Trustee Role Descriptions


Hampshire Archives Trust

Role Description – Chair

Role Summary

  • Provide leadership and direction to the Board of Trustees/ Executive Committee and enable it to fulfil its responsibilities for the overall governance and strategic direction of the Trust
  • Ensure that the Trust pursues its objects as defined in its constitution, charity law, company law and other relevant legislation/ regulations
  • Facilitate the board/ committee in stimulating excellent, well-rounded and carefully considered strategic decision making

Main responsibilities of the Chair

Board of Trustees/ Executive Committee

  • Oversee the formulation of strategic plans and regular review of long-term strategic aims of the Trust
  • Oversee the development of organisational policies, define goals and targets and evaluate performance against targets
  • Approve the annual cycle of board/ committee meetings and meetings agendas, chair and facilitate meetings, monitor decisions taken at meetings and ensure they are implemented
  • Liaise regularly with the Treasurer to maintain a clear grasp of the Trust’s financial position and to ensure full and timely financial transparency and information disclosure to the board/committee
  • Lead and mentor other board/ committee members to fulfil their responsibilities and enable access to training/coaching/information to enhance the overall contribution of the Board
  • Together with the other members of the Board of Trustees/ Executive Committee, review the board/committee structure, role and staff relationships and ensure the implementation of agreed changes/ developments is carried out.
  • Encourage team working among board/committee members and encourage them to identify and recruit new trustees as required
  • Create a strong, profitable and fulfilling working relationship with trustees through review and self-reflective evaluation of contributions and effectiveness of the board/committee

Community and code of conduct

  • Represent the Trust as a spokesperson at appropriate events, meetings or functions
  • Together with the other members of the Trust board/committee, protect and manage any property of the Trust
  • Lead the board/ committee in fostering relations with potential clients, members and potential funders
  • Lead the board/ committee in dealing with complaints
  • Act as lead/ signatory for correspondence by the Trust to third parties, especially government bodies, so that it is clearly understood this communication is the official view of the Trust
  • Facilitate change and address any conflict within the Board of Trustees/ Executive Committee
  • Ensure adherence to and compliance with key policies, e.g. Equality of Opportunity, Health & Safety and in all decisions and discussions of the board/committee
  • Attend and be a member of other committees or working groups when appropriate, in the role of Chair




  • Understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship and adherence to Nolan’s seven principles of public life; selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership
  • Commitment to the Trust’s objects, aims and values and willingness to devote time to carry out responsibilities
  • Strategic and forward looking vision in relation to the Trust’s objects and aims
  • Good, independent judgement, political impartiality and the ability to think creativity in the context of the Trust and the external environment
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to respect the confidences of colleagues
  • Ability to balance tact and diplomacy with the willingness to challenge and constructively criticise


  • Prior experience of committee/ trustee work
  • Knowledge of the type of work undertaken by the Trust
  • A wider involvement with the voluntary sector
  • Experience of chairing meetings, committee work, some experience of charity finance, charity fundraising
  • Leadership skills exercised through a period of change

Time commitment

  • The board meets at least 3 times a year and the Chair is expected to be available 3 times a year unless prior chairing arrangements have been arranged with the Vice-Chair
  • It is important that the Chair is able to visit the Trust’s base and be available to Trust officers/staff on a regular basis
  • In addition to board/ committee meetings, other contact – usually e;ectronic or by telephone- will be necessary
Vice Chairman

Role Summary

  • Management of formal meetings
  • Charity Commission compliance.
  • Public promotion of the Trust
  • Relations with associated organisations

Main responsibilities of the Secretary

Board of Trustees/Executive Committee meetings

  • Arrange dates of meetings of Board of Trustees/Executive Committee
  • Prepare agendas for Chair’s approval, consulting other trustees as necessary
  • Collate and prepare meeting papers and reports
  • Ensure that agendas and accompanying papers are circulated in good time
  • Attend meetings, take notes and prepare minutes for Chair’s approval
  • Ensure that minutes are circulated as soon as possible after each meeting

Charity Commission

  • Receive Charity Commission newsletter and circulate them to trustees
  • Ensure that Annual Returns are completed and returned on time, together with copies of Annual Report and Accounts
  • Ensure that the Charity Commission Annual Return is completed by the Treasurer in accordance with Charity Commission requirements
  • Update the Trust’s details on the Charity Commission website

Annual Report and Annual General Meeting

  • Arrange the date of the AGM
  • Ensure preparation of the Annual Report

Public Relations

  • Along with other trustees and staff, be prepared to represent the Trust at public meetings and fundraising events


  • Ensure that all policies are kept in operation and that Trust’s brokers are kept informed of any change circumstance that may have implications for the level of risk
  • Ensure that all concerned are aware of the need to report immediately any occurrence or accident that might arise to a claim

Policies and procedures

  • Hold and keep up-to-date all the Trust’s policies and procedures and ensure that the copies are made available as needed

Business Plan

  • Hold and update the Trust’s business plan as agreed by the Board of Trustees/ Executive Committee

Promotion of the Trust

  • Co-ordinate with other trustees regarding the promotion of Trust

Role Summary

  • Be responsible for the financial management of the Trust.
  • Oversee the financial affairs of the Trust and ensure they are legal, constitutional and within accepted accounting practice.
  • Ensure proper records are kept and that effective financial procedures are in place.
  • Monitor and report on the financial health of the organisation.
  • Oversee the production of necessary financial reports/returns, accounts and audits.

Main responsibilities of the Treasurer

  • Bank and issues cheques, receipts, bills and general cash management of the Trust, ensuring they are legal, constitutional and within accepted accounting practice.
  • Produce an annual budget, monitor it throughout the year and present it as a written Treasurer’s report (balance sheet, cash flow, fundraising performance etc) for each meeting of the Board of Trustees/ Executive Committee
  • Prepare an annual set of accounts for the year end and present these accounts to audit, sign-off and approval by the Board of Trustees/ Executive Committee prior to the Annual General Meeting. Present the annual accounts to the Annual General Meeting.
  • Liaise with the external examiner.
  • Submit the Charity Commission Annual Return to their required time-scale.
  • Calculate and reclaim gift aid on membership subscriptions and donations.
  • Pay staff salaries (if appropriate) and any other valid remunerations or expenses incurred by Trustees or members of the Trust, as appropriate.
  • Manage all funding arrangements and seek additional bids to ensure the continuation of the Trust.
  • Assist the Chair and Secretary in general aspects of the running of the Trust.
  • Liaise with relevant trustees, staff and/or volunteers to ensure the financial viability of the Trust.
  • Make fellow trustees aware of their financial obligations and take a lead in interpreting financial data for them.
  • Ensure proper records are kept.
  • Ensure effective financial procedures and controls are in place (cheque signatories, purchasing limits, purchasing systems, petty cash/float, salary, pensions, PAYE and NI payments (if appropriate).
  • Appraise the financial viability of plans, proposals and feasibility studies.

Qualities of the Treasurer

  • Knowledge and experience of current and fundraising finance practice relevant to voluntary and community organisations.
  • Knowledge of bookkeeping and financial management
  • Good financial analysis skills
  • Able to communicate clearly

Role description

  • To ensure that all trustees are eligible
  • To ensure that the organisation complies with its governing document (i.e. its trust deed, constitution or memorandum and articles of association), charity law and any other relevant legislation or regulations
  • To ensure that HAT is carrying out its purposes for the public benefit and pursues its objectives as defined in its governing document
  • To ensure the organisation applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objects i.e. the charity must not commit expenditure on activities that are not included in its own objectives, no matter how worthwhile or charitable those activities are
  • To act in HAT’s best interests and contribute actively to the Executive’s role in giving firm strategic direction to the organisation, setting overall policy, defining goals and setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets
  • To act with reasonable care and skill and safeguard the good name and values of the organisation and not to let personal interests, views or prejudices affect your conduct as a trustee
  • To ensure the effective and efficient administration of the organisation making decisions in line with good practice and the rules set by HAT’s governing document, including excluding any trustee who has a conflict of interest from discussions or decision-making on the matter
  • To manage HAT’s resources responsibly and ensure the proper and robust financial management of the organisation
  • To assist in the appointment of any voluntary or paid appointments of personnel to the organisation.
  • In addition to the above statutory duties, each trustee should use any specific skills, knowledge or experience they have to help the Executive reach sound decisions. This may involve scrutinising Executive papers, leading discussions, focusing on key issues and providing advice and guidance on new initiatives or on other issues in which the trustee has special expertise