Notice of Meeting and The AgendaThe Notice of Meeting should stipulate where and when the meeting is to be held and should be signed by the Secretary. A sufficient period of notice should be given, as too short a period would make the meeting invalid. To this notice, an agenda or a summary of the intended agenda would be attached.
The Agenda would follow these guidelines:
- Annual/Annual General/General/Special Meeting
(Naturally, strike all but one)Secretary Calls Meeting to Order
- Chair Declares Meeting Open for Business
- Adoption of Agenda
(Not applying to Annual or Special Meetings)
- Minutes of the Previous Meeting/s
- Apologies for Non-Attendance
- Motions on Notice
- General Business(
Only applying to the AGM & GMs)
- Notice of Motions
- Closure of Meeting
Convening the MeetingActing 'for and behalf' of the Management Committee, it is the Secretary's duty to invite all members to attend a general meeting of the organisation. This calling can be by way of a club notice board, a posted notice to each member's address or satisfied by a set venue, date and time as spelled out in the constitution of the organisation.
The Secretary's duty is to 'call the meeting to order', that is, asking people to be seated and to be quiet. Having seated the members, and checked the Attendance Book for attendance numbers and visitors names, the Secretary then turns to the Chair and announces: "Mr/Madam Chair, the meeting has been convened with (number) members present, which constitutes a quorum".
Opening the MeetingWhile the Secretary remains standing, the Chair stands, thanks the Secretary (who then sits), and commences an opening address to the meeting. The Chair's opening address can take form of reviewing some past activities of the organisation or consist of a preview of the coming business of the meeting. The Chair concludes this address by declaring the meeting 'open for business' and begins the first item on the Agenda.
Adoption of the AgendaDuring the adoption of the Agenda, it is open to members to amend this motion to alter the sequence of the items by moving some items forward on the agenda and some back.
Adoption of Minutes of Previous MeetingEach type of meeting - general, management, committee and sub committee - must record minutes of the business they transact and, at the following meeting, check those minutes for accuracy. It is generally the duty of both the Chair and the Secretary to personally review the minutes, before they are submitted to a meeting.
The motion to adopt the minutes as a true record should be moved by the Secretary, and as the Chair needs no convincing that the motion is essential business of the meeting, it does not require seconding. Should any corrections be required, they are moved as amendments to the motion to adopt, and the correct wording recorded in the minutes of the adopting meeting. The corrected minutes of the previous meeting are given a margin note drawing attention to the correction. If the error is a secretarial one the meeting should expect an apology from that person. If a member was not present at the previous meeting they may still take a full part in assessing the minutes.
Apologies for Non-AttendanceThe common practice of most organisations is for the Chair to call for Apologies for Non-Attendance, and require the Secretary to record all names called out by the members. The Chair then states "the motion is - that the apologies be recorded, those in favour (and etc)". Some Chairs even call for a mover and a seconder.
If attendance at meetings is regarded as important to the conduct of the organisation, then a resolution accepting apologies for non-attendance needs moving, seconding and a vote in favour. If, however, attendance is not regarded as important, the Chair should state "The list of apologies will be noted in the minute book". No motion is required.
CorrespondenceTo get the most value from correspondence, each piece should be read, considered and a decision made 'in seriatim', one at a time. Associated correspondence can of course be handled together, even though they may require separate decisions.
Outgoing correspondence should be dispatched within 48 hours of the meeting.