Committee Terms of Reference Template

It is a good idea that each committee of an organisation (AKA team, working group or sub-group) be clearly defined in writing. This promotes understanding of who is in the group, what they aim to achieve, and how they intend to go about doing it. Below is a basic template of what such a committee charter or definition sheet might include for you to customise.


Committee Terms of Reference


[Official name of the committee or working group]


  • [Name, Roles / Responsibilities (e.g. chair, secretary, treasurer, report to the board) – Contact Information]


  1. [primary]
  2. [secondary]


  • [Specific outputs required/requested from the committee]

Scope / Jurisdiction

[What are the bounds of responsibility and authority of the this sub-group? What do they need to address and what is outside their area of concern? What can they decide on and what needs higher authority approval?]

Guidance from the Board / Lead Group

[Initial direction and suggestions from the board and/or larger group]

Resources and Budget

[E.g. equipment, materials, rooms, funds available to the committee]


[Decision-making technique, e.g. consensus, 2/3 or majority vote, chair’s authority, etc. Relationships of authority within the group and with the greater organisation.]


Additional Notes

  • Relationships to other committees
  • How communications outside of meetings will be conducted, e.g. email list, Skype, Slack
  • Where shared information, such as plans and contact information, will be stored
  • Related policies / by-laws
  • How reporting back to the organization will be conducted
  • History of the committee
  • Schedule or meetings and/or other important timelines
  • Information about specific committee projects


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