Committee Terms of Reference Template

It is a good idea that each committee of an organization (AKA team, working group or sub-group) be clearly defined in writing. This promotes understanding of who is in the group, what they aim to achieve, and how they intend to go about doing it. Below is a detailed template of what such a committee charter or definition sheet might include. Of course your group should customize this format to best match your group's unique needs and tendencies.

Also See Standard Committee Terms of Reference - Advice from the United Way of Canada

Committee Terms of Reference


(Official name of the committee or working group)


  • Name, Contact Information - Roles / Responsibilities (e.g. chair, secretary, treasurer, report to the board)


  1. (primary)
  2. (secondary)


(Specific outputs required/requested from the committee.)

Scope / Jurisdiction

(What are the bounds of responsibility and authority of the this sub-group? What do they need to address and what is outside their area of concern? What can they decide on and what needs group/board input?)

Guidance from the Board / Lead Group

(Initial direction and suggestions from the board and/or larger group.)

Resources and Budget

(E.g. equipment, materials, rooms, funds available to the committee.)


(Decision-making technique, e.g. consensus, 2/3 majority vote or chair's authority, etc. Relationships of authority within the group and with the greater organization.)

Additional Notes

  • Relationships to other committee.
  • How communications outside of meetings will be conducted, e.g. phone or email.
  • Where shared information, such as plans and contact information, will be stored.
  • Related policies / by-laws.
  • How reporting back to the organization will be conducted.
  • History of the committee.
  • Schedule or meetings and/or other important timelines.
  • Information about specific committee projects.
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