Minutes of Meetings

Essentially minutes are a record of a meeting. They document attendance, agreements reached, decisions made and actions to be taken. For those that were present at the meeting, minutes offer a record of who agreed to do what. Minutes also serve to inform committee members who were unable to attend, as well as the rest of the community, agencies etc., of the business covered at the meeting.

Anyone who has knowledge of your group and an understanding of what will be discussed can take the minutes.  Some groups nominate a minute taker at each meeting, other groups have a minute secretary, and often the secretary fulfils this role. However, it can be difficult to take part in discussions and take minutes at the same time, so it is a good idea to have an independent person who plays no part in the meeting to take the minutes.

The minutes should be written up as soon as possible after the meeting while it is still fresh in the mind. They should:-

  • summarise the proceedings faithfully and not simply reflect the minute taker's personal opinions
  • the name of the group should appear at the top of the first page, along with the date and the venue
  • include a list of those present with a note of their capacity, for example chairperson, treasurer, co-ordinator, or say 'In attendance' for visiting speakers
  • list the people who sent apologies
  • include a statement to the effect that the minutes of the previous meeting were passed as correct, if not the corrections should be included
  • follow the agenda headings
  • include a numbered list of actions to be taken
  • record the decisions taken in a concise third person style for example, 'it was agreed that ...'
  • if any member did not agree with a decision this should be recorded
  • attendees should be given the opportunity to comment on a draft before they are distributed or displayed publicly
  • minutes should not be distributed to the public or displayed publicly before they have been adopted which will normally be at the following meeting
  • minutes of the previous meeting should be sent out to committee members in good time along with the agenda and notice of the next meeting

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Last Updated 05/02/2013 11:20