RSS Activity and Event Conduct Policy

As a professional society and membership body, the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) is committed to providing an atmosphere that encourages the free expression and exchange of ideas. Consistent with this commitment, it is the policy of the RSS that all participants in RSS activities and events should enjoy a welcoming, courteous and respectful environment, free from discrimination, harassment, confrontation or retaliation.

All participants in RSS activities also agree to comply with all rules and conditions of this policy which applies to all participants, including but not limited to all RSS related committee meetings, event and meeting attendees, students, guests, staff, contractors, exhibitors, scientific sessions and official social events of any RSS meeting, joint meetings with other organisations, or any other activity carried out in the name of the RSS.

All individuals must behave responsibly in any RSS activities in which they participate, as well as respectfully to fellow attendees. Threatening physical or verbal actions and disorderly or disruptive conduct will not be tolerated. Harassment, including verbal comments relating to gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, ethnicity, religion, age, national origin, gender identity or expression, or sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, unauthorised or inappropriate photography or recording, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention, will not be tolerated. All individuals participating in RSS activities must comply with these standards of behaviour.

Nothing in this policy shall be construed as a restriction on the ability of participants to constructively critique one another’s work.

Reporting violations at an event or activity

In the first instance violations should be reported to the organiser of the activity – which will be the senior volunteer present from the relevant Society committee, section or group or in the case of RSS Conference and key Society events either the Society’s Conferences & Events Manager or (if present) a member of the Society’s Senior Management Team (SMT).

When taking a personal report, the organiser(s) will ensure the complainant is safe and cannot be overheard. This may involve other organisers or venue staff to ensure your report is managed properly. The meeting organiser(s) will help the complainant contact venue security, local police, and support services as appropriate and help to ensure their safety for the duration of the event/activity.

Action against policy violations

Participants at the meeting/event who are asked to stop behaviour in breach of this policy are expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in unacceptable behaviour, the activity organiser(s) retain the right to take any actions to maintain a welcoming environment for all participants. This includes issuing verbal warnings and the removal or denial of access to the meeting/ activities without refund of any applicable registration fees or costs.

Reporting violations to the Society

All violations of the policy, including information about removals and denials of access, will be reported to the Society by the organiser.

The organiser will establish if the complainant wishes to make a formal complaint or is content with the action taken to resolve the behaviour. If a complainant does not wish to pursue the formal procedure route, the complaint will be logged as indicated above.

If the complainant wishes to make a formal complaint, they will be advised of the procedure: formal complaints about the behaviour of individuals should be submitted to the Director of Membership and Professional Affairs, details as above.

Further action

Violations may result in the offender being investigated under the Society’s Code of Conduct and Bye-Laws if they are a member and a formal complaint has been received. Sanctions may include a ban from future events and/or activities and a serious breach could lead to expulsion from the Society. Cases will be decided using the balance of probability standard. The appeal process against any decision is set out in the Bye-Laws.

For non-members any formal complaint will be referred to an investigation committee comprised of current and former Council members together with a representative of the Senior Management Team (SMT). They will investigate the complaint and then make recommendations to the SMT and / or Executive Committee on what action should be taken. Cases will be decided using the balance of probability standard. An appeal against the decision can be made to the Society’s President.