Skip to main content

Trustee Role Description - Treasurer

Role title: Treasurer
Accountable to: Board of trustees
Responsible for: Finance
Term of office: Four years

The BSI is one of the oldest, largest, and most active, immunology societies in the world and the largest in Europe. Our membership is global, but the majority of members are British. The Society’s objective is to promote and support excellence in research, scholarship and clinical practice in immunology for the benefit of human and animal health and welfare. 

All Trustees are expected to make active and dynamic contributions to the Board, the organisation and to supporting our members. Trustees have wide-ranging skills, knowledge and experience appropriate to governance and strategy, including up to eight elected members (who are professional immunologists) and up to 4 additional co-opted individuals with specific expertise.

Elected Trustees include the President, Treasurer, Chair of Forum, Clinical Secretary and two Early Career Trustees, all members of the Society. Co-opted trustees are appointed by the Board for their skills and expertise in finance, legal matters and other areas deemed necessary to ensure that the duties and obligations of the Board are fulfilled. 

Board meetings are chaired by the President (or a deputy Trustee) and are attended by senior officials of the Society (including the Chief Executive). Other appointed officers, Secretaries, Chairs of subcommittees and Editors of the Society’s journals may be invited to attend Board meetings to report on BSI activities when appropriate.

Scope and purpose

The overall role of the treasurer is to maintain an overview of the Society's affairs, ensure financial viability, and ensure that proper financial records and procedures are maintained.

General responsibilities for Trustees

  • Are responsible for the governance and strategy of the BSI
  • Are appointed for 4 years, but may be re-elected for a second term
  • May serve no more than two consecutive terms
  • Are expected to attend the Board meetings four times a year
  • Are responsible and accountable for the efficient running of the Society
  • Set high-level strategy and approve major expenditures
  • Work to ensure the BSI’s financial well-being and financial stability   
  • Ensure that the organisation complies with its governing document, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations
  • Ensure that the organisation pursues its objectives as defined in its governing document, ‘The rules of the BSI’.
  • Ensure the Society uses its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objectives: the charity must not spend money on activities which are not included in its own objectives, no matter how worthwhile or charitable those activities are
  • Will contribute actively to the board of trustees' role in giving firm strategic direction to the organisation, setting overall policy, defining goals and setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets
  • Will safeguard the good name and values of the Society
  • Ensure the effective and efficient administration of the organisation
  • Ensure the financial stability of the organisation
  • Protect and manage the property of the charity and ensure the proper investment of the charity's funds
  • Appoint the chief executive officer and senior managers, and monitor their performance

All Trustees must understand and accept the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship and adhere to Nolan's seven principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

In addition to compliance with statutory duties, every Trustee should use their specific skills, knowledge, or experience they have to help the board of trustees reach sound decisions.

This will involve:

  • Scrutinising board papers
  • Focusing on key issues of importance to the BSI
  • Providing guidance on new initiatives (especially in areas in which the trustee has special expertise)
  • Attending meetings and events to support the work of the BSI (e.g. the annual Congress, the AGM, meetings with senior stakeholders or partners and public engagement events).

Additional duties of the Treasurer

  • Overseeing, approving and presenting budgets, accounts and other financial statements.
  • Being assured that the financial resources of the Society meet its present and future needs.
  • Ensuring that the charity has an appropriate reserves policy.
  • The preparation and presentation of the financial statements to the board.
  • Ensuring that appropriate accounting procedures and controls are in place.
  • Liaising with the Finance Manager on a regular basis.
  • Ensuring that the Society has an appropriate investment policy.
  • Ensuring that there is no conflict between any investment held and the aims and objects of the Society.
  • Monitoring the Society's investment activity.
  • Responsible for ensuring that the Society complies with all relevant legislation.
  • Ensuring that equipment and assets are adequately insured.
  • Ensure that the accounts are prepared in the form required by the relevant statutory bodies.
  • Ensure that the accounts are audited in accordance with the regulations and that any recommendations are acted on.
  • Make a formal presentation of the accounts at the Society AGM as required by the legislation.
  • Chair the quarterly Finance sub-committee meetings.

Person specification

  • Membership of the Society is required under the rules
  • Excellent overview of key areas of and developments in immunology
  • Previous experience of chairing at committee level
  • An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship.
  • Strategic vision
  • Good independent judgment
  • Very high level of credibility within the community
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Commitment to the Society
  • Willingness to speak their mind
  • Ability to think creatively
  • Open and transparent approach
  • Ability to work effectively as a member of a team
  • Nolan's seven principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, and leadership.
  • Willingness to lead on the generation of ideas and their development, with support from BSI staff.
  • Financial experience
  • Some experience of charity finance, or a broad understanding
  • Skills to analyse proposals and examine their financial consequences
  • Willingness to be available to staff at short notice and on an ad-hoc basis




Become a member today

Click below to find out how to become a member.

Join the Society

Immunology news

Our membership publication, published quarterly and distributed free to members both electronically and in traditional print.

Read more