the weekly team meetings, also allowing all workers to know what the rest of the team is doing.

Alternatively, team leaders can help their workers plan and complete their tasks for the week by having separate discussions with each worker. This is a useful strategy if it is difficult to get all team members together at the same time.

This 'Staff boardwalk report' form can help this discussion. The boardwalk form guides the discussion between the worker and his/ her supervisor each week.

Weekly Running Report Weekly Running Report (62 KB)

They talk about:

Achievements - What the worker has done each day in the past week
Activities - What the worker plans to do each day in the next week.

Next week’s plans can then be reviewed at the next meeting and if everything was done as planned, the worker can show that the plans have been acheived or can discuss why they haven't and perhaps add them to this week's plans/ activities.

The final sections document the worker's travel plans for the next week and any extra notes.

Keeping Track of Resources

Any organisation that wants to use its resources responsibly must make sure to keep a good track of resources. Resources are:


A good management system for equipment and vehicles would make sure they are maintained systematically to protect from damage or loss and to reduce maintenance and operation costs. The management system should also record which assets the organisation currently owns, any maintenance the equipment has had and when it is due to be replaced.

When new equipment is purchased, a maintenance schedule should be organised before it is used. Manuals should be checked to see what regular maintenance, if any, is suggested by the manufacturer and warranty forms should be filled in, posted and recorded.

A maintenance schedule is a planned way of making sure the equipment is looked after properly, whether it is a vehicle, photocopier or sports equipment. The schedule could include things like:

  • Weekly cleaning of the phone/ fax
  • Six monthly servicing of the vehicle
  • Monthly oiling of sports equipment
  • Six monthly changing of smoke alarm batteries

Whatever maintenance is needed, someone needs to be responsible for making sure it happens. This person needs to have some sort of diary to record into the future when these things will happen - they should not rely on their memory.

Most administrative staff and many youth service teams have a diary system to record when the maintenance has to happen or - if the service is printing weekly boardwalk forms or team meeting agendas a long way in advance - this could also be used as a reminder to do the maintenance.

As well as maintaining equipment, the organisation should keep track of what equipment it owns. Most organisations keep a short record for each of the valuable things it owns - one page or so - in a folder called an asset register. A simple asset register records basic information such as:

  • Whether repairs are covered by a warranty
  • Whether maintenance is overdue
  • If it has been repaired a number of times (in which case it might be worth replacing it)
  • How much it cost (this is useful for the accountant for tax purposes.)
  • Where to get it repaired
  • Where the instruction manual is kept 

This sample asset register can make  it easier to keep track of these issues.

Assets Register Assets Register (89 KB)

Organisations usually have a policy that says which things need to be recorded in the asset register- often anything over $100 in value - so they don't end up with a page for every stapler!