Meetings are an essential part of running an incorporated society. The requirements for holding meetings must be set out in a society’s rules.
Types of meeting
Where all members of a society are invited to attend a meeting, it is called a ‘general meeting’.
Depending on the structure of the society, 'committee' or 'sub-committee' meetings may also be needed to deal with specific issues.
‘Ordinary meetings’ are held to conduct business for which no special notice needs to be given; for example, a sports club’s monthly meetings.
An incorporated society is required to hold at least one general meeting a year, at which the members approve the society’s annual financial statements. This meeting is usually known as the annual general meeting (AGM). In addition to approving the annual financial statement, the meeting will elect officers (for example, a secretary) and approve any necessary rule changes.
A society’s rules may allow for other general meetings to be held during the year – for example, special (one-off) general meetings may be needed if the society has to consider some urgent or important matter that can't wait until the next AGM.
The society’s rules must include:
- how notice of a general meeting will be given to members
- how business at a general meeting will be conducted – for example, proposing resolutions or nominating people for election
- how members may vote.
If the rules are no longer appropriate, they should be updated. Any amendments to a society's rules are only valid once registered by us. Until then the existing rules must be followed.
There are a number of commercial publications available from bookstores that deal specifically with how to run a meeting, including the taking of minutes, recording of resolutions, and how to debate issues.