Principle 2 – Working Together

Conflicts of interest

A conflict of interest arises when the interests of a member of the management committee/board are in conflict with the interests of the organisation they are helping to govern. This can be direct, in relation to the interests of the individual, or indirect, in relation to the interests of a close relative or business partner.


Minutes should be detailed enough to give an accurate record of the attendance at the meeting, the content of the meeting and clearly follow the agenda.  Having good minutes prevents time being wasted by going over ground which has already been covered..  The secretary is responsible for taking minutes and ensuring they are circulated.


Management Committee meetings are vital to the effective functioning of the committee and its ability to carry out its role.  They are the means by which the Committee exercises its collective responsibility for leading the organisation.  They need to be well planned, members need to have adequate notice and good quality informaiton in advance.   More...


Healthy conflict, in which conflicting viewpoints are debated, can be of significant benefit to an organisation, if it is effectively managed.  However unhealthy conflict can divert energy, demoralise staff and volunteers, and prevent the organisation from fulfilling its mission.

Voluntary organisations are strongly value-based, and may experience intense conflicts about directions and policies.  Others have difficulty due to conflicting roles or personal differences. more..

Reviewing the performance of the board

Performance appraisal of the management committee or of individual members may seem daunting or even offputting.  However, as volunteers, it is good practice for committee members to have this opportunity for review and to highlight support and development needs.  As the effective 'guardians' of the organisation, the management committee has a responsibilty to ensure that it is working effectively as a team and continues to be capable of meeting the demands of the role.

Induction for new board members

Induction is one of the most practical ways of ensuring new Management Committee members understand their role, the workings of the organisation and their relationship with others in and outside the organisation. All organisations, regardless of their size and purpose, should provide an induction programme for new Committee members. The better your induction, the more effective new members will be!  Create a standard induction process for new members and reduce your ongoing training requirements.

Skills Audit

Management committee/board members should have or ensure that they have access to the diverse range of skills, experience and knowledge needed to run the organisation effectively.

The responsibilities of the management committee vary widely and it is unlikely that each member will possess all the skills, experience and knowledge required. Indeed, some committee members may have been recruited specifically for their skills in a particular area. However, you should ensure that, as a collective, the committee holds the necessary expertise.

Finding and recruiting new board members

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:

Code of Conduct

It is useful when a new committee is elected to agree a code of conduct to underpin how committee members should behave towards one another both during and outside of meetings.  It is good to have a framework in place because it helps to safeguard relationships in times of difficulty and it underlines individual's commitment to the work of the organisation.  Use discussions regarding the Code of Conduct's content to reiterate what is expected from committee members. Ensure you agree procedures for dealing with a breach of the Code and establish who will enforce these.