The Democratic Procedures Team (or DPT for short) are a group of students who work together to plan, deliver and develop all The SU's democratic procedures. This includes all elections, and other mechinisms such as referenda and Standpoints.


About DPT

What is Democratic Procedures Team (DPT)?

The main purpose of DPT is to support the Returning Officer and their Deputy to deliver fair and inclusive democratic procedures at the SU.

The Team’s core functions are as follows:

  • Discuss and debate how to make the SU’s democratic procedures as fair and inclusive as possible.
  • Provide the RO/DRO with student insight to inform delivery of all democratic procedures.
  • Provide operational and promotional support during elections and referenda or take on specific projects or events that will enhance the SU’s democratic procedures.
  • Advise the RO/DRO on the creation, amendment and removal of election and referenda rules.
  • Propose recommendations to the RO/DRO on how to improve the SU’s democratic procedures.
  • Decide and approve how SUmmit operates (steering its Terms of Reference, including how the Standpoint procedure operates).
  • Make informal votes to indicate the team’s position on issues which will inform the RO/DRO’s decision-making.

What Democratic Procedures does the SU deliver?

Democratic Procedures’ include, but are not limited to, the following mechanisms:

  • SU Officer Elections.
  • All other SU elections (e.g., group elections, rep elections, etc).
  • Referenda.
  • SUmmit Committee and Standpoints Procedures.

Who is on the Democratic Procedures Team?

Team membership:

  • Chair of Democratic Procedures Team (is a current student appointed by the Returning Officer and their Deputy).
  • The SU Returning Officer (RO) and Deputy Returning Officer (DRO).
  • The SU Officers.
  • Up to 2 NUS Conference Delegates.
  • Up to 4 Open-place student positions (elected by cross-campus ballot).
  • Some SU staff will also be in routine attendance as non-voting members.

Note: Any team member with a potential conflict of interest (e.g., planning to run in an upcoming election) can be asked to leave specific meetings or parts of meetings, or can be removed entirely from the team if agreed by the Chair and Returning Officer or their Deputy.

Why doe we need a Democratic Procedures Team?

By law (Education Act 1994 C.30, Part II) Students’ Unions are required to:

  • “operate in a fair and democratic manner”
  • ensure “appointment to major union offices should be by election in a secret ballot in which all members are entitled to vote”
  • “satisfy themselves that the elections are fairly and properly conducted”

To comply with this legal requirement, The SU Bath’s Articles of Governance (Articles 32-35.4) state that the Board is to annually appoint a Returning Officer (RO), and their deputies. The Board has appointed the following individuals in the key roles:

  • Returning Officer: Charlie Slack, Head of Student Voice & Engagement, The SU Bath.
  • Deputy Returning Officer: Ben Palmer, Change & Inclusion Manager, The SU Bath.
  • External Appeals Officer: Caroline Dangerfield, Deputy Chief Executive, Bath Spa SU.
  • Acting Returning Officers: The six SU Officers as AROs for their relevant areas.

The Returning Officer and their Deputy convene a 'Democratic Procedures Team' annually to support the delivery of democratic procedures and ensure that decisions made are student led, transparent, and fair to all members


Being a member of DPT

Become Chair of DPT 2022-23

Role description

Become a member of DPT 2022-23

Role description