Comprehensive Governance Code

Note:  This code is practical and comprehensive.  It can either be used on its own or to enhance the practical section of the Template.

You can download this Comprehensive Committee Member Code of Conduct in Word format here.

Values and principles

  • I agree to abide by the organisation’s values and principles
  • I agree to act in accordance with our constitution, and agreed aims and policies
  • I agree to act in the best interests of the organisation and the beneficiaries

Decision making

  • I agree to taking and upholding collective decisions as a committee
  • I will support the principle of clear and transparent decision making except where confidentiality must be maintained


  • I will read papers and preparing for trustee meetings
  • I will attend at least 75% of meetings during the year, and I will send apologies in advance when possible
  • I will support the Chair in their role as meeting facilitator
  • I will participate in debates, but will accept a majority decision
  • I will express dissent where necessary, but avoid conflict if possible

Conflicts of interest

  • I will not accept any financial benefit as a committee member, other than that authorised by the constitution and properly agreed by the board
  • I will not exert any influence as a trustee to attempt to gain preferential treatment
  • I will declare conflicts of interest as soon as they come to my attention, and withdraw from the decision making process on that issue


  • I will maintain confidentiality and will not disclose any confidential information concerning any aspect of the committee/organisation, and I will seek clarification from the committee if I am unsure

Working relationships

  • I will maintain respectful relationships with my fellow committee members and with employees and/or volunteers
  • If I carry out another role as a volunteer I agree to keep the two roles separate


  • I will only speak on behalf of the committee/organisation when I have been authorised to do so

Good governance

  • When recruiting new committee members I will support a fair and open process in line with our constitution
  • I commit to reviewing the committee regularly
  • I will support the committee to comply with relevant legal and regulatory expectations and with our agreed policies and procedures


  • I will seek support when needed and offer support to other committee members when requested
  • I will participate in learning and development activities
  • I will make sure that adequate arrangements are made by the committee to supervise and support staff and/or volunteers

Leaving the board

  • I agree to resign from the committee if requested to do so by the rest of the committee following a serious breach of this code of conduct
  • If there is no clear term of office, then I will give notice in writing to the chair of my intention to leave

The committee’s obligations to me in turn

  • I will be sent regular financial reports and an update of activities
  • I will be given adequate notice of meeting, and receive agenda and papers in advance
  • The chair will ensure that the committee have opportunities to discuss goals, activities and plans
  • Other committee members, staff and/or volunteers will deal with me in a straightforward and respectful way
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A Word About Words

This site is aimed at those who govern (control) small organisations - whether they are charities, companies, both or neither. Those who govern them may be called a variety of names. We have chosen to use mainly 'management committee' and occasionally 'committee member' or 'trustee'. more...
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