In summary, the Secretary is responsible for:
It is important to note that although the Secretary ensures that these responsibilities are met, much of the work may be delegated to paid staff or volunteers.
Given these responsibilities, the Secretary often acts as an information and reference point for the Chair and other committee members: clarifying past practice and decisions; confirming legal requirements; and retrieving relevant documentation.
Defining the role in your organisation
What this means in practice depends on the style and size of the organisation:
Where there are no paid staff members...
...the Secretary themselves will carry out all these duties and may also take a greater role in the day-to-day administration of the organisation. This can become a time-consuming role. Some management committees have more than one person with formal responsibility for secretarial tasks (e.g. a Minutes Secretary, Correspondence Secretary and Membership Secretary). Others delegate some of the administrative responsibilities to volunteers outside of the management committee to reduce the burden.
Where there are paid staff members...
...many activities can be delegated (e.g. record keeping, taking minutes, filing correspondence, communication of activities etc). The Secretary then ensures that their responsibilities are met, but will have less involvement in actually carrying them out.
Each Management Committee will have its own way of doing things, and the way in which work is shared out can also depend on the skills, interests or amount of time that a person has to offer. Always ensure that the role description for your Secretary matches the current dynamics of your organisation. (see links below or click here for more on developing role descriptions).
Main responsibilities of the Secretary
The responsibilities of the Secretary of a Management Committee are outlined below:
1. Ensuring meetings are effectively organised and minuted
2. Maintaining effective records and administration
3. Upholding legal requirements
4. Communication and correspondence
Use the links below to access further articles and resources which will help you understand the role of the Secretary and prepare your own role description or person specification:
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