Administrative Meeting Guidelines
These guidelines cover the administrative aspects of committee/management team meetings, AGMs, and issue or event planning meetings. Remember meetings should only be held when appropriate – it is not necessary to hold monthly meetings for the sake of it.
Clubs operating on a standard committee basis will normally have a Club Secretary who, in conjunction with the Club Chairman, should deal with administrative meetings. Clubs operating on a Management Team basis may have members who share this role. Either way the administrative aspects of dealing with meetings should be no more onerous than is appropriate. The key components include:
- Planning meeting practicalities
- Preparing and distributing the agenda
- Taking, arranging for checking then distributing minutes.
Deal with Practicalities
Meetings may take place at someone’s home, a hired venue or virtually. If appropriate book a venue at a location and time that is convenient for expected attendees. AGMs normally take place in the month designated by the constitution, usually at the standard club meeting time – see Club Management
Some meetings may be more effective and cost efficient if done virtually. It may be worthwhile taking out a subscription to Zoom or alternative technology such as Skype or Microsoft Teams, but such technologies are changing all the time so options should be kept open for the future.
Plan appropriate refreshments. Ensure adherence to hired venue’s requirements – eg access, parking, use of facilities, locking up and appropriate regulations – see Health and Safety Risk Assessment for Venues
Circulate the agenda, reports and other information in advance to give attendees chance to read them beforehand.
Prepare the Agenda
Committee/Management Team Meetings often have agendas with items as listed below. However this is not mandatory – a less formal, more pragmatic approach may be acceptable, and for some meetings these topics will not be relevant. However it is always worth listing topics in a logical order – for example decisions about how much to spend should be made after the financial status has been discussed.
An Agenda should be headed by a meeting title, and details of when/where it will take place. Agendas are now usually sent via email – either within the text of the email or as an attachment. If sent as an attachment it should ideally be sent as a PDF file as some service providers may reject other file types. It should be sent to all those invited to attend.
If the meeting is to take place virtually the meeting link should be emailed in the day or so before the meeting so recipients are more likely to be able to find it in their Inbox.
Suggested items on a committee/management team meeting agenda:
- Roll call and apologies
- Minutes of last meeting and matters arising
- Chairman’s report – if there is a chairman
- Special events (past or future) – or issues may be separate agenda items.
- Report from higher levels in the organisation. For example, Area Council Meetings should include report from the National Advisory Council of NAFAS; club meetings should include a report on information from the BB&O Area.
- Any Other Business (AOB) to cover anything that did not fall into any other agenda item.
- Date/venue for next meeting
Deal with Minutes
Minutes are a written record of what happened at a meeting. They should make sense when read by those not at the meeting, and if referred to at a later date. Formal minutes are not mandatory – a less structured, more pragmatic approach may be acceptable – possibly just notes of key decisions and actions..
Minutes should be clear, unbiased and written in past tense. The style and presentation of minutes should be appropriate – no longer than necessary to make them readable, understandable and useful. Main components of minutes are listed below, but which of these items to include will depend on circumstances. The most important items are actions and agreements.
- Title, type and objectives of the meeting. For example, <Organisation> AGM, Committee Meeting or <Event> planning meeting
- Date, including the year, and optionally where it took place
- Who was present, and optionally who sent apologies
- Corrections to previous minutes if appropriate
- Summary of discussions and agreements reached
- Actions placed on whom and by when, including actions carried forward from earlier meetings. It is advisable to make actions stand out clearly – for example in a separate column, or highlighted.
- Any formal resolutions should be recorded in full with the name of proposer, seconder and result of the vote.
- Date and venue for next meeting if fixed
For regular meetings it may be helpful to create outline minutes in advance. This makes it easy to number the minute items to match the agenda. . The person taking the minutes may type and create the minutes during the meeting, or may take notes and summarise later – helpful if digressions from the agenda are allowed to occur.
It may seem easy for reports to be pasted into minutes, but this is not necessarily the best approach. Summaries are easier for recipients to read and understand. Even if reports are pasted in, it is advisable to strip out superfluous words – for example ‘Good afternoon everyone’. Any discussion, agreements and actions related to a report must be recorded.
Minutes should be checked by the meeting chairman before being circulated. When circulating minutes via email they should always be sent in PDF format.