The Trustees determine policy and set the strategic direction for Topic of Cancer. They oversee the management of the charity, with the Trustees acting as guardians of the public interest.

The Trustees decide on major acquisitions and resource allocations. They represent Topic of Cancer externally, and monitor the organisation’s performance against its agreed objectives.

Trustees are ultimately responsible for deciding what activities the charity will undertake, what resources it will need, how it will obtain and use them. Collective decision making is one of the most important parts of the trustee role. Some decisions are simple and straightforward; others can be complex or far reaching in their consequences.

Role of our Trustees

The role of the Trustees of Topic of Cancer is to:
  • determine policy
  • supervise the charity, acting as guardians for the public interest
  • use its joint experience to decide on major acquisitions and major resource allocations
  • represent the charity externally
  • assist in fundraising from the private sector
  • establish the overall strategic direction of the charity within the policy and resources framework available and ensure there is a distinction between these and day-to-day management decisions
  • oversee the delivery of planned results by monitoring performance against agreed strategic objectives and targets.

Role of the Chair

The Chair should ensure that all trustees are fully briefed on the terms of their appointment and on their duties and responsibilities.

The Chair has particular responsibilities for providing effective leadership to the charity, including:

  • signing, on behalf of the Trustees, the annual accounts and, with the Accounting Officer, the Statement of Internal Control, the Funding Agreement, the Management Statement and the Financial Memorandum
  • formulating the Trustees approach to their appointed duties
  • representing the views of the Trustees to the general public
  • ensuring that the Trustees, in reaching decisions, takes proper account of any requested professional guidance or advice
  • encouraging high standards of propriety
  • ensuring that the meetings of Trustees take place as scheduled and that minutes of meetings accurately record decisions taken and, where appropriate, the views of the individual Trustees
  • ensuring that the full proper procedures are carried through for consultation and approval of appointments and for discussion of other appointments in which the Trustees have an interest
  • ensuring that Trustees may speak when they need to
  • ensuring that, if necessary, a vote is taken and the result recorded
  • providing an assessment of performance of individual Trustees which contributes to consideration of any appointment<.li>

The Chair also has an important role in communicating the views of the Trustees. Communication of this sort will be through the Chair, except where the Trustees have agreed that other Trustees should act on their behalf or should raise issues relating to their duties as Trustees.

Public service responsibilities of the Board

Trustees have responsibility for ensuring that Tate complies with statutory or administrative requirements for the use of public funds, and ensuring that Public Service Values are met at Tate.

The Trustees are expected to:

    • ensure high standards of governance at all times
    • be responsible for overseeing the charity's affairs and determining the policies and overall strategy for the organisation within the policy and resources framework agreed. It must also provide a critical commentary on current activities and the overall direction of the charity
    • maximise value for money through ensuring that its responsibilities are discharged in the most efficient, effective and economical way within available resources

be accountable to the public for the activities of Topic of Cancer. The Trustees should conduct all their dealings concerning the charity with the public, in an open and responsible way

  • observe the highest standards of impartiality, integrity and objectivity in relation to its responsibilities including the stewardship of the charity's funds. It should be able to demonstrate that resources are being used with probity and without grounds for criticism that funds are being used for private, partisan or party political purposes


Role of an individual Trustee

In tandem with the public service responsibilities, Trustees also have individual responsibilities. Individual Trustees should:
  • be aware of their wider responsibilities as Trustees of a charity.
  • act in good faith and in the best interests of the charity
  • not use information gained in the course of their duties as Trustees for personal gain
  • not seek to use the opportunity to promote their private interests
  • comply with the charity's rules on the acceptance of gifts and hospitality
  • formally register any direct or indirect personal or pecuniary interests which may conflict with their responsibilities as Trustees in their Declaration of Interests or by declaring an interest at a meeting.
  • undertake to comply at all times with the recommendations set out on Trustees’ conduct, and with rules relating to the use of charitable funds.
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