There are many responsibilities on being a Trustee of a Charity. It is not a position which should be taken on lightly. However I believe that there are two golden rules for trustees, which if they follow should indicate that they are acting in an appropriate way for a trustee.
1. Act in such a way as to always Safeguard the Assets of the Charity.
2. Ensure the assets of the Charity are used in accordance with the Objects of the charity as laid down in the governing document.
In my opinion if nothing else is adhered to by a trustee, then by following the above two rules a trustee will be acting in the way in which a member of society would expect a trustee of a charity to act.
THE FINER POINTS
Official guidance will provide more detail and will ask many more questions. Some of these questions which should be considered before accepting the position of a trustee are:
- Am I eligible to act?
- Will I be perceived to be in receipt of a personal benefit?
- Do I have the required skills for the position?
Once appointed as a trustee then further questions which need to be asked of yourself and also the governing body as a whole. Information on these are available from your Thomas Westcott charity contact or in Charity Commission publication CC3
In my opinion the two rules above are the minimum considerations which a good charity trustee should be considering to assist in performing their duties.