Trustee Induction Pack

Settle District U3A

Trustee Induction Pack

Information for new trustees to familiarise themselves with their new role, their legal responsibilities, our U3A and the wider U3A movement


  1. Introduction
  2. Settle District U3A Constitution and Committee Structure
  3. Trustee eligibility, duties and responsibilities
  4. Trustee Code of Conduct
  5. Insurance
  6. Principles of the U3A Movement
  7. Structure of the U3A Movement
  8. Committee members role descriptions
  9. ‘About Settle District U3A’ leaflet
  10. Committee meeting minutes
  11. Annual Report and Accounts
  12. Policy Documents
  13. Regular meetings
  1. Introduction

If you are reading this you have probably been approached to become a committee member and are wondering what you have let yourself in for.

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

Settle District U3A (the u3a), like any other u3a, is an independent self-governed charitable association with its own constitution. As a charity, the u3a is registered with the Charities Commission and submits an annual return to them.  The u3a can claim Gift Aid and apply for grants to carry out its constitutional objectives.  

All committee members automatically become trustees of the u3a.

This information pack is designed to help you understand your role and responsibilities.  Please read it and discuss it with other committee members to clarify any points that you may have.

This pack is also available on the U3A’s website

Settle District u3a is affiliated to the national organisation, Third Age Trust u3a. Useful information is available on the national u3a website. You will need to create an account on the national website to access this information.

  1. Settle District U3A Constitution and Committee Structure

The Settle District U3A Constitution sets out the objectives of the u3a and describes the arrangements that should be in place to meet those objectives.  Part of those arrangements includes information on how the committee is structured and how it conducts committee business.  

The committee consists of four officers  (Chairman, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer) and up to six committee members.  There are time limits on how long officers and committee members can serve. 

The Constitution and Committee member role descriptions are available on the website.

  1. Trustee eligibility, duties and responsibilities

Trustees must 

  1. be eligible to be a Trustee as defined by the Charity Commisssion
  2. comply with the u3a’s Constitution and the law
  3. act in the best interests of the u3a
  4. manage the u3a’s resources responsibly
  5. act with reasonable skill and care
  6. ensure the u3a is accountable 

The Charity Commission have published an excellent document  ‘The Essential Trustee’  that explains these requirements for trustees of any charity.  

The Essential Trustee

The u3a’s committee members are trustees of the charity, Settle District U3A – Charity Number 1095635.  All committee members must comply with the requirements summarised above and meet the eligibility requirements of the Charity Commission which provides a form for completion and filing locally.

Trustee Declaration Form 

  1. Trustee Code of Conduct
  • U3A Trustees are committed to working together as a team and are collectively responsible for controlling the management and administration of the U3A. 
  • Trustees should make themselves aware of guidance from their charity regulatory authority. 
    • Trustees are expected to know, follow and promote the principles of the u3a movement.
    • Trustees must always act in the best interests of the U3A and the U3A movement, strive to uphold its reputation and never do anything which could bring the U3A or the U3A movement into disrepute or expose it to undue risk.
    • Trustees must use the resources of our U3A responsibly and only to further our stated charitable purpose.
    • Trustees are expected to reflect the current organisational policies of our U3A, regardless of whether it conflicts with their personal views. 
    • Trustees are expected to abide by the U3A’s governance procedures and practices. 
    • Trustees must never derive any pecuniary benefit (including benefits in kind) from being a Trustee and must notify the Chair of any gifts received. 
    • Trustees should inform the Chair before accepting an invitation to speak on behalf of the U3A. 
    • Trustees are expected to treat fellow committee members courteously at all times and maintain a respectful attitude towards the opinions of others. 
    • Organisational, committee and individual confidentiality must be respected at all times. 
  1. Insurance

Charity Trust Management Liability Insurance Cover for the U3A is provided via the affiliation with the national Third Age Trust. An overview of the insurance cover is available on the national website -‘Insurance Overview’ U3A-KMS-DOC-013

 Trustees are covered by this insurance provided that they remain within the context of their constitution and act with care and diligence.

  1. Principles of the u3a movement

Our vision is to make lifelong learning, through the experience of u3a, a reality for all those no longer in full time employment.

  1. Structure of the u3a movement

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 and provides educational and administrative support to local U3As. It is managed by a National Executive committee. The TAT is the UK’s national U3A representative and deals with U3A public relations as well as producing U3A merchandise.  

  1. Committee Member Role Descriptions

Job descriptions for specific committee roles can be found on the website.

  1. ‘About Settle District U3a’ leaflet

A leaflet is available giving information on the U3A and showing all groups currently running.  This is used at all publicity events and general members events.

10. Committee Meeting Minutes

The minutes of all committee meetings are available on the website.

  1. Annual Report and Accounts

The latest Annual Report and Accounts are available on the website.

  1. Policy Documents

Settle District U3A has the following policies available on the website.

  • Advertising & Promotions
  • Code of Conduct
  • Complaints
  • Data Protection
  • Disciplinary
  • Equality & Diversity
  • Finance
  • Grievance
  • Legitimate Interest Assessment
  • Open Door Policy with WestNet u3a’s
  • Privacy
  • Safeguarding
  1. 13. Regular Meetings

Committee Meetings are held monthly, usually on a Friday, before the open meeting which takes place on the second Thursday of the month.

Annual General Meeting takes place in November annually.

Registration/Sign on meeting takes place in August annually.

Policy updated Nov 2022