If your organisation is seeking to better manage its crucial meetings, you may be interested to read ICSA’s guidance on the practice of taking minutes. The advice was published on 19th September 2016, following its May 2016 consultation paper on the principal function of meeting minutes.
This guidance, which is principles-based rather than prescriptive, states that there is no “right way” to draft minutes; instead, each individual organisation must decide how best to record its meetings.
For example, the level of detail that a given organisation’s meeting minutes should have is likely to depend on such factors as the organisation’s requirements and operating sector, as well as regulatory demands and the working practices of the board.
Also outlined in the ICSA guidance is how board minutes should cover quorum, conflicts of interest and dissent, in addition to such matters as the most suitable writing style.
What are the highlights of the ICSA advice?
Among the most notable guidance provided by ICSA was that minutes should provide an accurate, impartial and balanced internal record of business transacted at a given meeting.
The professional governance body also stated that as a minimum, minutes should include the key points of discussion, decisions made and where appropriate, the reasons for them and agreed actions, including a record of any delegated authority to act on behalf of the company.
Furthermore, ICSA advised against meeting minutes being a verbatim record of the specific meeting, but they should document the reasons for a decision and include sufficient background information for future reference.
ICSA certifies company secretaries through examinations and post qualification programmes, and it was the company secretary who was responsible to the chairman for the preparation and retention of meeting minutes.
Finally, the guidance also advised that any audio recording of a meeting should be deleted once the minutes have been approved.
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When you are looking to maximise the effectiveness of your board or committee at the same time as minimising costs, our Meeting Management Service here at London Registrars could be the perfect solution.
Please call 020 7608 0011 today and ask for our Client Services Director, Peter Driver, to learn how our providers of company secretarial support could assist you in better managing all of the essential aspects of meetings.
These components are likely to include – but unlikely to be restricted to – the preparation of meeting minutes and agreeing them with the chairman, as well as the maintenance of a history of minutes.