Trustee Job Description and Code of Conduct

PART ONE: Job Description for Charity Trustees

A.  Overall Purpose

The Board of Trustees are responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of the charity, developing the organisation’s aims, objectives and goals in accordance with the governing document, legal and regulatory guidelines.

B.  Main Responsibilities

  1. To ensure that the charity and its representatives function within the legal and regulatory framework of the sector and in line with the organisation’s governing document, continually striving for best practice in governance.
  2. To uphold the fiduciary duty invested in the position, undertaking such duties in a way continually striving for best practice in governance that adds to public confidence and trust in the charity.
  3. To determine the overall direction and development of the charity through good governance and clear strategic planning.

C.  Main Duties

  1. Ensuring the charity complies with legislative and regulatory requirements, and acts within the confines of its governing document and in furtherance to organisational activities contained therein.
  2. Acting in the best interest of the charity, beneficiaries and future beneficiaries at all times.
  3. Promoting and developing the charity in order for it to grow and maintain its relevance to society.
  4. Maintaining sound financial management of the charity’s resources, ensuring expenditure is in line with the organisation’s objects, and investment activities (if any) meet accepted standards and policies.
  5. Interviewing, appointing and monitoring the work and activities of paid staff (if any are to be appointed).
  6. Ensuring the effective and efficient administration of the charity and its resources.
  7. Acting as a counter-signatory on charity cheques and any applications for funds.
  8. To maintain absolute confidentiality about all sensitive/confidential information received in the course of trustees’ responsibilities to the charity.

D.  Accountable to:

As the board are responsible and liable for the governance and functioning of the charity, they are accountable in varying degrees to a variety of stakeholders, including: service users, members, funders, and the Charity Commission.  Close attention must be given to the governing document to ascertain the type of organisational structure and the range of interested parties.

PART TWO: HBUF Trustees’ Code of Conduct

A.  General:

  1. As a representative of HBUF, I will develop and maintain a full understanding of our mission statement, values and the services we provide, and ensure that I can articulate these clearly and effectively to present the charity in the most positive light possible.
  2. I will be an active trustee for HBUF, using any skills, experience and knowledge that I possess to ensure we can achieve our mission successfully.
  3. I will participate in as much work for HBUF as I can, through sub-committees, community engagement, etc. 
  4. I will respect the right to confidentiality of individuals and groups both on the board of trustees and within HBUF as a whole, whilst ensuring that confidentiality is not used as an excuse not to disclose matters which should be transparent and open.
  5. I will use HBUF’s resources responsibly and in line with existing policies.
  6. I will be held accountable for my actions as a trustee for HBUF and will submit myself to appropriate scrutiny should it be deemed necessary.
  7. I accept my responsibility to ensure the effective running of HBUF, and will raise issues and questions in a timely, appropriate and sensitive manner to ensure that this is the case.

B.  Managing interests:

  1. I will not gain materially or financially from my involvement with HBUF unless specifically authorised to do so.
  2. I will act in the best interests of HBUF as a whole and not as a representative for any group, considering what is best for HBUF and its present and future beneficiaries and avoiding bringing the charity name into disrepute.
  3. Unless authorised, I will not put myself into a position where personal interests conflict with my duty to act in the interests of the organisation. Where there is a conflict of interest, I will ensure that this is declared and managed effectively.
  4. I understand that a failure to declare a conflict of interest may be considered to be a breach of this code.

C.  Meetings:

  1. I will attend all appropriate meetings and other appointments at HBUF or offer my apologies at the earliest opportunity.  If I cannot regularly attend meetings, I will consider whether there are other ways I can engage with HBUF.
  2. I will prepare fully for all meetings.  This may include reading the circulated minutes from the previous meetings, carrying out any actions assigned to me, acknowledging receipt of the agenda and any other information, and thinking through issues and potential questions before the meeting.
  3. I will actively engage in discussion and debate in meetings, querying anything I do not understand.  I will contribute in a considered and constructive way; listening to others, challenging in a sensitive manner and avoiding conflict within the board.
  4. I will participate in collective decision making, accept and support the outcome of a majority decision of the board and will not act individually unless authorised to do so.

D.  Relations with others:

  1. I will endeavour to work considerately and respectfully with all those I come into contact with at HBUF.  I will respect diversity, different roles and boundaries, and avoid causing offence.
  2. I recognise that the roles of trustees, staff and volunteers within HBUF are different, and I will seek to understand and respect the differences between these roles.
  3. If I am also engaged with the charity as a volunteer, I will maintain the separation of my role as a trustee and as a volunteer.
  4. I will seek to support and encourage all those I come into contact with at HBUF.  In particular, I recognise my responsibility to support all the other Trustees on the board of HBUF.
  5. I will not make public comments about HBUF unless authorised to do so.  Any public comments I make about HBUF will be considered and in line with the charity’s policies, whether I make them as an individual or as a trustee.

E.  Leaving the board:

  1. I understand that a significant breach of any part of this code may lead to the disciplinary process being enacted.
  2. If I wish to cease being a trustee of HBUF at any time, I will inform the Chair of Trustees at the earliest point possible in writing, stating my reasons for leaving.  If the Chair wishes to step down or resign he/she will inform the Secretary of the Board.