The Vice-Chair’s role will vary from time to time depending upon the workload of, and the relationship with, the Chairperson. Sometimes the role will be busier due to the Chair’s absence or if certain tasks have been delegated to the Vice-Chair.
Being an effective Vice-Chair requires understanding all of the roles on the committee as, when handling the duties of the Chair, the Vice-Chair is responsible for understanding the roles of all of the people on the committee. It also means supporting the Chair by being knowledgeable about recent actions and decisions, rules and procedures.
The Vice-Chair’s role and responsibilities may be summarized as follows; –
- Assisting the Chairperson in carrying out his/her role
- Chairing the MC or other meetings in the absence of the Chair
- Attending sub-committee meetings when the Chair is unavailable
- When chairing meetings, the Vice-Chair’s role includes; –
a. ensuring that participants keep to the Agenda and stay focused on the item under discussion
b. ensuring there is genuine debate which involves as many people as possible
c. ensuring that participants discuss issues, make ‘Points of Order’ and ask questions – ‘through the chair’
d. agreeing follow-up actions at each stage: i.e. what, by who, and by when
e. ensuring everyone understands decisions before moving on to the next topic
f. exercising the casting vote in the event of a split decision