7.1 Presentation and Format
The style, layout and numbering of the minutes should be in accord with the example in Annex 7. Note the format of recording of those present and any apologies.
The key principle for minute writing is the minutes should be fit for purpose whilst being as brief as possible. Formal University Committee minutes should be in accord with the following:
- Language should not be colloquial and should not use undefined abbreviations/acronyms.
- Minutes should not attempt to be a full record of the meeting.
- Sections should be carefully constructed, avoiding long continuous paragraphs and be numbered in accordance with the convention noted in Annex 4. Bullet points should generally be avoided as they make reference to specific points in minutes more difficult.
- Decisions should be recorded unambiguously and clearly.
- Any key points of new relevant information or opinion which are important background to a decision, but which do not appear in the papers, may be noted. However, the wording should not normally attribute specific points to individuals.
- The main reasons for more controversial decisions and any major contrary views should be recorded. If a member specifically asks that his/her view be noted this will normally be included subject to the approval of the Chair. . In this case an exception is made to the point in (e) above that points should not be attributed to individuals.
- The content of the papers should not be repeated in the minutes unless desirable to create a comprehensible free-standing minute for a higher committee.
- Actions on individuals or other bodies should be recorded explicitly and highlighted for ease of reference.
- Minutes are easiest to write immediately after the meeting!
The Chair should normally be sent the minutes for approval within 3 working days of the meeting and before circulation to other members of the Committee. Once agreed with the Chair, if at all possible the minutes should be circulated to the rest of the Committee, usually by placing them on the Committees website and sending an alert by email, ideally no more than 10 working days after the meeting (or less depending on the nature of the committee’s business). Minutes are only formally confirmed, however, when they are considered and approved at the next meeting. Only the confirmed minutes of Senate and Council need be signed by the Chair.