Committee Terms of Reference (TOR) Template

A committee’s TOR provides guidelines and clear direction to committee members to help manage expectations and to enable the Committee to hold itself accountable for its activities. The TOR also provides a frame of reference that a Board can use to make informed decisions.

The TOR template includes generic components to include in a committee’s TOR. The template can be adapted to the specific purpose, intentions and requirements of your committee(s) as appropriate. You can also download the PDF version of the template here.

(Name of Division)

(Name of Committee)


1. Purpose
The purpose of the committee/What it is established to do.

2. Membership
The composition of the committee, officials and members.

  • Officials: Chair and Secretary as decided by the committee.
  • Members: Directors of the Board may be appointed by the Chair and/or the senior staff person (Executive Director/Coordinator); others as decided by the Committee.

3. Meetings
How meetings are conducted; how decisions are made.

  • Term: How long the Committee will exist.
  • Frequency: At the call of the Chair.
  • Quorum: A simple majority of the members of the Committee constitutes a quorum.
  • Decision Making: Consensus (agreement of most of the participants with minority objections as a result of discussion).

4. Minutes
How the action of the Committee is recorded and distributed.

  • Recording: Minutes of each meeting are recorded by the Secretary or delegate.
  • Distribution: Minutes are circulated to Committee members and the Board.

5. Reporting/Relationship
How the Committee reports and relates to the Board.

  • Reporting: The Committee reports to the Board on a quarterly basis.
  • Relationship: The Committee reports to the Board on matters relating to its purpose and responsibility; Items are brought to the attention of the Committee by the Chair.