Job Description for a Secretary

NOTE: The title Secretary covers two distinct roles. The Secretary of a small organisation has a key role, together with the chair, of organising the meetings and ensuring the general smooth running of the organisation. In particular it may be the Secretary, rather than the Chair, who monitors committee members to ensure that they have carried out any actions they agreed to at a meeting. The Secretary of a larger organisation generally refers to a Company Secretary who is mainly concerned with making sure that the administrative requirements of Companies House have been fulfilled, and may delegate most of the day-to-day tasks to a staff member. In some medium sized organisations the secretary may carry out an element of both of these roles.

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Secretary

Overall

  • To ensure that committee meetings are properly administered.
  • To ensure other meetings, such as the AGM, and events are properly administered.
  • Keep membership records up-to-date (unless there is a membership secretary as well).
  • Monitor committee member action points.

Specifically

  • Plan and prepare the committee meetings and the AGM with others as appropriate.
    • Planning meeting dates, booking rooms, sending out notifications, minutes and other papers.
    • Drawing up agendas together with the Chair.
  • Minute committee meetings or ensure that another minute taker is available. In the case of closed meetings (with no others present) the secretary will take the minutes.
  • Accurately record decisions and actions in the minutes and report to the next committee meeting on the progress of actions and the result of decisions.
  • Maintain accurate and up-to-date membership records, issuing renewal notices and recording subscription/membership fees together with the treasurer.
  • Deal with correspondence, writing letters/emails as agreed at committee meetings, summarising correspondence/emails received at the next committee meetings and drafting replies as appropriate.
  • Make arrangements for any necessary reporting to be done. For example the annual report to members.

Qualities

  • To be organised and methodical
  • Able to take good minutes.
  • Able to keep accurate records.
  • Has the relevant skills to organise a meeting well.

Company Secretary

Overall

  • To ensure that the requirements of Companies House1 are met;
    • that committee meetings are properly administered and recorded.
    • that the list of Directors at Companies House is kept up-to-date.
    • to ensure that the AGM, EGMs etc are properly administered.
    • that membership records are kept up-to-date.
    • that annual returns are made to regulatory bodies2 as appropriate and in the correct format.

1Companies House is the regulatory body for registered Companies.
2Generally the Company Secretary will also take responsibility for ensuring that reporting is carried out for all other regulatory bodies as well.

Specifically

  • Ensure that committee meetings and the AGM are run according to the constitution3 and Companies House requirements.
    • Ensure nominations for director are received in time and in the correct format.
    • Ensure voting procedures are followed correctly.
    • Ensuring that any required business is dealt with (such as appointment of auditors).
  • Ensuring that committee meetings including decisions and actions are adequately minuted.
  • Ensure accurate and up-to-date membership records are maintained in accordance with the constitution and Companies House requirements.
  • Ensure that the annual return to Companies House is made on time.

3The proper name for a constitution of a company is The Memorandum and Articles of Association


Qualities

  • To be able to delegate and/or organised and methodical.
  • Have knowledge of Company law relating to the Company Secretary’s role.
  • Have a good knowledge of the organisation’s own constitution.
  • Able to give clear advice on procedural matters.

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