Associate members: role and restrictions

You can appoint people who aren't governors or trustees to sit on committees and attend meetings. Understand who's eligible to be an associate member or serve as a non-trustee on a committee, and what their rights are.

Last reviewed on 23 August 2023
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 or sit on a committee as a non-trustee
  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).

Non-trustees on trust board committees

If you're an academy trust, 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). We use the term 'associate member' here for ease, but unless it's stated otherwise, everything in the article applies to both maintained and trust board committees.

Why appoint associate members?

They can:

You might appoint associate members as part of succession planning for your board. A person could