Virtual Meetings for P&C Associations

Historically P&C Associations across NSW have not been enabled by their constitution to hold meetings other than face to face. Due to changing times, P&C Federation has advocated on behalf of NSW P&C Associations to have an amendment added to the constitution by the Minister for Education to enable P&C Associations to hold virtual meetings (or hybrid meetings with a mixture of face to face and virtual platform/s) agreed upon by the members.

It is important to note that face to face meetings should always remain the preferred method for P&C Associations to meet so no-one is disadvantaged or excluded from participating.

The Prescribed Constitution (P&C Associations that are incorporated) can only be changed or amended by the NSW Minister for Education. Once any change or amendment is made and approved by the NSW Minister for Education, the new version of the Prescribed Constitution  automatically becomes the current Constitution your P&C Association is governed by. This is in accordance with the Parents and Citizens Incorporation Act 1976 No 50 (see extract below (2)).  

“15   Rules of incorporated associations

(1)  The rules for the conduct of the business and affairs of a parents and citizens association incorporated under this Act are the relevant standard or model rules published by the Minister under section 117 of the Education Act 1990.

(2) On incorporation under this Act, a parents and citizens association is taken to have adopted the relevant rules so published, as amended from time to time.
Click here to read the full Parents and Citizens Incorporation Act 1976 No 50
Note: The Standard Constitution (P&C Associations that a not incorporated) is also amended to include the changes.
Prescribed Constitution
Standard Constitution
When investigating the various platforms for online meetings and voting, there is some consideration you may have to take into account, such as, some providers of video conferencing software may offer free versions with limited functionality and capabilities. This may be suitable for your charity. However, it may be that your charity needs to spend some money for an effective option. Similarly, there may be extra technology-related costs that may come with a remote meeting. For example, devices, microphones or webcams, voting platform for anonymity, etc. When P&C Associations are discussing the options available for virtual meetings, a decision of the members must be passed in a motion regarding the platforms to use.

In this document you will note that meeting processes remain the same except for some additional considerations when hosting a virtual meeting, or a mixture of both virtual meeting and face to face, that must happen.

The process to host meetings remains the same. However, considerations need to be made to also allow additional meeting platforms e.g. Via video conferencing, by phone conference a mixture of all platforms or total virtual meetings

  • Considerations
    • Notification of a meeting, when, where, date and time as well as details to join by technology – amended secretary role to include confirming attendance if members participating virtually web or phone (prior registration of attendance to meeting and via which platform- web, phone or face to face)
    • Monitoring quorum – Quorum (delegating to a VP)
    • Voting platforms (anonymity, silent vote) Options and Pros and Cons – Voting can take place depending on whether it is required to be anonymous or not
    • Taking membership – P&C Association Membership/ Membership Interest Form
    • Agenda item (motions in advance, motions raised during meeting)
    • What happens if connectivity is lost during the meeting – ability to verify whether connection was lost or they left the meeting
    • No Proxy voting no exceptions.

Some meeting platforms have limitations on time e.g. 40 mins only, P&C Associations must be aware of this if using these free platforms.

Further thoughts regarding virtual meetings

  1. i) Consultations with member re remote meetings- Decisions by the members re how remote meeting will would look – as a meeting place and additional remote members –

If the initial virtual meeting is used as a foundation meeting, then the meeting can be called by the office bearers (secretary) for the members to make decisions and adopt procedures for the conduct of the virtual meetings.

  1. ii) Costs – are there any costs to the P& Association to subscribe to a platform
  • iii) Selecting a platform – looking and researching platforms – asking where the information will be stored – as data needs to be stored in Australia to adhere to Australian privacy laws – other countries have different privacy laws.


  1. iv) Equity – there is a requirement to ensure that all people wishing to participate are able to do so in an equitable manner.

      This includes internet connections and ability to be active in the meeting. – if     

       someone has issues with the internet and cannot be heard or drops out how is the

       P&C going to ensure equity.

      Where they cannot be heard but are still connected look as maybe chat capability

                            where they can enter a text etc.

      Where there is a drop out of a number of participants it may be prudent to defer the  

      rest of the meeting until a time all can participate.

  1. v) Security re participants information, that no one else other than invitees attend, that there is no recording of the meeting,

Meetings cannot be recorded, email address and phone number should not be shared

  1. vi) Quorum – there needs to be a measurement of the people in attendance and a mechanism for knowing when the meeting has fell below quorum. What if there is still quorum but a number of participants that were keen suddenly dropout due to internet issues.

P&C Associations need to consider how they will deal with quorum issues:

Who is going to monitor the number of participants that responded with their attendance to ensure that quorum is always maintained during the meeting?

What happens if several participants drop out due to internet failure – If quorum is not meet then procedure to reconvene at another time?

There is still a quorum and decisions need to made but everyone is also aware those who dropped off were keen to have their say and vote?

What if a decision is made by the remaining quorum carrying the motion but those that were disconnected are opposed the motion?


  • vii) Privacy and Confidentiality