Governance resources

Aimed at Chairs, Directors and Trustees (board members)

Any questions or suggestions, please email:

As trustees, board members, directors or Chairs of a legal entity, you have responsibilities that will sometimes feel weighty.

But knowledge is power (and freedom from anxiety!) so let’s share our knowledge…

Some basics
  • be clear what sort of legal entity you are
  • know how to refer to your constitution (governing document)
  • know when you are required to report, submit accounts etc
  • know what information/changes you need to let authorities know
  • know what records of meetings are needed
  • know what number of people constitutes a ‘quorate’ meeting
Setting up a UK charity

A Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) is the form that the Charity Commission now suggest charities use – it has the benefit of limiting the liability of the trustees.

It is not that hard to do, honestly! The attached documents provide some helpful samples and advice but let us know if you think there is an important omission ( – the Development Team are not experts in charity law but will do what they can to help!

Please refer to our guide to setting up a charity in England or Wales.

Some Triratna centres will still use an older constitution (live google doc) and pdf-version which we include for reference

This may be a useful overview document

Some policies you may need
gathering of ECA at Adhisthana, January 2023

ECA meeting at Adhisthana, Jan 2023

How to run meetings

A checklist

Before the meeting

  • plan the agenda in conjunction with other officers
  • decide which items will be included, the purpose of their being brought up at the meeting, roughly how long each one should take, in which order they should come and who will introduce each on
  • be well briefed about each item
  • ensure all necessary background papers are sent out with the agenda beforehand

During the meeting

The role of the Chair is to ensure full communication and effective decision making.

a) Communicate  

  • start the meeting
  • welcome new members
  • make any necessary introductions
  • set the scene
  • state the objectives of the meeting and each item 

b) Control  

  • maintain control
  • set out any time limits
  • allow flexibility and freedom of expression
  • keep to the agenda
  • ensure time is used effectively
  • ensure that proper minutes are taken

c) Co-ordinate  

  • highlight the areas of common agreement

d) Coax  

  • ensure full participation
  • draw out quiet members 

e) Compare  

  • weigh up contributions impartially 

f) Clarify  

  • ensure everyone understands what is being discussed
  • ensure that if jargon and abbreviations are used, all present understand them 

g) Summarise

  • ensure that when decisions are made they are recorded together with who is going to implement them and when 

At the end of the meeting

  • check the date of the next meeting
  • agree what special items will be put on the agenda of the next meeting and what work needs to be done, and by whom
  • ensure that the minutes will be written up and checked by the Chair before being sent out amd clarify when they will be available

LBC council meeting in the LBC reception room. Early 1980s : © Copyright Urgyen Sangharakshita Trust (see Triratna Picture Library)

Trustees or board/council members, Chairs & Presidents

What trustees need to know

Charity Commission’s advice

The Triratna Trustees Handbook (live google doc)
The Triratna Trustees Handbook June 2023 pdf

UK mainly, but of general interest:

An organisation called Charity Excellence have some good resources for trustees:

You can also use the 6 short videos in the Charity Excellence
You Tube Governance Playlist for trustee induction and/or to create your own trustee training programme.

The role and importance of the President

This document has everything you need to know.