Principle 2 – Working Together

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).

Co-option

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.   

Membership

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:

Elections

The Election Process

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.