Renewal and recruitment

Recruitment of new management committee/board members should be open and focused on creating a diverse, skilled and effective managment committee/board.  The management committee/board should plan for and have a strategy for its own renewal.

(Supporting principle to Principle 4 of The Code of Good Governance)

Keeping a management committee fresh, focused and effective has to involve regular renewal of its membership.  This enables the committee to periodically review what skills or attributes the committee requires to meet the changing challenges and demands of the organisation.  It can also help to strengthen the commitment and enthusiasm of individual committee members, by introducing mechanisms for limiting their term of office.

Recruiting new members onto a Management Committee is not as straightforward as recruiting for other voluntary roles:

  • Special guidelines and procedures need to be followed to ensure Committee Members are legally appointed;
  • A number of groups find it challenging to attract people with the skills or attributes they need;
  • Some potential volunteers are reluctant to take on the responsibilities; and
  • New members may struggle to get up to speed with the breadth of their responsibilities.

Important Note:

Recruiting members for your Management Committee is different from recruiting members for your organisation. Check your governing documents for clarification on the relevant procedures.

However, at the same time, recruiting new members provides a great opportunity to strengthen and diversify your Management Committee, increasing its overall effectiveness and ability to achieve its goals.

Given the key role that the Management Committee plays in the success of the organisation, it is worth spending a little time planning your recruitment and reviewing how you attract, select and involve new members.

Healthy Turnover Of Members

It is challenging for management committees to maintain a balance between ensuring continuity and being a ‘closed shop'. However, succession planning enables committees to anticipate and manage turnover when members resign or reach the end of their term of office.  Such healthy turnover helps to ensure openness and accountability but is underpinned by effective planning to secure sufficient continuity.

There is a wide variation in the size of management committees and in the election process. Often small community groups often think they should have 12 or more Management Committee members while some large organisations have far fewer people on the Management Committee. Similarly some organisations think they have to re-elect the entire committee each year, while others have the same people on the Management Committee for years with little opportunity for others to get elected.  Large organisation's Management Committees are more likely to be allowed an indefinite stay and the very smallest groups were far more likely to re-elect members after just one year.

The election process

Charity Commission for England and Wales

Download guidance on Finding New Trustees- What Charities Need to Know

There are a variety of ways of re-electing the committee. One way to provide continuity is for a third of the committee to retire each year. Some organisations hold elections every two years. The minimum and maximum number of Management Committee members and the process for election is often set down in the governing document. Remember that it is good practice to review your governing document and make changes or amendments to it to ensure that your organisation is governed effectively.

This section includes good practice advice, tips, tools and resources to support you in recruiting the members you need to build your Management Committee.  Some topics which you may wish to consider include:

Good practice standards

Remember! Management Committee members are also volunteers. Throughout this section we will refer you to the standards of good practice defined in the National Occupational Standards for the Management of Volunteers. These provide clear and helpful checklists for different aspects of volunteer recruitment.

Volunteer Now provides training, support and advice on volunteer recruitment.  All their training is based on the NOS for Management of Volunteers.