Associate members: role and restrictions

Associate members aren't governors, but you can appoint them to serve on committees and attend meetings. Understand who's eligible to be an associate member and what their rights are.

Last reviewed on 17 August 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 3859
  1. What an associate member is and why appoint them
  2. Who can be an associate member
  3. Rights and restrictions
  4. There's no set appointment process
  5. Share information with associate members

What an associate member is and why appoint them

An associate member is:

  • Anyone appointed to a committee of the governing board for their specific skills and expertise
  • Not a governor – so they're not recorded in the instrument of government

This is laid out in the Governance Handbook (pages 64 to 65).

If you're an academy, the term 'associate member' doesn't appear in the model articles of association. However, article 101 says committees can include people who aren't trustees (as long as the majority of the committee members are trustees). 

Why appoint associate members?

They can:

  • Provide a committee with additional skills and a different perspective
  • Fill a skills gap on the board

You might appoint associate members as part of succession planning for your board – e.g. a person could start as an associate member before becoming a full governor.