governing documents


Membership organisations should maintain an up-to-date registry of its members. If your organisation is a company limited by guaranteed you have a statutory obligation to maintain your membership records.

What is your membership structure?

Your governing document will generally provide information on membership, including:

Changing Your Governing Document

Scenario - Organisational Growth

Ballycharity Community Association was set up five years ago.  Over the years the organisation's services have proven very popular.  Therefore, it has expanded its activities to meet additional needs in the community.  For example, the organisation set up a crèche for infants.  However, the organisation's constitution states that it has been established to benefit "young people between the ages of 13 and 24 years old."  Therefore, the organisation is working outside its remit. 

Legal Terms Explained

This section provides a brief explanation of the terms associated with your legal structure.

Legal structures for organisations in the voluntary and community sector fall into two main categories: unincorporated and incorporated.  It is important to understand the differences between these and therefore the implications of the legal form that your organisation has, particularly in relation to the potential personal liability of Committee members.

Worksheet: Your Governing Document and Recruitment

Remember! If your organisation is a limited company, Companies House must be advised within 14 days of any changes to the company directors.

Your governing document sets out rules to be followed for recruiting and selecting new Management Committee members. Here are some key areas to look for.

Use this worksheet to:

  • provide a policy framework for recruiting new members; or
  • as part of your induction programme to educate new members regarding your governing documents.