Efficient minute-taking is a bit of an old fashioned skill but one that is often needed by businesses, schools, non-commercial enterprises, charities and community associations. Many of these organisations have realised the benefits to outsourcing this task to a virtual assistant who offers a professional minute taking service.
Why you need minutes
Meetings come in various forms but, if decisions need to be made, recommendations agreed and statements and actions recorded, then some form of accurate notes are required.
Regulatory meetings may require comprehensive minutes. Other less formal meetings, whilst still important, may only require points of discussion and a list of actions. Either way someone needs to be listening carefully and taking those notes.
It is extremely difficult to take good minutes while participating in meetings – believe me I have tried!
Concentrating on the discussions and salient points, while simultaneously formulating your response to the person talking, will inevitably mean bits get missed. This can have consequences down the line if a discussion is challenged or an action not taken.
Advantages to outsourcing to a minute taking service:
- Many businesses don’t have staff suitably skilled to take good minutes .
- No need to take your PA/admin away from their regular work.
- Allows the Chair and attendees to concentrate fully on the discussions knowing all notes and actions are being recorded.
- Bringing in someone from outside the organisation ensures independent, impartial and confidential notes, vital for sensitive meetings.
- Time specifically put aside to ensure a quick turnaround of approved minutes.
- If required your VA will liaise with the Chair to draw up the agenda, circulate this and accompanying documents to attendees ahead of the meeting.
- Otherwise your VA may request a brief chat with the Chair before the meeting to go through the agenda, attendees, and how he/she wants the meeting to be recorded.
- Your VA will attend the meeting on-site and take notes accordingly.
- If the meeting has specific legal content and/or implications it may be necessary to record the meeting. This is for reference purposes only, minutes are not normally transcribed verbatim.
- A draft copy of the minutes will be typed up, within an agreed timescale, using house formatting and sent to the Chair for approval.
- Edits will be carried out as necessary.
- The final approved minutes will be circulated to the attendees if requested.
Value for money
Minute taking services are charged at an hourly rate (plus relevant travel expenses) and include:
- A professional, courteous and confidential service at all times
- Any pre-meeting collation and distribution of agenda and relevant documentation as required
- On-site attendance at the meeting.
- Compilation, typing and editing of minutes (allow up to twice the length of the meeting)
- Liaison with Chair for approval and distribution.
- Documentation, including raw notes, retained in accordance with GDPR, data processing and retention policie