What should supplement a constitution

June 2012 Article, updated June 2018 In my article, “Responsibilities of those in Governance” I mentioned the need for those governing a community organisation to be aware of what is in the organisation’s “constitutional documentation, including any policy, strategic and regulatory documents.”  Many trust deeds and society rules are cluttered with material that need not be there, but should be in supplementary documents which can be changed more readily than the constitution. What should a charitable trust’s deed or a society’s rules contain? The Incorporated Societies Act 1908 (section 6) sets out certain minimum requirement of a society’s rules for registration, but the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 fails to specify any basic essentials.  I suggest that the following basic, core requirements should be specified (the Incorporated Societies Act sections are shown in brackets): The name and purposes of the organisation (section 6(1)(a)-(b)) – but preferably not in unduly restrictive terms which leaves the entity with little room to develop its mission with experience, Given the theme of this article, provision for the making of policies, regulations or bylaws, How the organisation is to be governed, with any powers and limitations on governance powers clearly set out, How people join, resign from and can be removed from membership (section 6(1)(c)-(d)), and details concerning any subscriptions, membership rights and obligations, and complaint procedures, How meetings of the entity are called, held and chaired (section 6(1)(e)), what specific things must be done at annual meetings, and how deadlocks are resolved, How those in governance are elected or appointed (section 6(1)(g)), including any powers of co-option, How meetings of the governing body are...