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ICSA Hold Their First Event in Cork. The Importance of Effective Minute Taking.

The ICSA (Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators) held its first-ever event in Cork early this morning. The event, which was proudly sponsored by the Nathan Trust, took place in The Clayton Hotel on Lapps Quay and was attended by Company Secretaries and Solicitors from around the country.

Ruairi Cosgrove of the ICSA spoke on the importance of minute taking, a process which holds more weight and legal importance than some might imagine. Good minute taking is deceptively difficult and is far more than an administrative formality when done correctly.


An interesting and insightful presentation was followed by a questions and answers session with panelists Nora Geary (Corporate Secretary, University College Cork) Noel Wren (Group Company Secretary, Musgrave Group) and John Burns (Business Development Manager, ICSA Ireland)

Here is just some of what we learned from the event:

The purpose of minute taking: The purpose of minute taking is to provide an accurate, impartial and balanced internal record of the business transacted at a meeting. Put simply, minutes record what was done in a meeting, and not what was said, but with sufficient context to give assurance that it was done properly. Minutes may also be used to demonstrate that the directors have fulfilled their statutory duties, in particular by evidencing appropriate challenge in order to hold the executive to account and by showing that issues of risk and both shareholder and stakeholder impact have been properly considered.

7 Points on minute taking:

  • Effective minute taking is deceptively hard.
  • There are an enormous variety of minute taking practices.
  • There is no ‘one-size fits all’ approach for minute writing.
  • Minutes should be clear, concise and free from any ambiguity as they will serve as a source of contemporaneous evidence in any judicial or regulatory proceedings.
  • Minutes should not be a verbatim record of the meeting.
  • The audio recording of board meetings or the publication of board minutes is not, generally, recommended. Any such recording should be deleted once the minutes have been approved.
  • Good minute takers need to be able to listen to multiple voices at the same time while capturing both the arguments and tone. They are also required to summarise an argument accurately, record decisions taken and action points on which to follow up. In addition, they must identify which parts of the discussion are material and should be recorded.

We would like to thank all of those who braved the cold weather this morning to attend, most notably Ruairi Cosgrove of the ICSA, panellists Nora Geary (Corporate Secretary, University College Cork) Noel Wren (Group Company Secretary, Musgrave Group) and John Burns (Business Development Manager, ICSA Ireland) and not forgetting Orla Kelly (Nathan Trust) for making this event happen.

For more information on minute taking visit; www.icsa.org.uk or contact us using the form below: 

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