Trustee Induction Pack

Contents

  • Introduction
  • Trustee duties and responsibilities.
  • Trustee code of conduct.
  • Trustee eligibility declaration form for new trustees to sign and return.
  • A copy of the essential trustee, available on line with extra links at
  • A copy of the Principles of the U3A Movement.
  • Information on the structure of the U3A Movement in the UK including the region and networks.
  • A copy of Settle District U3A constitution.
  • Copies of all committee member job descriptions.
  • About Settle District U3A leaflet – general information including information about groups.
  • Minutes of 3 most recent committee meetings and AGM.
  • Latest annual report and accounts.
  • Key policy documents – disciplinary code, grievance procedure, complaints procedure.
  • Information on such topics as insurance, data protection.
  • A copy of the list of resources available from the National Office.
  • Dates of future committee meetings, monthly, new members’ and group leaders’ meetings and AGM.

 

 

 

Introduction

 

If you are reading this, you have probably been elected to become a committee member, otherwise known as a trustee, of Settle District U3A and are wondering what you have let yourself in for.

The most important thing is that the other members of the committee will be delighted to have you on board and will be happy to offer support and encouragement as you learn about the running of Settle District U3A.

Settle District U3A, like any other U3A is an independent self-governed charitable association with its own constitution. As a charity, Settle District U3A is registered with the Charities Commission, to which a return has to be made annually. Settle District U3A can apply for gift aid and grants that are used to carry out its constitutional objectives. All committee members are required to become trustees of Settle District U3A.

This information pack will, hopefully, help you understand your role and responsibilities. Please read it and take notes if necessary, research any on-line links and then bring this pack and your questions to the meeting for new trustees. The main thing is to be aware of this information and know where to find it when you need to.

This pack is also available on Settle District U3A’s website at;…………………………………….

There is also a lot of useful information on the National U3A site at u3a.org.uk/advice where you can create an account and log in to see it.

 

Settle District U3A Committee

 

The Settle District U3A constitution allows for four officers and up to six committee members. It also details the time that may be served by the officers and other members of the committee.

The constitution requires that the committee meet at least 4 times a year. In practice, the committee normally meets once a month, on the Monday prior to the speaker meeting. Any apologies for non-attendance should be sent to the Secretary in advance of the meeting.

As a committee member you will be involved in discussing the items on the agenda such as the annual budget, reports, the newsletter and correspondence brought to the meeting by committee members.

There are job descriptions for each role included in this pack.

 

The role of a trustee

A trustee is responsible for the general control and management of their U3A and must carry out their duties within the context of the governing document i.e. the constitution.

A trustee must;

  • Act in the interests of the U3A.
  • Ensure that the U3A operates in a manner that is consistent with its charitable objects and purposes.
  • Act with care and diligence and in accordance with any legal requirements.

 

Trustee Duties and Responsibilities

Summary

  • Charity trustees are the people responsible for governing a charity and directing how it is managed and run. They may be known as trustees, directors, board members or committee members. No matter what term is used, you are legally a trustee if you are part of the group of people with overall responsibility for overseeing and leading the charity, ensuring it is solvent and well-run and delivering the charitable outcomes for the benefit of the public.
  • Trustees serve as volunteers and receive no payment other than out of pocket expenses. They must put the interests of their charity first, work together as a team and assume collective responsibility.

 

  1. Ensure your charity is carrying out its purposes for the public benefit

You must make sure that the charity is carrying out the purpose for which it is set up, and no other purpose. This means you should;

  • Ensure you understand the charity’s purposes as set out in its governing document.
  • Plan what your charity will do and what you want it to achieve.
  • Be able to explain how all of the charity’s activities are intended to further or support its purposes.
  • Understand how the charity benefits the public by carrying out its purposes.
  • Spending charity funds on the wrong purposes is a very serious matter.

     

  1. Comply with your charity’s governing document and the law

Registered charities must make sure that the details held by their regulatory authority remain accurate and ensure they provide all necessary information, financial and otherwise by the required date.

You must;

  • Make sure that the charity complies with its governing document.
  • Comply with charity law requirements and other laws that apply to your charity.
  • You should take reasonable steps to find out about legal requirements, for example by reading relevant guidance or taking appropriate advice when you need to.

 

 

  1. Act in your charity’s best interests

You must;

  • Do what you (and no one else) decides will best enable the charity to carry out its purposes.
  • Make balanced and adequately informed decisions, thinking about the long term as well as the short term .
  • Avoid putting yourselves in a position where your duty to your charity conflicts with your personal interests or loyalty to any other person or body.
  • Not receive any benefit from the charity unless it is properly authorised and is clearly in the charity’s interests; this also includes anyone who is financially connected to you, such as a partner, dependent child or business partner.

 

  1. Manage your charity’s resources responsibly

You must act responsibly, reasonably and honestly. This is sometimes called the duty of prudence. Prudence is about exercising sound judgement. You must;

  • Make sure the charity’s assets are only used to support or carry out its purposes.
  • Avoid exposing the charity’s assets or reputation to undue risk.
  • Not over-commit the charity.
  • Take special care when investing or borrowing.
  • Comply with any restrictions on spending funds.
  • You should put appropriate procedures and safeguards in place and take reasonable steps to ensure that these are followed. Otherwise you risk making the charity vulnerable to fraud or theft, or other kinds of abuse and being in breach of your duty.

 

  1. Act with reasonable care and skill

As the people responsible for governing a charity, you;

  • Must use reasonable care and skill, making use of your skills and experience and taking appropriate advice when necessary.
  • Should give enough time, thought and energy to your role, for example by preparing for, attending and actively participating in all trustees’ meetings.

 

  1. Ensure your charity is accountable

You must comply with statutory accounting and reporting requirements. You should also;

  • Be able to demonstrate that your charity is complying with the law, well run and effective.
  • Ensure appropriate accountability to members and within the charity as a whole.

 

 Further reading

www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission

www.oscr.org.uk

www.charitycommissionni.org.uk

 

Trustee Code of Conduct

https://www.u3a.org.uk/advice/trusteeship/194-trustee-code-of-conduct-e-w

Trustee Eligibility Declaration Form

TrusteeEligibilityDeclarationForm
 

The Essential trustee

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/734288/CC3_may18.pdf