Governance manager

Job Title: Governance Manager

Reporting to: Chief Executive

Functional responsibility to: Chief Executive, Officers, Trustees, Advisory Group members

Contract: Permanent, 0.6 FTE £38,000-£42,000

Location: Remote working contract


Overall objective of the job

To proactively manage and improve the Society’s corporate governance arrangements. To ensure that the Society’s corporate governance arrangements, comply with legal requirements and implement appropriate best practice. Devising the programme and priorities and seeking the input of the Finance Manager and Chief Executive at appropriate stages. To advise and present to the Executive Committee of trustees and advisory groups on all governance related matters.

To provide a complete, high quality and responsive service to support and improve the effective and efficient running of the Society’s core committees and groups. A full range of administrative and governance capabilities is required.


Main tasks and responsibilities


  • Actively manage and take the lead on the operational side of all governance matters, including managing external compliance and informing and influencing stakeholders to gain buy-in.
  • Ensure that the Society’s corporate governance arrangements comply with legal requirements and improve towards appropriate best practice.
  • Assist with providing advice and guidance to Chief Executive, Finance Manager, Officers and key stakeholders on governance matters.
  • Work with the Finance Manager and Governance consultant to ensure all colleagues have the governance information, procedures, support and advice they need in order to fulfil their duties and responsibilities. This includes programmes of Trustee and committee member training including production or provision of relevant induction, training and information resources.
  • Oversee the implementation of recommendations from reports, reviews and/or consultants.
  • Manage arrangements and procedures for the Annual General Meeting including elections, ballots, and resolutions.
  • Present to Executive Committee on all governance related matters and advise on such matters.
  • Interpret and advise on the Society’s Articles of Association and Rules, including election and voting rules and procedures.
  • Prepare and manage budgets and projections relating to Governance and Executive Committee expenditure and income.
  • Develop tenders when reviewing suppliers and ensure favourable terms for the Society where possible.
  • Continuously review & implement improvements to the systems and work related to governance aspect of the role and Society.
  • Manage and provide support for succession planning and recruitment for Council, Vice Presidents and Subsidiary Company Non-Executive Directors, including the accuracy and timely review of role descriptions.
  • Lead on the application and election end-to-end process for Elected and Appointed Trustees.
  • Ensure that diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies are embedded consistently across the Society’s governance structure and activities, including recruitment of all the roles as described above.
  • Ensure DEI aspects of governance activities are reported meaningfully and regularly to Council and Committees.
  • Oversee the maintenance of governance related policies for the Society, including the annual review of the various committees’ and groups’ terms of reference.
  • Liaise with and co-manage relationships with external regulators and advisers, such as lawyers, election providers and auditors as appropriate.
  • Provide governance oversight for Networks on the Society’s online Community, including reporting on the performance of the platform and establishing new and closing networks as a result.

Executive Committee, subcommittees and groups

To ensure the following:

  • Arrange and administer Executive Committee, all subcommittees and groups: including setting dates; administering the logistics such as virtual and physical room bookings; facilitating arrangements for committee members; processing expense claims; etc.
  • Work with Chairs in the preparation of agendas and papers, including writing and distributing minutes; co-ordination of follow-up actions.
  • Manage relationships with internal and external stakeholders to ensure all Executive Committee, subcommittee and group meetings are run effectively and efficiently.
  • Maintain the committee information recorded in the SfAM CRM and website including maintenance of lists of trustees and officers and notification of expiry of tenure.
  • Ensure the recruitment of committee members is maintained and standardised in a timely manner and reflects the Society’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion values.
  • Develop, implement and improve procedures and resources for the method in which papers and minutes are produced for meetings.
  • Provide guidance to colleagues, chairs and stakeholders on best practices for chairing and administering meeting groups and committees.
  • Ensure procedures are implemented for consistent and timely action on the various aspects of meetings.


  • Ensure that any other duties as required and directed by the Chief Executive and Finance Manager to ensure the effective function of the SfAM trustees and team are undertaken.
  • Collaborate with the team to ensure that the Society actively recruit and nurture possible members of Committees and groups at scientific meetings/events.
  • In the absence of the Executive Assistant, ensure that cover is provided as required.
  • Note that it may be difficult to take significant periods of leave during important dates such as Executive Committee meetings.


Person Specification

Requirements Essential Desireable
Education, training and technical    
An understanding of and enthusiasm for biosciences with an understanding of the importance of microbiology *  
Able to interpret rules and take appropriate action, including give appropriate guidance *  
First degree in arts or science related discipline   *
Member or student of Institute Of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) *  
Experience and/or knowledge of Charity governance and compliance (such as Charity Commission and Companies House requirements) *  
Significant experience of preparing minutes for a broad spectrum of committees and groups, ranging from technical/scientific/medical to management and governance *  
Experience of providing full administrative support to boards and/or committees, including compliance with good governance. *  
Experience of writing reports and briefing documents for board-level committees and providing guidance to colleagues on best practices when writing reports.   *
Improvement of processes *  
Previous experience of working in a charity/learned society or public sector body   *
Understanding of law as it relates to charities and limited companies   *
Interpersonal and communication skills    
Excellent written and verbal skills (including presentation skills to present information concisely and professionally) *  
Good attention to detail and an ability to anticipate potential governance, compliance, administrative or other problems. *  
Ability to work on multiple committees, set priorities and meet deadlines under pressure *  
Able to handle confidential matters appropriately *  
Flexible outlook and willingness to contribute outside the normal range of duties *  
Self-motivated with the ability to use initiative and judgement. Willingness to take full responsibility and be accountable for areas under post-holder’s remit. *  
A good team player who is able to work well with other members of the SfAM team, the Society’s members and secure co-operation from contacts both within and external to the Society. *  


Please submit your application by clicking here.