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Following a meeting, the minutes serve as the medium to record agreements reached, actions outstanding and other information such as topics discussed. Minutes of meetings are important to aim to ensure that they document a common understanding of such agreements reached, by whom and when.

This document then serves as the definitive record of such decisions, once the minutes have been agreed by the attendees. Minutes must be circulated and if there are inconsistencies in the recollection of events by attendees against the records, these should be raised with the recorder as issues.

At a minimum, minutes must identify the following elements:

Attendees.Listing of workshop participants.
Not Present.Listing of invitees unable to attend.
Topics.Listing of the areas/ issues discussed. The key or main points and decisions associated with each area should be detailed.
Action Items.All agreed next steps should be detailed. This helps prevent repetition of topics previously discussed as it documents and provides clarity for actions pending.Recurring workshops should include reference numbers to track actions.
Individual Responsible.All action items should be assigned to an individual who is responsible to aim to ensure completion. Minutes provide a vehicle to seek re-confirmation from participants of their assigned responsibilities as well as communicating actions taken to individuals that were unable to participate.
Completion Date.The agreed date when the action would be resolved or final.
Major decisions.Listing of all the key decisions made at the meeting