the third sector interface for the Falkirk Council area
supporting, developing and representing community groups,
voluntary organisations, social enterprises and volunteering
Have you just joined a committee/board?
Are you thinking about joining a committee/board?
Are you part of a committee/board that wants to review the way it does things?
If any of these apply to you then this section will be of interest to you. If you're part of a board or committee then reviewing how you operate and what you do is very worthwhile doing every now and again.
What is Governance?
"Governance is the process by which a governing body (the board, management committee, council of management or whatever it is called) ensures that an organisation is effectively and properly run." Sandy Adirondack
Every organisation has a governing body whose members are legally responsible for ensuring the organisation operates properly and achieves its objectives.
The governing body can be called the committee, management committee, board of directors, board of trustees depending upon the type of organisation and structure.
Committee member, Director, Trustee - what are you called?
Different types of organisations give their committees and their committee members different names.
The most common are: Committee member
Board of Directors
OSCR, The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, in all its guidance and documents for charities, uses the term trustees for all types of committee member regardless of the structure of the organisation.
How is the governing body formed?
The committee is elected at the Annual General Meeting. The constitution (or other governing document, for example Articles of Association for a company limited by guarantee) will explain how committee members are elected, how many there are and how the committee operates.
The committee usually consists of a chairperson, secretary, and treasurer with a number of ordinary members.
Some committees also have other office bearers such as vice chair, minute secretary, membership secretary etc.
The role of the governing body
The role of the governing body, the committee, is to make sure that the organisation meets its aims. To do this, the governing body must see to it that the organisation is effective and well run.
Common Duties and Responsibilities
Whatever the name and structure of the group, all committee members have some common duties and responsibilities. These include:
• Making sure the organisation complies with its governing document, company or charity law and any other relevant areas of legislation or regulations
• Being responsible for the planning and direction of the organisation and its activities and monitoring progress
• Making sure that there are proper financial management and reporting systems in place and that the organisation is financially stable
• Making sure the organisation has relevant policies and procedures in place and is effectively managed
• Being accountable to all stakeholders e.g. members, funders, service users, the wider community
• Acting as employers to all staff, ensuring that all staff and volunteers are well managed, supported and supervised
• Making sure that the committee is effective and efficient in all that it does and that there are good working practices between committee and staff
Since a committee has overall responsibility for the management of the organisation's affairs it is important that they meet regularly and make sure that the correct information comes to meetings so that committee members can make informed decisions. Committee members are responsible for making sure that they and the organisation meet all legal and regulatory responsibilities.
Further support and information
We provide training sessions to support committees and board improve the way they manage themselves and their organisations. We can also provide information about roles within the committee, running meetings, running AGMs and so on.
Last updated: 06 October 2012