Last reviewed on 7 September 2021
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 3859

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.

What is an associate member and who can it be?

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).

Note for academies: the term 'associate member' does not 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.