Board Meeting Glossary of Terms

Board Meeting Terms and Phrases

The traditions and governance related to company boards and board meetings has its lexicon. We hope that our glossary of board related terms and acronyms will help newcomers with short, simple and understandable explanations.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please comment below and we will be glad to assist.

The meeting agenda is an outline of the topics for discussion at an upcoming meeting of the board of directors or for any meeting.

The agenda is shared with meeting attendees, ideally some time ahead of a planned meeting. This allows meeting members to have time to digest any supporting documents or to do research and thinking before the meeting

The meeting agenda can simply list topics for discussion in chronological order. More detailed agenda’s can include more details about the members selected to present a topic as well as time allocations for the item under discussion.

The ability  to track board member attendance and participation in meetings, helping to ensure accountability and transparency within the board. Attendance is often reported on in an Attendance Register.

Attendance at meetings is tracked and reported on by means of a meeting attendance register. The attendance register becomes a legal document and is stored as part of the meeting records.

Most companies have a rule prescribing a minimum number of members required to be present at a meeting, for a meeting to be legally valid. This is called a quorum.

The regular gathering of the directors of an company or organization to discuss and decide on actions or strategies related to the running of the company or organisation is called a board meeting.

Normally such meetings are scheduled at regular intervals for as long as a year ahead. Meetings are organised and prepared for by the company secretary, who is responsible for assembling a document outlining all matters to be discussed during the meeting. This document is called the board pack. 

Board meetings are commonly managed by the company chairman although sometimes the company CEO will undertake this task.

The documentation and procedures relating to board meetings form part of the governance commitments of a corporation.

Is a shortening that refers collectively to the directors of a company. Most of whom have a title having a 'C' as their first letter. For example: CEO, CFO and CIO.

The feature in board systems that tracks and documents decisions made during meetings, providing a centralized repository for reviewing past decisions and their follow-ups.

A feature in a board portal platform like BoardCloud that enables users to markup and add comments to documents (typically board packets) shared within the platform, facilitating collaboration and feedback.

The capability of a board management system to integrate with electronic signature services, enabling board members to electronically sign and approve documents directly within the portal.

A tool within a board portal that allows administrators to create, customize, and distribute meeting agendas, including attaching relevant documents and setting timelines.

Meeting minutes are a record of events, decisions and discussions that happened during a (board) meeting. 

Despite the obvious connection between the word 'minutes' and a recordal of the events of a meeting in minutes, the term does not derive from here. Rather, meeting minutes comes from the Latin for small notes, which is  'minuta scriptura'.

Items Relating to Meeting Minutes

Action Item

An action is a specific task assigned to a member or a group of members of a meeting. Typically action items arise from matters discussed during a meeting and arise as a result of these discussions.

An action item can be described as a entry describing Who is doing What by When.

A motion is a question/suggestion/proposal that is tabled for members of the board to discuss or debate. A motion can be voted on by a show of hands (verbal) or by written responses.

In some organisations, a motion needs to be seconded before it can be tabled.

Motions are carried when approved by a simple majority.

In law recordal refers to the process of recording events, conversations and decisions in order to make a permanent record.

A resolution is a motion that has been carried (passed) by the board of directors of a company at a properly convened board meeting.

A resolution is legally binding on the directors and is documented in the official meeting minutes.

A secure, encrypted file-sharing functionality that ensures confidential board documents and sensitive information can be shared securely among board members.

A board meeting conducted online through an electronic meeting platform, allowing board members to attend remotely via video conferencing.

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