Register Of Members

The NSA Register of Members outlines all terms and conditions of membership in three sections - full members, breed society members and classes of non-members (Corporate Supporters, Educational Supporters and the Welsh Commons Forum). The full document is provided here, and can be downloaded as a PDF by scrolling to the bottom of the page.

The NSA Articles of Association specify two classes of members – full members and breed society members (Article 8.5). The Articles state the directors must keep a register of names and addresses of members (Article 7.4) (this is the NSA membership database) and that the directors may establish classes of membership with different rights and obligations and, where not set out in the articles, shall record the rights and obligations in the register of members (Article 8.1) (this document is the Register of Members). This document is reviewed annually and the membership database is continually administered by the NSA Membership Secretary. NSA fully observes the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) via the NSA Privacy Policy.

Classes of Membership - Full Members

Membership: Full membership is intended for individuals with an interest and/or involvement in the sheep sector; there are alternatives for breed societies, educational establishments and commercial companies. Membership of NSA is annual and valid from first day of the month of joining. Renewal letters are sent to members one month prior to the expiry date. Membership cards typically arrive with members 10 days after joining or renewing.

Voting rights: As per the NSA Articles, ‘full members have full voting rights, including the right to vote at their allocated regional meetings’ (Article 8.5). Any variations within categories of full members are specified below. Members are informed on joining which NSA region they reside within, unless specified below, and so know which region they have voting rights for.

Membership benefits: The main reason to join NSA is to support its vision that people involved in keeping sheep are enthusiastic, knowledgeable and aspiring to best practice – and those not keeping sheep being increasingly aware of the contribution sheep make to society and of the core aspects of the sector. In addition to supporting the work of NSA, full members are offered a small number of membership benefits:-

  • Receipt of Sheep Farmer magazine and the NSA Weekly Email Update, single copy of each issue, for personal use only.

  • Access to the NSA Legal Helpline, operated by an expert legal company.

  • Free entry (discounted in Scotland) for one person to NSA sheep events.

  • Option to sell at NSA ram sales.

  • Associate members of Moredun.

  • Invitations to regional events and NSA Next Generation activities.

  • Access to the NSA Lambing List.

Details of members benefits are provided online. Any variations within categories of full members are specified below.

Other relevant information: 

  • Membership names: Historically, full membership did not have to be under one individual’s name, due to the limited number of membership categories available. Membership could be held in an individual name, joint names, business or farm partnership. From 1st January 2020, with the introduction of additional membership categories and ongoing confusion about membership benefits (particularly entry to NSA sheep events), new individual memberships taken out are to be held in an individual person’s name, with the option to add the business or farm name as the ‘payer’ if required for invoicing purposes. Individual membership subscriptions pre-dating 1st January 2020 do not have to be changed retrospectively, unless the member wishes.

  • Transfer of membership: As per the NSA articles, membership is not transferable (Article 7.3). However, NSA Head Office will make discretionary decisions for transfer within a family – for example from one generation to the next when responsibility for the sheep farming business changes. 

  • Cancellation: Membership can be cancelled at any time by contacting NSA Head Office. No refund will be offered on the year already paid for, unless a request is made within one month of payment. For direct debit payments this request must be made to the payer’s own bank; for other types of payments this request must be to NSA Head Office. 

  • Payment options: Members can pay by cash, cheque, debit/credit card or direct debit. A 20% discount is applied in the first year a subscription (any type of subscription within the full member category, unless specified below) is paid by direct debit, be it the first year of membership or a subsequent year when a direct debit mandate is completed for the first time. Memberships can be taken out in one person’s name (the member) and paid for by another (the payer) – so the subscription can be paid for by a farm business, or as a gift; unless the payer also has individual membership, voting rights and membership benefits do not apply to the payer. Members not paying by direct debit can choose to pay to renew their subscription ahead of their renewal date, but doing so will not change their renewal date (i.e. in the event of a subscription rise, a member could not choose to renew early to avoid the price increase).

Individual member

  • Membership: This is a class of membership open to all individuals in the sheep sector living in the UK and aged 27 years or over wanting a standard NSA membership subscription. 

  • Application: By application form (paper or digital).

  • Voting rights and membership benefits: As above. 

Individual member (variable subscription)

  • Membership: This is a variation on individual membership, for members who wish to overpay on the standard subscription for an individual member by +£20, +£40 or +£60 to reflect the value they place on their NSA membership. 

  • Application: By requesting a specific paper form from NSA Head Office or NSA staff. The form can also be downloaded here.

  • Voting rights and membership benefits: As above. 

  • Other relevant information: A member choosing to overpay the standard subscription can change to a different level of overpayment (+£20, +£40 or +£60) or revert to the standard subscription at any time. This will be implemented from their renewal date; no return of overpayment will be offered on the year already paid for.

Under 27 member

  • Membership: This is a variation on individual membership, for members aged under 27 years old on the day they take out their membership. The fee is half the standard subscription for an individual member. 

  • Application: By application form (paper or digital), accompanied by a valid form of ID.

  • Voting rights and membership benefits: As above. 

  • Other relevant information: The standard subscription fee will be charged from the first renewal date after the member’s 27th birthday, and the member will be informed of this within their renewal letter.

Joint member

  • Membership: This is a variation on individual membership when two people living at the same address want to apply jointly. The fee is +£10 on the standard subscription. 

  • Application: For new applications, by application form (paper or digital). For changes to existing individual membership subscriptions, by requesting a specific paper form from NSA Head Office or NSA staff. Both forms can be downloaded here.

  • Voting rights: As above; a single vote is shared by the individuals holding joint membership.

  • Membership benefits: There are two variations to the standard membership benefits:-

    • Receipt of two copies of the NSA Weekly Email Update, for personal use only.

    • Free entry (discounted in Scotland) for two people to NSA sheep events.

  • Other relevant information: 

    • One membership card is issued for joint members, but is clearly marked as JOINT.

    • The joint membership subscription does not take age into consideration; an under 27 subscription may represent better value for money until one or both individuals reach the age of 27.

    • Existing individual members wishing to upgrade to joint membership can contact NSA Head Office at any time to request the change to take place on their renewal date. Or they can complete an upgrade form and pay the +£10 at the gate of an NSA sheep event to immediately gain the benefit of two free/discounted event entries; an update form completed at an event gate applies to the current membership year so a new membership card will be issued from NSA Head Office and the joint membership automatically apply at the next renewal date, unless cancelled by the member.

Group packages for multiple subscriptions

  • Membership: This is a discount available where a minimum of three and a maximum of 25 membership subscriptions* are paid for from the same bank account via direct debit (i.e. a large family business or an estate/business employing a number of shepherds). A 15% discount will be applied to each subscription at the point of payment/renewal for as long as multiple membership (between three and 25) are held. 

  • Application: By requesting a specific paper form from NSA Head Office or NSA staff.

  • Voting rights and membership benefits: Each individual membership subscription will have the standard voting rights and membership benefits. Unless the payer also has individual membership, voting rights and membership benefits do not apply to the payer, regardless of the number of subscriptions paid for.

  • Other relevant information:

    • * As long as they are paid for by direct debit, individual membership, under 27 membership and joint membership subscriptions are eligible for a group package; individual membership (variable), honorary membership and life membership subscriptions are not eligible.

    • There will be one single renewal date for the package, although separate direct debits will be processed for the subscriptions within the package. 

    • The person holding the group package with NSA can substitute individuals within the package – for example, old/new employees within a business.

Overseas member

  • Membership: This is a class of membership open to all individuals in the sheep sector living outside the UK and is priced to reflect the higher administration cost for non-UK residents.

  • Application: By application form (paper or digital).

  • Voting rights and membership benefits: As above but with two variations:-

    • Overseas members are not allocated a region (as NSA regions are UK-only) and so overseas members can vote at national meetings (i.e. the AGM) but not regionally.

    • Overseas members cannot access the NSA Legal Helpline.

  • Other relevant information:

    • The overseas membership subscription does not take age into consideration; a discount is not available for under 27s.

    • Direct debits cannot be accepted from non-UK bank accounts so the one-year 20% direct debit discount is not an option.

Honorary member

  • Membership: This is a class of membership solely for individuals recognised by the NSA Management Board as deserving of free membership of NSA for an unlimited period. They are typically retired Board Chairmen and NSA George Hedley Memorial Award winners. 

  • Application: Not applicable.

  • Voting rights and membership benefits: As above.

  • Other relevant information: Honorary memberships are not transferable under any circumstances and are not eligible to be upgraded to a joint membership or be part of a group package.

Life member

  • Membership: This is a class of membership solely for individuals who paid for a package in the 1980s; it has not been offered since. 

  • Application: Not applicable.

  • Voting rights and membership benefits: As above.

Other relevant information: Life memberships are not transferable under any circumstances and are not eligible to be upgraded to a joint membership or be part of a group package.

 

Classes of Membership - Breed Society Members

  • Membership: This is a class of membership open solely to organisations recognised as sheep breed societies. Historically, NSA required sight of a society’s constitution to ascertain this. It is now NSA policy that, for a society to join NSA for the first time, they are required to first have zootechnical registration with Defra. Defra will not normally register two societies for the same breed, unless they have clearly different breeding objectives.

  • Application: By contact with NSA Head Office; no publicly available application form.

  • Voting rights: As per the NSA Articles, ‘breed society members* have full voting rights, including the right to vote at regional meetings. The breed society’s representative shall only get one vote, whether at a regional meeting or a general meeting and the breed society may nominate a different representative for each meeting if it chooses’ (Article 8.5). To administer this on a practical basis, NSA contacts all breed societies that hold NSA membership once a year (usually alongside their invoice for annual membership) and asks them to nominate one representative to hold voting rights at the NSA AGM/NSA Breed Society Forum and at nine NSA regional committees. This can be a different person for each and can be changed at any point during the year; NSA asks to be informed at least one week before a meeting where a vote will be held. If the breed society does not nominate anyone then, by default, the breed society’s nominated contact person (usually the secretary) has voting rights at the NSA AGM/NSA Breed Society Forum and no voting rights are held for regional meetings. NSA recommends against breed society members nominating a representative for regional voting rights that does not live in that region. NSA also recommends that NSA regions co-opt nominated breed society representatives onto regional committees, so they can regularly attend meetings and understand regional interests and priorities. Each representative has one vote for the breed society but, if they are also an NSA member in their own right, they can vote once as a member (at the AGM or at a regional meeting held in the region their membership is registered in) and once as a breed society representative. 

  • Membership benefits: The main reason to join NSA is to support its vision that people involved in keeping sheep are enthusiastic, knowledgeable and aspiring to best practice – and those not keeping sheep being increasingly aware of the contribution sheep make to society and of the core aspects of the sector. In addition to supporting the work of NSA, breed societies that hold NSA membership are offered a small number of benefits:-

    • Receipt of Sheep Farmer magazine and the NSA Weekly Email Update, single copy of each issue sent to the nominated contact person (usually the secretary). Additional information is also sent where appropriate or specific to pedigree breeders. Breed society members cannot forward this information to their registered breeders verbatim but are encouraged to share details via their own communication routes, referencing NSA and encouraging breeders to become NSA members in their own right.

    • Provision of the annual NSA Breed Society Forum, a specific day for NSA and breed society members to share views and information.

    • Discount on trade stand space at NSA sheep events and discount on advertising space in Sheep Farmer magazine.

    • Listing on the NSA website with a link to their own website.

    • Access to the NSA Legal Helpline, operated by an expert legal company (for assistance on society/constitutional matters; not legal assistance for individuals within that breed society).

  • Other relevant information: 

    • The NSA list of breed societies is specifically breed societies that have chosen to be members of NSA (affiliated breed societies), and is protected by the NSA Privacy Policy; the NSA list is not a public record of all sheep breed societies operating in the UK.

    • For clarity, the breed society is an NSA member (not the members of that breed society). Individuals within a breed society are encouraged to be NSA members in their own right and NSA works in partnership with breed societies to communicate membership recruitment messages to their individual breeders.

 

Classes of Non-Members

In addition to full members and breed society members, NSA offers packages with a number of benefits but no voting rights. As such, these categories are recognised and valued as NSA supporters, but not members.

  • Corporate Supporters: Commercial companies wanting to support the vision and work of NSA can purchase one of two packages on offer – standard or gold. Both have various benefits attached to them but do not include voting rights. Application is by contact with NSA Head Office or NSA staff.
  • Educational Supporters: Universities, colleges and schools wanting to support the vision and work of NSA and access NSA communications for the benefit of their students can purchase an educational support package. The package includes receipt of Sheep Farmer magazine and the NSA Weekly Email Update, but does not include voting rights. Before this package existed, universities, colleges and schools could hold an NSA individual membership subscription; these subscriptions have been steadily replaced since 1st January 2020, with new applications only having the option of an Educational Support package. Application is by contact with NSA Head Office or NSA staff.
  • Welsh Commons Forum: NSA administers the Welsh Commons Forum, which supports rights’ holders of common land in Wales by sharing knowledge and information and protecting and promoting the importance of traditional grazing and management. Commons within Wales can choose to pay an annual affiliation fee and, if they do so, receive invitations, agendas and minutes to forum meetings (usually four per year). Affiliation subscriptions include receipt of Sheep Farmer magazine and the NSA Weekly Email Update, as well as free entry (discounted in Scotland) for one person to NSA sheep events. Affiliation subscriptions do not include voting rights at NSA meetings. Application is by contact with NSA Head Office or NSA staff. Other relevant information: NSA also maintains a list of individuals with an interest in the Welsh Commons Forum who have not paid an affiliation subscription. These individuals have agreed to have their personal data held by NSA (in line with the NSA Privacy Policy) so they can receive agendas for meetings. Individuals who attend a meeting also receive the minutes of that specific meeting, but not all meetings unless their common becomes affiliated.