Trustee Induction Pack



  • 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
  • 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.




 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 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


  • 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


Trustee Code of Conduct

Trustee Eligibility Declaration Form


and a copy to print …

The Essential trustee

Principles of The U3A Movement

Vision and Mission Statement

Structure of the U3A Movement

Third Age Trust

 The Third Age Trust (TAT) was founded in 1982, to ‘enable older people to organise their own learning’. TAT, is both a limited company and a registered charity, it provides educational and administrative support to local U3As. It is managed by a National Executive committee, has its own constitution and is funded by a ‘capita charge’. This capita charge is taken from each members’ annual subscription and occasional grants. TAT procures insurance to cover Public and Product liability so that, whilst as a trustee of Settle District U3A you are personally financially liable, assuming that the committee acts within the context of the constitution with care and diligence and in accordance with any legal requirements including Data Protection, you are covered by this insurance. The TAT is the UK’s national U3A representative and deals with U3A public relations as well as producing U3A merchandise.

You can learn more about TAT at


Based in Yorkshire, Settle District U3A is a member of the Yorkshire and Humber Region (YAHR). This was set up in 2002. The region is managed by a committee and issues a monthly newsletter which can be read on line.

A Settle District U3A committee member normally attends the regular regional meetings and reports back at the next committee meeting.

Networks are being developed, networks are voluntary groupings of constituent U3As with the aim of providing improved mutual support, resources or activities for their members. There are 3 main types of Network which are being encouraged within YAHR.

  • Geographical Networks, involving a group of neighbouring U3As
  • Subject based Networks
  • Role based Networks

West Net

Settle District U3A is in the geographical network known as West Net. The other U3As in West Net are; Craven, Ilkley, Keighley and Bradford. There is an agreement that any member can join any group in any of these U3As without further cost of additional membership as long as there is space in the chosen group. West Net also runs social events. A committee member is chosen to represent us at West Net meetings.



  1. NAME:
    The name of the charity is SETTLE DISTRICT U3A hereafter referred to as ‘The U3A’


    Subject to the matters set out below the Charity and its property shall be administered and managed in accordance with this constitution by the members of the Executive Committee, constituted by clause 6 of this constitution.


    The Objects of The U3A are:

    1.  to advance the education of the public and in particular the education of older

      people no longer in full time gainful employment in SETTLE and its surrounding locality;

    2.  the provision of facilities for leisure time and recreational activities with the object of improving the conditions of life for the above persons in the interests of their social welfare.


In furtherance of the Objects but not otherwise, the Executive Committee may exercise the following powers:

  1. power to raise funds and to invite and receive contributions provided that in raising funds the Executive Committee shall not undertake any substantial permanent trading activities and shall conform to any requirements of the law.

  2. power to receive donations, endowments, sponsorship, grants legacies and subscriptions from persons desiring to promote all or any of the Objects of ‘The U3A’ and to hold funds in trust for the same.

  3. power to buy, take on lease or in exchange any property necessary for the achievement of the Objects and to maintain and equip it for use.

  4. power subject to any consents required by law to sell, lease or dispose of all or any part of the property of the charity.

  5. power to co-operate with other charities, voluntary bodies and statutory authorities operating in furtherance of the Objects or of similar charitable purposes and to exchange information and advice with them.

  6. power to support any charitable trusts, associations or institutions formed for all or any of the Objects.

  7. power to appoint and constitute such advisory committees as the Executive Committee may think fit.

  8. power to organise and run conferences, lectures, seminars, courses.

  9. power to publish books, pamphlets, reports, leaflets, journals, instructional matter and to produce films and videos.

  10. power to participate in and assist in the development of area and regional groupings of U3As.
  11. power to do all such other lawful things as are necessary for the achievement of the Objects.


Membership of ‘The U3A’ shall be open to individuals who are interested in furthering the work of ‘The U3A’ and who have paid the annual subscription as determined by the Executive Committee and confirmed by the membership at an Annual General Meeting and any corporate body or unincorporated association which is interested in furthering the work or ‘The U3A’ and has paid any annual subscription, provided that they agree to abide by this constitution and any conditions properly imposed by the Executive Committee. Every individual member shall have one vote. Each member organisation shall be entitled to receive notice and attend General meetings of ‘The U3As’ having appointed an individual to represent it and informed the secretary of the details but shall have no voting rights. The Executive Committee may and for good reason terminate the membership of any individual or member organisation if annual membership or other fees are unpaid 3 months after the due date or if the member acts in a way which is prejudicial to ‘The U3A’ or to the running of ‘The U3A’ or brings it into disrepute provided that the individual concerned or the appointed representative of the member organisation concerned shall have the right to be heard by the Executive Committee accompanied by a friend who may also speak, or make written representation before a final decision is made.



The management of ‘The U3A’ shall be vested in an Executive Committee, consisting of the members whose duty it shall be to carry out its general policy and to provide for the administration, management and control of the affairs and property of ‘The U3A’.

  1. Honorary Officers at the Annual General Meeting of ‘The U3A’ the members shall elect from amongst themselves a chairman, a vice-chairman or vice-chairmen, a secretary and a treasurer who shall hold office from the conclusion of that meeting and a President if the creation of such a post has been agreed at a General Meeting;

  2. Executive Committee: The Executive Committee shall consist of not less than 5 and normally not more than 12 members being:

    1. the honorary officers specified in the preceding clause;

    2. not less than 1 and not more than 6 members elected at the Annual General Meeting who shall hold office from the conclusion of that meeting.

  3. The Executive Committee may in addition appoint not more than 2 co-opted members who shall have full voting rights and have tenure until the next Annual General Meeting;

  4. Persons who need not be members may be invited by the Executive Committee to serve because of their special expertise. They shall have no voting rights and their term of service shall expire at the next Annual General Meeting;

  5. Vacancies on the Executive Committee which arise through resignation or termination during the year can be filled from the membership and such a nominee shall complete the term of service of the member he or she is replacing and shall be eligible for election in the prescribed manner at the next Annual General Meeting.

  6. The proceedings of the Executive Committee shall not be invalidated by any vacancy among their number or by any failure to appoint or any defect in the appointment, election or co-option of a member.

A member of the Executive Committee shall cease to hold office if he or she:

a. is disqualified from acting as a member of the Executive Committee by virtue of section 72 of the Charities Act 1993 (or any statutory re-enactment or modification of that provision);

b. becomes incapable by means of mental disorder, illness or injury of managing and administering his or her own affairs;

 c. is absent without the permission of the Executive Committee from 3   consecutive meetings and the Executive Committee resolve that his or her office be vacated;

d. is subject to a vote of no confidence from the Executive Committee as a result of actions which bring ‘The U3A’ into disrepute or conduct prejudicial to ‘The U3A’ or failure to abide by the terms of this constitution or decisions of the Executive Committee;

e. notifies in writing to the Executive Committee a wish to resign (but only if at least four members of the Executive Committee will remain in office when the notice of resignation is to take effect which shall be at least 21 days from the receipt of the notification).



  1. The election of members of the Executive Committee shall be held at the Annual General Meeting of the U3A;

  2. The newly elected Executive Committee shall take office at the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting;

  3. Officers shall serve for a period of ONE year and Committee members for a period of THREE years. Retiring Officers may stand for re-election provided that no-one may hold the office of Chairman or Vice-Chairman for more than TWO consecutive years without an intervening period of at least one year except that a retiring Vice-Chairman may stand immediately for the post of Chairman;

  4. If insufficient nominations are received to fill the vacancies for Officers and/or Committee members, the Executive Committee may as a last resort, appeal to the assembled members at the Annual General Meeting for permission to ask whether anyone present was willing to reconsider and put themselves forward as a candidate for one of the vacancies. A vote must be taken on this motion and must be carried by not less than two thirds of the members present for the request to be made;

  5. In the event of no nominations being received for one or more of the Honorary Officer posts or no member of the newly elected committee being willing to take on one or more of the Officer positions a majority decision can be taken by the Executive Committee to ask the retiring officer to stay until the next AGM;

  6. A President elected by ‘The U3A’ shall not be a member of the Executive Committee and shall not have voting rights;
  7. There shall be a quorum when at least one third of the numbers of members of the Executive Committee for the time being or three members of the Executive Committee whichever is the greater, are present at the meeting;
  8.  Every matter shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members of the Executive Committee present and voting on the question but in the case of equality of votes the Chairman of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote;
  9.  The Executive Committee shall keep minutes of the proceedings at meetings of the Executive Committee and any subcommittees and these minutes shall be available for inspection should a member request it;
  10.  The Executive Committee may from time to time make and alter rules for the conduct of their business, the summoning and conduct of their meetings and custody of documents. No rule may be made which is inconsistent with this constitution;
  11.  The Executive Committee may appoint subcommittees consisting of at least one member of the Executive Committee for the purpose of performing any function or duty which in the opinion of the Executive Committee would be more conveniently undertaken or carried out by a sub-committee, provided that all acts and proceedings of any such sub- committees shall be fully and promptly reported to the Executive Committee;
  12.  No Executive Committee member shall be chargeable or responsible for loss caused by any act done or omitted to be done by him/her or by any other Executive Committee member or by reason of any mistake or omission made in good faith by any Executive Committee member or by reason of any other matter other than wilful and individual fraud or wrongdoing or actions knowingly beyond the scope of a specific authority or limit thereon on the part of the Executive Committee member in question.

    The Executive Committee shall hold at least 4 ordinary meetings each year. A special meeting may be called at any time by the Chairman or by any two members of the Executive Committee upon not less than seven days’ notice being given to other members of the Executive Committee of the matters to be discussed unless it concerns the appointment of a co-opted member in which case not less than twenty-one days must be given. The Chairman shall chair the meetings and in his or her absence the vice-chairman shall take over or if he or she is also absent the Executive Committee shall choose one of their number to be chairman of the meeting before any business is transacted.


(i) The funds of ‘The U3A’, including all donations, contributions and bequests, shall be paid into an account operated by the Executive Committee in the name of ‘The U3A’ at such bank as the Executive Committee shall from time to time decide. All cheques drawn on the account must be signed by at least 2 Executive Committee members.

(ii)  The funds belonging to ‘The U3A’ shall be applied only in furthering the objects;

(iii)  No funds shall be transferred in any way to Committee members, provided that nothing herein shall prevent the payment in good faith of reasonable and proper out of pocket expenses incurred in the course of U3A work;

(iv)  All proper costs, charges and expenses incidental to the management of ‘The U3A’ and membership of the Third Age Trust may be defrayed from the funds of ‘The U3A’.


All property of ‘The U3A’ shall be applied solely towards the objects of ‘The U3A’. Ownership of property is vested in ‘The U3A’ and items may with the agreement of the committee be transferred on a temporary basis to a nominated member’s home in pursuance of the his/her designated role until such time as the member’s tenure of office ceases or the Executive Committee request its return.


    The Executive Committee shall comply with their obligations under the Charities Act 1993 (or any statutory re-enactment or modification of that Act) with regard to:

    (i) the keeping of accounting records for ‘The U3A’;

    (ii) the preparation of annual statements of account for The ‘U3A’;

          (iii) the independent    examination of the statements of account of the ‘The U3A’

          (iv)  the transmission of the statements of accounts of ‘The U3A’ to the Charity Commission


The Executive Committee shall comply with their obligations under the Charities Act 1993 (or any statutory re-enactment or modification of that act) with regard to the preparation of an annual return and its transmission to the Commission.


(i)  There shall be an Annual General Meeting of ‘the U3A’ which shall be held in the month of September in each year or as soon as practicable thereafter but not later than 15 months after the preceding Annual General Meeting;

(ii)  Every Annual General Meeting shall be called by the Executive Committee. The secretary shall give at least 21 days’ notice of the Annual General Meeting to all the members of ‘The U3A’. All the members of ‘The U3A’ shall be entitled to attend and vote at the meeting;

(iii)  Accidental omission to give notice to any member shall not invalidate the proceedings of any General Meeting;

(iv)  The Executive Committee shall present to each Annual General Meeting the report and accounts of ‘The U3A’ for the preceding year for approval;

(v)  The Executive Committee shall seek approval for the appointment of the examiner for the accounts;

(vi) Nominations for election to the Executive Committee must be made by members in writing and must be in the hands of the Secretary of the Executive Committee at least 14 days before the Annual General Meeting. Should nominations exceed vacancies, election shall be by ballot.

Any proposals to amend the constitution subject to clause 16 shall be considered at the Annual General Meeting and any other business published in the agenda.


    The Executive Committee may call a Special General Meeting of the charity at any time and if at least one fifth of the members request such a meeting in writing stating the business to be considered, the Secretary shall call such a meeting. At least 21 days’ notice shall be given. The notice must state the business to be discussed. There shall be a quorum when one fifth of the members are present.


    (i)  The secretary or other person specially appointed by the Executive Committee shall keep a full record of proceedings at every General Meeting of ‘The U3A’

(ii)  There shall be a quorum when at least one tenth of the number of members of ‘The U3A’, are present at any General Meeting;

(iii)  If within half an hour from the time appointed for the meeting a quorum is not present, the meeting if convened at the request of the members shall be dissolved. In any other case it shall be adjourned to a suitable day and time as the Executive Committee may direct provided 21 days’ notice is given to all members. If at the adjourned meeting a quorum is not present within half an hour of the time appointed for the meeting, the members present shall be a quorum;

(iv)  The Chairman of ‘The U3A’ shall be the Chairman of the General Meeting at which he/she is present unless the Executive Committee makes the decision to ask the President to preside;

(v)  If there is a tied vote the Chairman or President should have a single casting vote.


(i)  Subject to the following provisions of this clause, the Constitution may be altered by a resolution passed by not less than two thirds of the members present and voting at a General Meeting. The notice of the General Meeting must include notice of the resolution, setting out the terms of the alteration proposed;

(ii)  No amendment may be made to clause 1 (the name of the charity) clause 3 (the Objects clause) clause 17 (the dissolution clause) or this clause without the prior consent in writing of the Commissioners;

(iii)  No amendment may be made which would have the effect of making the Charity cease to be a charity at law.

The Executive Committee shall promptly send to the Charity Commission a copy of any amendment made under this clause.


If the Executive Committee decides that it is necessary or advisable to dissolve ‘The U3A’ it shall call a meeting of all members of ‘The U3A’, of which not less than 21 days’ notice (stating the terms of the resolution to be proposed) shall be given. If the proposal is confirmed by a two thirds/three quarters majority of those present and voting the Executive Committee shall have power to realise any assets held by or on behalf of the Charity. Any assets remaining after the satisfaction of any proper debts and liabilities shall be given or transferred to other such local charitable institution or institutions having objects similar to the Objects of ‘The U3A’ as the members of ‘The U3A’ may determine or to the Third Age Trust Registered Charity No. 288007. A copy of the statement of accounts or account and statement, for the final accounting period of The U3A must be sent to the Charity Commission.


Until the first Annual General Meeting takes place this constitution shall take effect as if references in it to the Executive Committee were references to the persons whose signatures appear at the bottom of this document.

This constitution was adopted on the date mentioned above by the persons whose signatures appear at the bottom of this document

Issued April 2013