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A board can use committees, which are often called subcommittees (particularly where the main board is called a committee), to either deal with one off issues or an ongoing need.

Forming subcommittees

In the case of a need or issue that arises as a one off, then a committee or subcommittee can be formed on an ad hoc basis, for example to address ongoing issues such as finance or club growth.

The important thing to remember is that to form subcommittees, your organisation must have this provision outlined in its governing document. 

Ideally your governing document will not dictate which subcommittees you have. This would be a very rigid commitment and you may find a subcommittee deemed useful and appropriate 10 years ago is no longer needed.

Instead the governing document should allow you to form subcommittees as the organisation sees fit.

How are subcommittees governed?

Just as for committees, each subcommittee should have terms of reference that outline:

  • Its purpose
  • How and why it was formed
  • How are members of the subcommittee selected
  • How the subcommittee works
  • How it recommends initiatives to the board
  • How frequently its need is reviewed
  • How often it meets

Examples of subcommittee terms of reference can be found on