Trustee

  • Job Purpose:

    1. Ensuring that the charity has a clear vision, mission and strategic direction and is focused on achieving these;

    2. Being responsible for the performance of the charity and for its “corporate” behaviour;

    3. Ensuring that the charity complies with all legal and regulatory requirements;

    4. Acting as guardians of the charity’s assets, both tangible and intangible, taking all due care over their security, deployment and proper application;

    5. Ensuring that the charity’s governance is of the highest possible standard.


    Main Duties and Tasks:

    1. Ensuring that the charity has a clear vision, mission and strategic direction and is focused on achieving these;

    To work in partnership with other trustees, the chief executive and other senior staff to ensure that

    • the charity has a clear vision, mission and strategic plan that have been agreed by the board, and that there is a common understanding of these by trustees and staff.

    • the business, operational and other plans support the vision, mission and strategic priorities.

    • the chief executive’s annual and longer term objectives and targets support the achievement of the vision, mission & strategic priorities.

    • board policies support the vision, mission and strategic priorities.

    • there are effective mechanisms

      • to listen to the views of current and future beneficiaries;

      • to review the external environment for changes that might affect the charity;

      • to re-assess the need for the charity and for the services it provides, or could provide and

      • to review regularly its strategic plans and priorities.


    1. Being responsible, with the other trustees, for the performance of the charity and for its “corporate” behaviour;

    • To agree the method for measuring objectively the progress of the charity in relation to its vision, mission, strategic objectives/priorities, business plans and annual targets, and to receive regular reports on the performance of the charity.

    • To ensure that the fundamental values and guiding principles of the charity are articulated and reflected throughout the charity.

    • To ensure that views of beneficiaries on the performance of the charity are regularly gathered and considered by the board.

    • To appoint the chief executive, to set his/her terms and conditions and to ensure that the chief executive and the charity invest in the chief executive’s ongoing professional development.

    • To receive regular reports from the chief executive on progress towards agreed strategic priorities.

    • To hold the chief executive to account for the management and administration of the charity.

    • To ensure that the chief executive receives regular, constructive feedback on his/her performance in managing the charity and in meeting his/her annual and longer term targets and objectives.

    • To ensure that the chief executive develops a learning organisation and that all staff, both paid and unpaid, review their own performance and regularly receive feedback.

    • To articulate the values of the charity.

    • To agree board policies.

    • To ensure that there are mechanisms for beneficiaries, employees, volunteers, other individuals, groups or organisations to bring to the attention of the trustees any activity that threatens the probity of the charity.




    1. Ensuring that the charity complies with all legal and regulatory requirements;

    • To be aware of, and to ensure the charity complies with, all legal, regulatory and statutory requirements.

    • To maintain familiarity with the rules and constitution that govern the charity, to ensure that the charity complies with its governing instruments and to review the governing instruments regularly.

    • If the charity has powers to delegate, to agree the levels of delegated authority, to ensure that these are recorded in writing by means of minutes, terms of reference for board committees and sub-committees, job descriptions for honorary officers, trustees and key staff, etc., and to ensure that there are clear reporting procedures which are also recorded in writing and complied with.

    • To ensure that the responsibilities delegated to the chief executive are clearly expressed and understood, and directions given to him/her come from the board as a whole.


    1. Being guardians of all the charities assets, both tangible and intangible, taking all due care over their security, deployment and proper application.

    • To ensure that the charity has satisfactory control systems and procedures for holding in trust for the beneficiaries all monies, properties and other assets and to ensure that monies are invested to the maximum benefit of the charity, within the constraints of the law and ethical and other policies laid down by the board.

    • To ensure that the major risks to which the charity is exposed are reviewed annually and that systems have been established to mitigate or minimise these risks.

    • To ensure that the income and property of the charity is applied for the purposes set out in the governing document and for no other purpose, and with complete fairness between persons who are properly qualified to benefit.

    • To act reasonably, prudently and collectively in all matters relating to the charity and always to act in the interests of the charity.

    • To be accountable for the solvency and continuing effectiveness of the charity and the preservation of its endowments.

    • To exercise effective overall control of the charity’s financial affairs and to ensure that the way in which the charity is administered is not open to abuse by unscrupulous associates, employees or volunteers; and that the systems of control are rigorous and constantly maintained through regular evaluation and improvement in the light of experience.

    • To ensure that intangible assets such as organisational knowledge and expertise, intellectual property, the charity’s good name and reputation etc are properly valued, utilised and safeguarded.

    • If the charity owns land, to know on a continuing basis what condition it is in, if its boundaries are being encroached upon, what can be done with it and how it is or should be used. In particular, to ensure that any property which is a permanent endowment is preserved and invested in such a way as to produce a good income while at the same time safeguarding the real value of the capital.

    • To ensure that all income due to the charity is received and that all tax benefits are obtained and all rating relief due is claimed.


    1. Ensuring that the charity’s governance is of the highest possible standard.


    • To ensure that the charity has a governance structure that is appropriate to a charity of its size/complexity, stage of development, and its charitable objects, and that enables the trustees to fulfil their responsibilities.

    • To reflect annually on the board’s performance and your own performance as a trustee.

    • To ensure that the trustee board has the skills required to govern the charity well, and has access to relevant external professional advice and expertise.

    • To ensure that there is a systematic, open and fair procedure for the recruitment or co-option of trustees.

    • To ensure that there are succession plans for the chair and the chief executive.

    • To participate in individual and collective development and training of trustees.

    • To abide by the code of conduct for trustees.

    • To ensure that major decisions and board policies are made by the trustees acting collectively.