Job description

About the opportunity

We are the RSPCA and it's our vision to live in a world where all animals are respected and treated with compassion.  Our volunteers are incredible, they play an essential role in helping us carry out our important animal welfare work every day.   

Much of our direct animal welfare work is carried out through our Branches. These separately registered charities across England and Wales are run by volunteers who are unstinting in their work for animal welfare. This is an exciting opportunity to become involved with the Branch, helping to achieve our  purpose of promoting kindness and preventing cruelty to animals. 

RSPCA Branches raise money locally to support the animal welfare work they do. Each Branch operates at a local level offering advice, microchipping, neutering and subsidised animal treatments, as well as rehabilitating and rehoming animals taken in through their clinics, animal centres, boarding and fostering facilities. Additionally, there are over 300 RSPCA shops.

Do you have professional expertise you could use to help a good cause? Are you passionate about animal welfare? We are looking for enthusiastic and reliable people to actively volunteer for the Branch as trustees, ensuring that the Branch is governed and managed effectively, whilst continually having animal welfare at the forefront of their minds.Trustees serve on the governing body of the charity and have the responsibility of the running of the Branch. 

As a trustee of a Branch you will have the chance to influence how we care for and prevent cruelty to animals. 

Main activities:

  • To be familiar with and support the aims and policies of the RSPCA.

  • To be familiar with the Branch rules and follow them at all times.      

  • To work with your fellow trustees and Branch officers and jointly act in making decisions for the best interest of the Branch and the RSPCA.

  • To ensure the Branch meets all the minimum animal welfare standards (MAWS).  Where they are not met, to work with national RSPCA staff to meet the standard as soon as practicable. 

  • In conjunction with your fellow trustees and Branch support specialist (BSS), to write, adopt, monitor & review a Branch development plan setting out the short and long term aims of your Branch. 

  • To actively participate in Branch committee meetings and attend the Branch annual general meeting and regional conference. 

  • To be aware of the outcome of regional board meetings and support regional initiatives.  

  • To attend the trustee training course.

  • To actively promote and advertise the society in an ongoing programme to recruit new Branch trustees and volunteers.

  • To welcome new trustees and volunteers to the Branch.

  • Each Branch appoints a Secretary, Treasurer and Chair. Role outlines for each of these Branch Officer roles are available. 


We’re proud to be the oldest welfare charity around.

  • We were the first to introduce a law to protect animals and we work hard to ensure that all animals can live a life free from pain and suffering.  

  • Through our campaigns we raise standards of care and awareness of issues for the animals who have no voice. We push for laws to be changed, improving the welfare of animals on farms, in research labs, in the wild, in paddocks or in our homes.

  • Through investigations and prosecutions we stand up to those who deliberately harm animals to send out a clear message - we will not tolerate animal abuse.

  • Our highly trained officers tackle neglect and cruelty at every level and are working hard to stamp out large-scale serious, organised and commercial animal cruelty.

  • We believe every animal has the right to be counted as an individual.  Animals can rely on us to rescue them when they need us most. To rehabilitate them wherever possible, provide them with the very best veterinary care and to find them new homes, either through rehoming or release.

What are we looking for?

  • We are looking for people from all social and cultural backgrounds, with a variety of experience and skills to draw on, whether these have been formed through life or work situations.

  • You must be committed to the RSPCA’s charitable objectives, so having a passion for animals is very helpful.

  • Most people aged 18 or over are eligible to become a trustee and you will need to become a member of the RSPCA. You will need to be able to work with people and have good interpersonal skills. You do not need to be an expert although commitment, common sense and the ability to be objective is vital.

  • Specific skills such as finance, legal, fundraising, project management, business experience, awareness of employment and/or charity legislation can be useful to help ensure we have a sound and robust business  model and long term strategic development plan, however they are not essential. 

  • We are also looking for people who are creative, innovative, who have experience of or are part of the groups and communities we want to attract, who can bring new ideas, different experiences and fresh perspectives to the Board and to help put those ideas into action.

  • New RSPCA trustees are provided with a document “Guidance for Branch Trustees” and asked to attend a training course which provides information and guidance about a trustee’s role and responsibilities.

  • Trustees must sign a Trustee Declaration of Willingness to Act to clarify that they are not disqualified from being a trustee and that they accept the post. 

  • As of 1st August 2018 in addition to our standard declaration of willingness, trustees also need to complete the new declaration from the Charity Commission and read their guidance for individuals on who can’t be a trustee or senior manager of a charity. 

What can we offer you?

  • It’s a great way to meet like-minded people who share your enthusiasm for animal welfare. 

  • You will be able to use your skills and experience to oversee the charity and make decisions that have a direct impact on local animal welfare.

  • You will have the opportunity to gain new skills and develop existing ones, whilst making a real difference to the lives of animals.

  • New RSPCA trustees are provided with a document “Guidance for Branch Trustees” and asked to attend a training course which provides information and guidance about a trustee’s role and responsibilities.

  • Ongoing support is also provided by regional and national RSPCA staff in addition to any additional training provided by the relevant Branch.

  • You will be volunteering at the heart of the local community.

Practical Considerations

As a minimum, trustees would normally be expected to attend a monthly committee meeting lasting some 2 to 3 hours. However, the commitment may vary dependent on whether or not the trustee takes on additional duties such as the role of chairman, treasurer or secretary.

You must have your own vehicle or access to a vehicle, and your own computer or access to one that can be used securely. 

Trustees are elected for a 12 month term each year. 

Reasonable expenses will be reimbursed. 

References will be required.


Posted on: 10 July 2019
Closed date: 03 October 2019
Job ref: SE402
Tags: Admin, Trustees

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