Prospects gain their patch after gaining acceptance from members of the gang after a suitable period of time.Prospects that are close to receiving their patch are sometimes told to commit a particular crime (such as an aggravated robbery) as a final test of their courage and commitment to the gang.Prospects in ethnic gangs usually take from three to twelve months to earn their patch. In some gangs a person prospects under one particular member, while in others prospects work for all patchmembers. Prospects are taught the way the club operates and as they progress they learn more and more about the gangs criminal activities. He must be accepted as a person who will remain loyal to the gang no matter what.Prospects are required to spend a significant amount of their time at the clubhouse or on gang related activities. Prospects are usually voted in by patchmembers and in many gangs this must be unanimous.From the gangs point of view, it is better that prospects get in trouble than patchmembers. Some gangs have initiation ceremonies but in most bike gangs the new member receives his patch with nothing more than handshakes, backslaps and hugs from the members.Theres usually a party afterwards (known as a patching party) when hes expected to shout.The majority of gangs prefer to approach potential prospects than have people come to them asking to join. They will sometimes take whoever they can get, rather than have no prospects at all, so they have people to undertake menial tasks for them. Prospects of motorcycle gangs are normally aged in their late 20's to late 30's although they are sometimes considerably older.
Prospects are often responsible for carrying guns and other weapons on behalf of the gang.
In some gangs people can become patchmembers without ever prospecting.