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Principle 1

Ensuring appropriate organisational structures are in place

Structure of the Organisation

Organisations can have different internal structures, however, there are a number of consistent roles that are key to any well-run organisation.

The governing document will outline the basic legal structure of the organisation e.g. members who elect a committee.  It will indicate the size of the committee and may indicate what office-bearers the committee should have e.g. chair, vice-chair, treasurer and minute secretary (and voluntary organisations that are companies limited by guarantee may have a company secretary).  Some committees, sometimes where there are few staff, may also ask particular committee members to take responsibility for key areas e.g. safeguarding, health & safety, research & evaluation, human resources, external communications, etc.  The committee needs to ensure there are clear descriptions of each of these roles and those appointed have the appropriate skills.  Links to more information on these roles is given below.

The committee may decide to create sub-committees and/or ‘task and finish’ working groups.  The most common sub-committees are finance, audit and risk, governance, personnel.  The role and responsibilities of any such committees or working groups should be agreed by the management committee in writing.  They may include individuals with particular skills who are not on the management committee.