Minute taking guidance note

Foreword from Dame Alison Carnwath

I am very pleased to have been asked to provide a foreword to ICSA: The Governance Institute’s new guidance on minute taking.

Taking minutes of meetings is administrative good practice. It creates a record of what has been agreed, why and by whom; and of what is to be done, by when and by whom. But it is more than that. As the definitive record of its highest decision-making body, minutes are a key part of the collective history of an organisation. For all these reasons, it is crucial that the quality of those minutes is of the highest standard.

However, there is no one-size fits all solution. Minutes are as individual as the board to which they relate but decisions as to format, style and content should be taken from a position of knowledge of the law and of regulatory and market practice. This guidance is the product of ICSA’s discussions with experienced minute takers, from both corporate and not-for-profit sectors and of the responses to their consultation last year. It therefore provides an up-to-date assessment of market practice and of some of the pitfalls that can face those taking minutes of meetings.

I am most impressed by the number of responses and the evidence that this shows that so many people share my and ICSA’s view of the importance of minutes and were willing to share their experience, through ICSA, with others.

Dame Alison Carnwath, DBE FCIS
Chairman
Land Securities plc

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