Agenda and minutes


What’s this about?

The agenda for any meeting goes out in advance and says what business will be considered. Decisions should be made only on items that appear on the agenda, except in an emergency. This ensures that those responsible for any decision are able to consider the matter properly.

The minutes are the official ‘memory’ of an organisation. Minutes record who was present and what decisions were made. The minutes are then presented to the next meeting and agreed as a true record. This ensures that the decisions are correctly recorded in the organisation’s ‘memory.’

What should be in the Agenda?

A standard agenda includes:

  • Apologies for absence

  • Minutes of last meeting – to be approved as a true record, with any corrections

  • Any ‘Matters Arising’ not included later on the agenda (this should be a brief item to pick up on any results or action needed)

  • Regular reports for consideration and approval

  • Items for discussion and decision

  • Plans and items for future meetings

  • Any other business (this should be brief and for information only)

The agenda should be sent out with the notice of the meeting. The agenda should be prepared by the chair and the secretary of the group, together with the senior staff person if appropriate.

What should be in the Minutes?

Minutes should include:

  • What type of meeting it is (for instance, a meeting of the management committee of the TMO) and the time and place of the meeting.

  • Names of those present including the name of the person taking the chair

  • Names of those giving apologies for absence

  • Items discussed (keeping to the order of the Agenda) and the decisions made on each item.

It is essential that the minutes are clear about the decisions made and actions that are authorised by the meeting, together with the other items listed above. It is not essential to include anything else, but groups may choose to include more if they wish.

When minutes have been agreed as a true record, they are signed by the person chairing the meeting where this is agreed. Signed minutes should then be securely stored in a way that protects them from being lost or changed later.

Minutes should be available for any member to inspect and it is recommended that in a TMO the minutes are made public, for instance on a website. If confidential matters need to be recorded, then it is acceptable for a ‘confidential minute’ to be prepared and stored separately, as allowed in the confidentiality policy.

Minutes are often produced by the secretary but this can also be done by another member or a staff person.