Chair (Board of Trustees)

Chair of Conviction

In addition to the general responsibilities of a trustee, duties of the chair include the following.

  • Providing leadership to the organisation and the board by ensuring that everyone remains focused on the delivery of the organisation’s charitable purposes in order to provide greater public benefit
  • Chairing and facilitating board meetings
  • Giving direction to board policy-making
  • Checking that decisions taken at meetings are implemented
  • Representing the organisation at functions and meetings, and acting as a spokesperson as appropriate
  • Bringing impartiality and objectivity to decision-making
  • With the chief executive:
  • Planning the annual cycle of board meetings and other general meetings where required, for example annual general meeting
  • Setting agendas for board and other general meetings
  • Developing the board of trustees including induction, training, appraisal and succession planning
  • Addressing conflict within the board and within the organisation, and liaising with the chief executive (if staff are employed) to achieve this
  • Where staff are employed:
  • Liaising with the chief executive to keep an overview of the organisation’s affairs and to provide support as appropriate
  • Leading the process of supporting and appraising the performance of the chief executive
  • Sitting on appointment and disciplinary panels
  • The vice-chair acts for the chair when the chair is not available and undertakes assignments at the request of the chair


Person specification

In addition to the person specification for a trustee, the chair should have the following qualities.

  • Leadership skills
  • Experience of committee work
  • Tact and diplomacy
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Impartiality, fairness and the ability to respect confidences.

In most circumstances, it would also be desirable for the chair/vice-chair to have knowledge of the type of work undertaken by the organisation and a wider involvement with the voluntary sector and other networks.