Help! Electing office bearers

Office bearers or honorary officers can be recruited using similar methods as are used for Management Committee Members, but specific guidelines will exist for how your organisation elects and appoints officers.

Remember!

Only Management Committee members can be office bearers. Therefore any individuals recruited for these positions must go through the relevant procedures for committee membership.

Recruiting new office bearers

Officers of the Management Committee can be recruited using the same range of methods as those used for Management Committee members.

However, given the additional responsibilities, groups may wish to consider the benefits of a more formal approach which allows them to objectively assess whether an individual has the skills and qualities necessary for the role.

Click here for help in reviewing your recruitment and selection procedures and to access relevant resources.

Officers of the Management Committee are normally drawn from the existing committee membership.  However, where recruitment is extended more widely, those individuals must go through the relevant recruitment and appointment procedures for committee membership before they can be elected as office bearers.

Click here for more information on the appointment of Committee members.

Appointing new office bearers

Remember!

Management Committee members appointed to limited companies usually also become Company Directors. Companies House must be notified of any changes to Company Directors within 14 days.

New Officers can be appointed in a number of ways, most commonly:

  • At the first Committee meeting following the AGM, when the new Committee Members are elected (where Officers are elected by the Management Committee members)
  • At the Annual General Meeting (AGM) (where Officers are elected by the organisation's members).

Check your governing document for your own specific requirements!

Electing a Chairperson

A more formal approach to recruitment of office bearers allows you to objectively assess whether an individual has the skills and qualities necessary for the role.

You may find from your governing document that there are specific rules regarding the appointment of a Chairperson, for example:

  • a fixed term of office (e.g. 1-3 years);
  • a maximum period of continuous service in office (e.g. 1-5 years);
  • a fixed period before a retired Chairperson can be re-elected (e.g. 1-5 years).

These rules help prevent difficult situations such as:

  • an organisation becoming too reliant on its Chairperson;
  • the Chairperson dominating or refusing to stand down;
  • the Chairperson being incompetent but well-liked, and no-one wants to hurt her/his feelings.

It is very important to have a skilled and competent Chairperson.

More on the role of Chairperson
More on the role of Secretary
More on the role of Treasurer