Role of Secretary

The secretary is responsible for keeping people informed of the group’s activities and their main duty is the day-to-day running of the group.  The exact work and the amount of work they are required to do will depend on the size and nature of the organisation, on your group’s legal structure and whether or not you are a registered charity.

For incorporated groups/organisations, having a separate Company Secretary is no longer mandatory. If your Company Ltd By Guarantee or Community Interest Company already has a separate company secretary, but decides it no longer needs one, you can notify Companies House using the correct form.  Remember that you should also check what it says in your company’s Articles. Some old Articles may make specific references to appointing a Company Secretary, in which case they would need to be reviewed, and the correct procedures followed to make an amendment. For more information on this visit Companies House Website.

Usually the Secretary will:-

  • handle the group’s correspondence and keep records
  • send any reports or publicity to the media (unless there is a publicity officer)
  • keep membership lists up to date
  • keep records of all correspondence for at least one year
  • ensure legal duties are carried out, including (where relevant) reporting to Companies House and/or OSCR, however the committee is jointly responsible for legal duties and it should not be assumed that the secretary will take these duties.  Have a meeting and decide how to divide tasks up but do make sure that a named person, or persons, takes responsibility

The Secretary also has a role to play before, during and after meetings.

Role of the Secretary - before each meeting

  • liaise with the chairperson, treasurer, committee members and staff as appropriate to draw up the agenda and check that all members have carried out any work they undertook to do
  • book the meeting venue, and arrange catering if required
  • distribute the agenda
  • give adequate notice calling the meeting (according to your group’s governing document)
  • send out all relevant papers, for example, minutes of the last meeting, reports and correspondence, etc.  prior to the meeting, or make them available at the meeting
  • record apologies

Role of the Secretary - during meetings

  • ensure that a quorum is present (refer to the number of people stated in your group’s governing document as being the minimum required to vote or make a decision)
  • take minutes (unless there is a minute secretary).  Advise the chairperson of any information which may be particularly relevant

Role of the Secretary - after meetings 

  • write up the minutes as soon as possible
  • copy draft minutes to the chair and to any persons not present at the meeting
  • make sure everyone knows what action points they have agreed to do, this should be recorded on the minutes
  • never destroy the minute book or file

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Last Updated 04/02/2013 12:18