Roles and Responsibilities of Office Bearers


The chair directs the group’s activities and guides the committee meetings. The chair has a clear understanding of the group’s interests, lets everyone have their say and makes sure the constitution is upheld. The chair is responsible for making sure agreed tasks are carried out, and making decisions between meetings if necessary.

Before meetings the chair should plan and understand the agenda and ensure all necessary information is available. At meetings the chair should welcome everyone, introduce new members and visitors, ask for any apologies and check the minutes are an accurate record of the previous meeting. During meetings the chair should introduce each item and its purpose, request contributions, encourage participation, ensure others do not dominate the meeting, delegate tasks, record votes if necessary, and make sure the meeting keeps to time.

At the end of each meeting the chair should allow time for “any other business”, confirm the time, date and location of the next meeting, close the meeting and thank everyone for attending.

The chairperson should:

 Help prepare agendas
 Guide conduct of meetings
 Build unity of purpose
 Welcome new members and introduce guests
 Know and understand the constitution
 Ensure sufficient consideration of issues
 Try to promote consensus
 Prevent anyone taking over and dominating discussions
 Get through the agenda on time
 Sum up problems, points, decisions
 Ensure decisions are carried out
 Delegate tasks
 Represent group to the outside world

The chairperson should always have:

 A diary
 Appropriate paperwork for the meeting – agenda, minutes, reports
 Notepad and pen
 Folder to keep paperwork in order
 Watch or clock to ensure meetings keep to time, and
 Chairperson hammer – to keep order!

Vice Chair

The vice chair assumes the role and responsibilities of the chairperson in their absence.


The group secretary is responsible for taking and circulating minutes, preparing agendas for meetings, organising paperwork and correspondence, distributing information to members, and keeping members up-to-date about dates for other meetings and events.

The secretary should:

 Prepare an agenda in consultation with the chairperson
 Arrange and book a suitable venue for the meeting and guest speaker if necessary
 Send notice of the meeting and agenda to all committee members so that they will receive them at least a week before the meeting is arranged. These should always be sent out even if they are held at the same time and place each week or month
 Keep a complete, approved and signed up to date set of minutes
 Attend to all incoming and outgoing correspondence
 Make phonecalls and gather information
 Maintain minutes and records in an accurate filing system
 Keep diary of forthcoming events
 Keep record of everyone attending the meeting or collect their names in an attendance book
 Record apologies of absence
 Ensure a quorum is present before any business is done
 At meeting – read minutes of previous meeting (unless already sent out) and obtain the chairman’s signature for the official copy
 At meeting – read out all correspondence received and report any action taken since last meeting, and
 Ensure chairperson is supplied with all necessary papers and information relevant to the meeting.

The secretary should always have:

 A diary
 Necessary paperwork for the meeting – agenda, minutes, reports and spare copies for committee members who may have forgotten theirs
 Notebook and pen
 Folder to keep paperwork in order
 Headed notepaper with the organisation’s logo
 Stamps and envelopes, and
 Computer or typewriter


The treasurer looks after the group’s income and expenditure by keeping the finances up-todate, keeping track of receipts and bank statements and compiling financial reports detailing income and expenditure. The treasurer is responsible for budgeting for the group and preparing annual financial accounts that must be checked by an independent person.

The treasurer should:

 Operate clear and accurate book-keeping system and be able to handle figures
 Be responsible for proper handling of the finance of the organisation, but not the actual raising of money
 Be one of three office bearers of the committee authorised to draw out money

Before the meeting:

 Prepare a financial report before each meeting
 Check members have paid their subscription (if applicable)
 Ensure all approved bills are paid

At the meeting:

 Present a report of money paid into the account
 Bring all account books to the meeting so that he or she can answer any questions
 Advise the group on the amount of money available for the groups work and highlight any possibility of excess spending
 Collect any subscription (if appropriate)

At the Annual General Meeting (AGM):

 Prepare a financial statement for audit prior to the AGM
 Present the balance sheet and financial statement at the AGM after they have received audited accounts

The treasurer should always have:

 A diary
 A money box
 A cheque book
 An accounts book
 Folder for receipts
 Receipt book
 Bank book
 Petty cash book
 Note pad
 Paperwork for meetings

The Committee Members

The committee members should:

 Attend meetings punctually
 Arrive prepared with agenda and relevant papers
 Stick to the agenda
 Work as a team
 Support and encourage quieter members
 Discourage domination by one or few
 Take action on tasks identified from the previous minute
 Vote on issues
 Assist with projects, fund raising etc
 Aim towards constructive discussion and decisions
 Stick to the decisions of the group
 Encourage membership

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