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Committees - Roles and Responsibilities

The committee is usually elected at the organisation's Annual General Meeting. New provisions may decide to elect at the first meeting. The roles that are required to be included in the constitution are as follows:

  • Chairperson
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary

The other members of the committee are sometimes referred to as 'officers'; it is vital everyone knows what their role is within committee as a whole. This is sometimes set out within the group's constitution. All officers need a basic understanding of the constitution.

A brief outline of the main role of each of the members follows.

The Chairperson

The chair leads on meetings, is the line manager for staff and the representative of the charity.

The chair takes charge of open meetings and committee meetings - seeing that they are effective and that decisions taken are implemented as the committee members wish.

The chair is usually the line manager of the person in charge.

The chair must support and authorise the work of the treasurer, checking at regular intervals that the money baked corresponds to receipts etc.

The Vice-Chair

The vice-chair stands in for the chair and helps with decisions between meetings.

The chair should ensure the vice-chair knows enough about current issues within the organisation to be able to stand in for the chair a short notice. In some organisations, the vice-chair has responsibility for specific issues, for example personnel issues.

The Treasurer

The treasurer must ensure the group meets all its financial obligations. The treasurer must:

  • keep records of all the groups financial transactions and present accounts at AGM in addition to budgeting and forecasting reports

  • advise the committee and senior staff of the financial implications of the business plan and budget 

  • understand the importance of financial procedures and controls 

  • ensure accounts are audited and examined 

  • raise invoices as appropriate and maintain credit control 

  • process salary and expenses and operate HM Revenue and Customs procedures or inform the payroll agency of changes and adjustments 

  • provide that the chair receives a copy of the groups bank statements

The Secretary

The secretary deals with all of the group's official paperwork, apart from keeping accounts.

The secretary keeps all correspondence, arranges venues for meetings and, and in consultation with the chair, draws up the agenda and circulates it in plenty of time before meetings.

The secretary also takes minutes and keeps all records.

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