Keyholder Policy

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(((draft status only)))

(Objective here is to strike a balance between expediency, strictness, fairness, and bureaucracy. Committee members are assumed to be keyholders by default.)

Keyholder Requirements

You will be expected to open the Space for other members, and are responsible for the security and safety of the Space. Whilst the Space is in your care, you are expected to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of yourself and others. In particular, you must try to ensure Health and Safety rules are followed, most especially the Power Tool usage policies. We do however realise that people are not omniscient.

You may have to deal with incidents, accidents and medical emergencies. Keys will only be granted if the Committee believe you are able to cope with this.

If you are the active keyholder you can not leave the Space until you have clearly handed over to another keyholder - the space can not be left unlocked (or occupied) without a current keyholder in the building. If you are closing down, you must ensure the Shutdown Procedure has been followed.

A keyholder has the right to ask a member not to do something or to leave the building, however keyholders do not have any other authority granted to them by being a keyholder. A keyholder is not of a higher standing than any other member.

[This is bothersome to phrase. On the one hand keyholders have no authority, yet on the other they are essentially responsible for the space in all but legal terms, expected to try to ensure rules are followed, etc.]

A key can be relinquished by the keyholder or withdrawn by the Committee at any time. If a key has been relinquished by the member then they will need to reapply for practical reasons, but having previously been a keyholder is likely to result in most applications being fast tracked.

A key cannot be lent to other people and can only be used by the keyholder, unless in exceptional circumstances. This may only be done in advance with the permission of the Committee.

The key or fob should not have any identifying tag indicating what it is for.

As a keyholder, you must always remember that you're a Womble.

Routes for consideration for becoming a keyholder.

Criteria one; be an active full member of the Makerspace for a year or more. Constant attendance is not essential, as long as we know you well!

- or -

Criteria two; be an active full member of the Makerspace for four months or more, and have helped significantly with operational, educational, and/or maintenance tasks. Frequent attendance is by nature essential for this route to apply.

Once either criteria has been met, a member can be nominated to become a keyholder by recommendation from a current keyholder, and endorsement by at least two others, all three of whom have should have held keys for a year or more. Notice of this nomination must be displayed in the Makerspace.

If there are no objections or concerns raised within two weeks to any Director, then any Director may fast track the request if they feel it is appropriate and have verified that no issues were raised. If objections are raised, then the Committee will debate the matter in due course and award the key or not by majority vote. They also have the option to defer the decision on the application until the next meeting, by which time the concerns/issues have been addressed or responded to by the applicant.

[Above rule should be relaxed over time. Timeframes could be tightened, and a clause about dismissing trivial objections added, eg 'I think Jim didn't pay for a print last month' doesn't warrant a Committee meeting.]

If a key application is unsuccessful then it should not be taken personally; instead consider any feedback given. Usually this will simply be due to the fact that the community does not know the applicant well enough yet! A member can re-apply after being rejected (or after withdrawing their application) at any time, once any outstanding issues have been addressed.

If a key application is successful, then the new keyholder will be given a keyholder's induction, and the key thereafter. This solemn and time-honoured ritual mainly revolves around turning the heating off properly.

Routes to lose key access

No longer being an active member (exceptions may apply; life intrudes).

Leaving the Space unsecured.

Allowing people into the space that you do not know and trust. Exceptions are made for guests of other members, or prospective members touring the Space, in which case they will need escorting and guiding.

Breaking Makerspace rules.

Frequent or serious failure to follow Shutdown Procedures. [Jon is working on these]

Otherwise no longer meeting or adhering to the Keyholder Requirements mentioned above.

Most importantly, forgetting that you're a Womble.

Breaches such as the above could cause your key to be forfeit at the discretion of the Committee, for a period deemed commensurate to the offence, or indefinitely.

To Do / Consider

Some Makerspaces allow newer members to buy-in to get keys. I'm really not sure we want to go this route, ultimately we still need to know them and that they can safely run and look after the place, which needs time & involvement. Machine donation is also considered a form of buy-in, although arguably a more useful one.

We need a slightly less ad hoc shutdown procedure so that it can be followed to minimise chance of oversights.