Trustee Role Description & Profile

Taunton Heritage Trust

Trustee Role Description & Profile                   

Responsible to: Chair of Trustees

Each individual member of the Trustee Board has a responsibility to contribute to the discharging of the Board’s duties. 

  • The Board of Trustees is responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of Taunton Heritage Trust (THT)
  • Trustees ensure the organisation complies with guidance from the Charity Commission, Almshouse Association and Homes England
  • To work in partnership with other Trustees and the Chief Officer to ensure the effective and efficient development, management and administration of THT
  • To ensure THT is reaching the needs of the community within the areas of benefit laid down in the charity’s constitution and continues to demonstrate public benefit


The Board of Trustees is collectively responsible for the governance of the organisation, including setting an overall vision. This can broadly be defined as:

·       holding staff accountable, and being ultimately accountable for the activities of the organisation

·       providing leadership to all in the organisation

·       developing policy

·       strategic management

Each Trustee is accountable for all the decisions taken by the Trustee Board, including those taken if they are absent. Once the Trustee Board has reached a decision, all individual members of the Board are bound by it and must support it. No one Trustee or group of Trustees (e.g. a committee) has the authority to take decisions or decide policy unless the Board has clearly delegated authority to them. The Board should not rely on the advice of an individual Trustee, as decisions are the collective responsibility of the whole Board.

Main Duties include:

·       Ensure THT complies with its governing document, charity law, Almshouse Association standards, Homes England standards and any other relevant legislation or regulations.

·       Actively contribute to setting policy and strategic direction, defining goals, setting targets and evaluating performance.

·       Contribute to the sound financial management of THT through regular monitoring of the financial position, including approving annual budgets, and monitoring progress against them, and approving the Annual Report and Accounts.

·       To take reasonable care in the protection and management of the assets of the charity and ensuring the proper investment of THT funds in line with the objects of the charity.

·       Act in the best interests of THT at all times; safeguarding the good name and values of the organization.

·       Avoid conflicts of interests.

·       Prepare for and attend Board and Committee meetings as appropriate, providing advice and guidance in areas in which the Trustee has special expertise.

·       Participate in other tasks and projects as they arise, such as HR procedures, funding opportunities, assisting with fundraising and promotional activities and attending coffee mornings or other events with Residents.

·       To keep up-to-date with the activities of THT and the wider issues which affect its work.

·       Represent THT at external meetings and events as appropriate.

·       To provide leadership, guidance, direction and support to Staff and volunteers and avoid crossing lines of responsibility

Person Specification
·       A commitment to THT, its objectives and its beneficiaries as well as a willingness and ability to act in the best interests of the organisation.

·       An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of Trusteeship.

·       A willingness to devote the necessary time and effort to Trustee duties.

·       Strategic vision and the ability to think creatively and exercise independent judgment.

·       Good communication and inter-personal skills.

·      A willingness to use the Trustee Intranet to access papers and emails.

·       An understanding of financial management of an organisation.

·       The ability to work effectively as a member of a team.

·       A willingness and ability to learn.


Terms of Appointment
·        Trustee appointments will be made and reviewed in line with the organisation’s governing document.

·       THT is committed to supporting its Trustees and provides a thorough induction to the organisation and the role.  Trustees will be expected to attend training events relevant to the role as necessary.

·       The position of Trustee is unpaid, although reasonable expenses are payable in line with THT Expenses Policy.

·       There are a minimum of 12 Board meetings a year. Trustees are expected to attend 8 Board meetings a year.

·       Trustees must declare any conflict of interest whilst carrying out their duties.

·       Trustees are expected to maintain confidentiality about any sensitive or confidential data received in the course of their duties.


Eligibility – some people are disqualified by law from acting as a Trustee, including:
  • anyone prevented from acting as a Trustee because they have an unspent conviction for one or more of the offences listed below:

–          Unspent conviction for an offence involving dishonesty or deception

–          Unspent conviction for specified terrorism offences

–          Unspent conviction for a specified money laundering offence

–          Unspent conviction for specified bribery offences

–          Unspent conviction for the offence of contravening a Charity Commission Order or Direction

–          Unspent conviction for offences of misconduct in public office, perjury, or perverting the course of justice

–          Unspent convictions for aiding attempting or abetting the above offences

  • anyone who has an Individual Voluntary Arrangement, debt relief order and/or a bankruptcy order
  • anyone who has been removed as a Trustee in England, Scotland or Wales (by the Charity Commission or Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator)
  • anyone who has been removed from being in the management or control of any body in Scotland (under relevant legislation)
  • anyone who has been disqualified by the Charity Commission
  • anyone who is a disqualified company director
  • anyone who is a designated person for the purposes of antiterrorism legislation
  • anyone who is on the sex offenders register
  • anyone who has been found in contempt of court for making (or causing to be made) a false statement
  • anyone who has been found guilty of disobedience to an order or direction of the Charity Commission


Trustees have a duty to inform the Chair if at any point they become disqualified from acting as a Trustee or a company director.