Secretary - The person who is chosen to keep a record of all the decisions and discussions that are held by the group is called the secretary.
This role is a very important one and should be taken by someone who has the skills and commitment needed.
Skills required include:
• accurate recording
• understanding the information
• checking for accuracy
• The secretary writes letters from the Club to other Clubs/Leagues or individuals
• The mail for the Club comes to the secretary who then passes it to the other members or takes it to the meetings to be ‘tabled’
• To prepare the agenda for the next meeting. This usually happens after an agenda meeting has been held or information is gathered from all members about what they want. Often the agenda is set by the ‘executive’ of the committee. The executive group is usually made up of the chairperson, the secretary and the treasurer
• Formal and accurate records are kept of what is discussed and decided at each of the meetings. This is referred to as taking the ‘minutes’. In some Clubs the secretary does not take the minutes. Some groups appoint a ‘minute secretary’ whose only role is to take the minutes of the meeting. This person doesn’t need to be a member of the committee. This person would not have voting rights
• Records of the Club need to be kept. This could include a list of all the members, previous committee members, previous decisions that have been made. Any correspondence that has been received that gives information or is related to important decisions is also kept. Important historical records may also be kept and held in a safe place by the secretary
• The secretary can act on behalf of the Club when the committee has taken that decision or resolution. One example of this might be if the secretary was asked to seek many quotes for the purchase of a piece of equipment for the Club
• The relationship between the secretary and the other members of the committee is important. Communication with the chairperson should be on a regular basis. When writing the agenda for the next meetings it will be necessary for the secretary to meet with the Chairperson and/or other executive members of the committee
The Specific duty of Minute Taking
Minutes are the formal and legal record required to record the business of a Club.
• Minutes can be used in a court of law and may be used by ‘auditors’ to check that any spending of funds has been authorized and used for what it was intended
• Funding bodies may require copies of the minutes to show that the Club agreed to apply for funds
• How the minutes are written is very important. It is important to take the notes at the time of the meeting. If necessary, write the minutes into a final draft after the meeting
• It is helpful when writing minutes to imagine that if you had not been at the meeting would you be able to understand what had happened from reading the minutes
• Minutes should be written clearly, in the order that the discussions happened and with enough detail so that it can be easily understood
• Minutes should be kept in a book or special folder as a permanent record
• After each meeting when the minutes are read, moved as correct, seconded and everyone is happy with them they should be signed off by the Chairperson