Minutes of meetings are formal records of business.
They can be legal documents.
Minuting of meetings is a very important role, usually given to experienced people, to ensure accuracy.
A business meeting of the board of a company is often a very difficult, argumentative, process.
Meetings are structured on agendas, each matter raised being given its own time and space.
That can be tricky, because it means that a lot can be said in that period of time, and the person minuting has to get all of it, and record it properly.
In some cases, a transcript is made of the meeting, to assist in record keeping, which means that the person minuting doesn't have to record everything said in the meeting verbatim.
In other cases, the minutes of the meeting are more like a summary of what happened at the meeting.
Note: The quality of record keeping of minutes of meetings is often a matter of dispute. You're advised to consider the interests of people at the meeting, and their requirements. The minutes are expected to accurately portray the meeting, and any views or actions resulting from the meeting.
Standardized structure of minutes of meetings
The heading should indicate or describe the participants of the meeting. If necessary, names and titles can be included.
Any external person should be separately noted in the heading or in the minutes, or both.
It's best to have a very simple structure, based on the agenda of the meeting. This creates a sort of step by step process for the person minuting, and keeps the records well organized.
The person minuting the meeting is required to sign off on the minutes as being an accurate record of procedure and events at the meeting.
This is very like an audit trail for legal purposes, if any disputes arise.
Copies of minutes are forwarded to participants, and a copy of the minutes placed on a separate file.
Please note: The example below is an extremely simple, straightforward, case of basic minuting of a meeting. You're strongly advised to seek formal training in meeting procedures, record keeping, and to get some experience in this area.
Minutes of meeting of Board of Directors, Gamma Systems Inc
23 February 2009
Additional persons attending the meeting:
Professor Dan Drew, financial consultant
Preliminary statement by Chairman
Chair stated that projections for financial year were on target. Professor Dan Drew was introduced to the Board as the new financial consultant for Gamma Systems Inc.
Item 1. Approval of expenditure for new building at Cleveland premises.
Prof. Drew was invited by the Chairman to speak to the meeting regarding the financial commitments for the project. Prof. Drew referred to information sheets provided to members, and confirmed the expenditure and proposed line of credit was viable.
Meeting asked to approve expenditure. Vote was unanimous in favor.