A Team Charter


Groups can work more of less effectively together.

When groups are formed to achieve something together over time, how well they work together will determine a more or less successful outcome.

A work project

An academic project

Creating a product in a team

Solving  a problem together

It can be useful to develop and and sign up to a set of ground rules – sometimes called a Group Contract – these are our commitments to each other in terms of behaviours and values that we all sign up to from the start of working together and to completion of our shared task, project or assignment.

Activity – a team charter or some “groundrules”

Produce a written team charter – to be signed by each of you – which lists the commitments each of you will make to this group about what you will do to help the group works well over the coming year.

 Ensure that one person takes responsibility for sharing a copy of this with every group member.

From time to time you may wish to review how your group and the individuals within it are doing in relation to this contract. This may lead you to revise the contract. It may also generate feedback to individuals.

This charter can include…


For example:

Being positive rather than cynical

Being honest and not keeping quiet when you have something to say

Respecting others’ opinions

Being prepared to challenge and be challenged

Explicit behaviours

For example:

Meetings are confidential

We keep to time

Inform others if you will be late

Do the tasks to you commit to

All actions arising from meetings are minuted and sent out within 24 hours of the meeting

One way to begin to identify the behaviours and attitudes in a group contact is to try this:

Reflecting on today, complete this sentence:

In working with my seminar group colleagues on the Masters programme, I am committed to behave in the following ways …. (Write down three personal commitments.)

Some typical ground rules

Our Group Behaviours

  • Time keeping – don’t be late for meetings, always inform in advanced is you are late (if you are late you buy coffee for the rest if the group)
  • Deadlines – we set and meet all deadlines and agreed actions: always inform in advance if you have trouble meeting as deadline
  • No digital distraction at meetings – phones are off unless used for the group’s purpose

Our Group Attitudes

Be open and honest and prepared to challenge but also respectful of others

Don’t be silent, speak up but don’t dominate conversations

We divide work fairly – no free riders

Bring a positive attitude to meetings; criticism should be constructive

(all group members sign the ground rules or group contract)

Here’s an example…


Find out more…

Here is a sample group contract from a course at the University of Delaware. They call them “group ground rules”.

Here is a great page about team charters from Mind Tools.