Introducing the new BMFA membership portal for individuals and club management.
It became apparent about 18 months ago that we would need to replace our existing membership database and online membership capabilities as they could not be made compliant with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), nor were they any longer supported by the developers. This prompted a search for a suitable replacement which involved investigating a number of bespoke solutions specifically tailored to our requirements, but this option was soon discarded due to a very high initial investment £80k-£100k with potentially high ongoing costs. This left us looking at a number of “off the shelf” solutions with some options that could be tailored to our needs. We finally settled on the GoMembership platform offered by Azolve LTD.
Azolve LTD are a UK company, headquartered in Glasgow with their registered office in Harrogate. They are also registered with the UK Information Commissioners office and the GoMembership Platform is hosted on EU based servers that comply with all EU requirements for data security and the platform meets all the requirements of GDPR. The data on the platform is owned by the BMFA as the “Data Controller”. It is also worth remembering that neither the BMFA or Azolve retain any credit/debit card or bank account details for any financial transactions.
There are a number of links from the main BMFA website at www.bmfa.org to the membership portal which is an entirely separate website and currently requires a separate login to that you use on www.bmfa.org.
First Time log-in
The membership portal is hosted at https://bmfa.azolve.com and all current and recently lapsed members (last 7 years) are registered on the new platform already so you do not need to register again. You do however need to set yourself a password. Enter your email address and click on Forgot Password and an email should be sent to you.
If you get an “Invalid User Name” error message or the password reset email does not arrive this will be because your registration does not have an active or current email address associated with it. In this case please email firstname.lastname@example.org asking for a password reset email, you will need to provide your membership number and the email address you wish to use. Please do not register again. We will then ensure your registration has the active email address and send you the password reset email.
We have added a users guide which you can download from www.bmfa.org/portalguide
Benefits and Features for individual members.
Once you have logged in you have access to the GoMembership menu where you can access your members profile and keep your details updated, download your membership documents and achievement scheme certificates.
One big improvement with this portal is the facility for you to renew online and still remain affiliated to a club, in fact you can now be listed with all the clubs you are a member of, previously if you joined online you could only be listed as a country member. Since the launch of the previous portal we have had a large increase in those listed as country members despite being a member of a club as it was so easy for individuals to manage their own BMFA membership. On your members profile you can now have all the clubs showing that you are a member of.
If you are in a club and also have country member showing you should select to leave the “Country Member” club and select which club you want to declare as your lead/primary club. Click the 3 dots in the club tile to access the menu to do this.
If you click on achievements you will see all your achievement scheme ratings, by clicking on the rating you have the facility to download and print your certificate.
However, the primary purpose of the portal is to make managing your membership renewals online as easy as possible and help us switch to a more paperless system. You now have an extra payment option, you can still pay by credit/debit card and there is now a “Pay by Bank” option which is a one off non-recurring direct debit. We will be adding the facility for automatic renewals in time for 2020 membership renewals too. As soon as you renew through the portal you have immediate access to download and print your membership documents and clubs you are a member of can see immediately that you have renewed. No more waiting for documents through the post!! Your 2019 Member sticker will be included in the second BMFA News edition of 2019.
While we would prefer members to renew through the portal or directly with an affiliated club, as this is the most cost effective and simple way, it will still be possible to join over the telephone or by post.
Benefits and Features for affiliated clubs.
Since we introduced the original club management portal we have had many requests for the facility to be able to add country members and those with a different lead club to their membership lists. With the GoMembership platform this is now possible and we strongly recommend that all clubs use the portal and ensure that all your club members are listed. The portal can then become a secure data store for all your members information which means you no longer need to maintain and securely store a separate membership list. The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation places the responsibility for securely storing personal data with the club, this new portal provides you with fully GDPR compliant secure storage. We have produced a guide which explains the procedures for adding country members to your membership lists, this is accessible through the Documents tile in the menu, along with a number of other useful documents. The old database did not have the capabilities of listing anything other than a members lead club so we could not add those other members to your lists when the data was imported.
Along with the new portal we are launching a new club map. If you want your club to show on this map, which is already proving useful for attracting new members, you will need to add your “geotag” to your club profile. Take a look in the documents tile for a guide on adding your geotag. Using the club map potential new members can send you a request to join, you will then be able to send them details of your joining procedures before deciding whether to approve or reject their request.
There are a number of summary views and filters that allow you to see at a glance your members BMFA membership status and membership type, their club membership status and roles, there are individual and bulk renewal options and credit/debit card and “Pay by bank” options through the portal as well as a “Request Invoice” feature which you can use to make a BACS payment or send in with a cheque.
There are a number of reports available for clubs and we have some ideas for more which we will add in time.
The portal represents a huge leap forward in terms of data security, flexibility and features for clubs and we strongly recommend all clubs use the portal and encourage all your club members to also use the portal. This will dramatically cut the resources required for printing and posting items both from the BMFA head office but also for clubs too and could bring substantial cost savings.
For the 2019 renewals we have sent out the full renewal packs to all clubs but for 2020 renewals we will only be doing this where a club specifically requests a pack.
To ensure your club has the required access to club administration features please email email@example.com with details of those in your club who need access.
Hopefully many of you will have had chance to attend some of the club admin training workshops we have arranged in conjunction with the BMFA areas, we also have the facility to provide some online assistance and training for those that need it. To arrange this please email firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also a club administrators guide in the documents tile and available for download from www.bmfa.org/club-admin-guide
Events & Courses
Another very useful feature of the new portal is the Events & Courses feature which we will start to make more and more use of. We have already used this for the club administrator’s workshops and we will be listing all Examiner and Instructor workshops on the portal for you to book places on and awarding certificates for attendance too. We may also in time use the portal for pre-booking tickets for the various Nationals and other events.
We have had a small number of members contact us concerned that we have passed personal data to a third party without their consent and that their data may be used for targeted advertising or other purposes. This is not the case, Azolve Ltd who we have appointed as a BMFA “Data Processor” to provide the platform for us to host the data and they only access the data if requested by us and they do not have access to share any data with any third parties. Azolve provide the GoMembership platform to a large number of other UK sporting governing bodies all of which have differing requirements, for example some governing bodies need to track a users experience on their version of the platform and if they choose they can activate tools such as Google Analytics to do this. The Azolve terms and conditions reflect the broad range of options that may be activated on the various instances of the GoMembership platform across all the governing bodies and associations using the platform. However please be assured that the BMFA do not see a need to track your use of the platform and therefore there are no tracking tools, such as Google Anlaytics enabled on the BMFA GoMembership platform and only the minimum amount of data is collected to enable us to provide the expected membership services.
If you have any questions do not hesitate to drop me an email to email@example.com
Club Support Officer