Principle 1 - Roles and responsibilities

Principle 1 - Roles and responsibilities

Overseeing the Work of the Organisation

The committee needs to have a good understanding at a strategic level of the work of an organisation.  This includes an awareness of the vision, values and mission, strategic and operational plans, staffing, funding and finance, monitoring and evaluation relating to an organisation's work.  The management committee also has a responsibility to present regular reports of the organisation's work to members, funders and stakeholders.  For example the Charity Commission.


The Treasurer has a watchdog role over all aspects of financial management, working closely with other members of the Management Committee to safeguard the organisation's finances.  

It is important to note that although the Treasurer ensures that these responsibilities are met, much of the work may be delegated to a finance sub-committee and paid staff or volunteers.

In summary, the Treasurer is responsible for:


In summary, the Secretary is responsible for:

  1. Ensuring meetings are effectively organised and minuted
  2. Maintaining effective records and administration
  3. Upholding the legal requirements of governing documents, charity law, company law etc (where relevant).
  4. Communication and correspondence

It is important to note that although the Secretary ensures that these responsibilities are met, much of the work may be delegated to paid staff or volunteers.

Roles and responsibilities

The role of management committee members is described may vary according to the size and nature of the organisation. However, all committee members are individually committing to:

• upholding the values and objectives of the organisation;
• giving adequate time and energy to the duties of being a trustee; and
• acting with integrity and avoiding or declaring personal conflicts of interest. 

(Adapted from Good Governance: A Code for the Voluntary and Community Sector).

Decision Making

Decision making

Management committees are responsible for taking major strategic decisions and need to take decisions jointly with other members. In making any big decision, a number of steps are involved, including some or all of the following:-


Co-option is when a new member is appointed to a board because of a paticular skill set or area of interest, usually on a short term basis.   It is usually done during the year and not at the AGM. It is not permitted by all governing documents so you should look carefully at your organisation's governing document before considering co-opting someone on to your board.  Your constituion may also provide for different voting rights etc for the co-opted person and this needs to be made clear.

What is the Role of the Chairperson?

The role of a Chairperson is time consuming, with work between meetings, external representation of the organisation, and work with staff. Chairing a large organisation requires diplomatic and leadership skills of a high level.

Main duties of the chairperson

The responsibilities of a Chairperson can be summarised under five areas:

1. To provide leadership.

The overarching role of the chairperson is to provide leadership, they must be an effective strategist and a good networker.   

Analyse the External Environment

Organisations need to have information about the challenges, opportunities and future trends, inside and outside. So whether your organisation is just starting up or is already established, the first step in the planning process is to assess the external and internal position of an organisation. A SWOT analysis is one method commonly used to identify.

S - Strengths 

W - Weaknesses

O - Opportunities

T - Threats