Meeting Prep – Create a Consent Agenda


A Consent Agenda is an agenda item (you would designate as “Consent”) when preparing your agenda in the Agenda Editor. A Consent Agenda allows multiple “routine items” (children) to be grouped within one item and voted on via a single and inclusive vote. Your bylaws will often dictate what may be included in a consent agenda item. Typically, these are routine items, are recurring, need little discussion, or are items pre-approved by others (with that authority). Examples may be routine & recurring utility expenses, pre-approved project expenses, expenses approved by administrators or department heads.  

When preparing your agenda, using the Agenda Editor, you can “designate” an item to be a “Consent Agenda” Item. You may link or connect all the specific items that are within the consent agenda (children items) so they can be displayed on the Public Display (if you wish to display them) AND any of the separate items within the Consent Agenda may be “easily & quickly” pulled out of Consent and voted on separately, should a request be made to do so.   

This document assumes you are now familiar with Creating, Preparing and Running a Basic Meeting. We will assume here that you have created a meeting via the Home / Select Group / Meeting screen within the Meeting Manager and have established and are creating the agenda for this meeting. 

If you have any questions about preparing, or loading/starting meetings, please see the following document links: 

If you already know how to create Consent Agendas but wish to learn more about handling Consent Agenda Items “during a meeting,” please proceed to view the following document link.  

Details / Sequence of Events 

Create a Consent Agenda & its’ Children in the Agenda Editor 

There is a specific sequence of events to create a Consent Agenda Item in the Agenda Editor. This document will explain the specific process of “creating” a Consent Agenda Item within the Agenda Editor. 

Important Note:  Within the present version of Meeting Manager, only ONE Consent Agenda Item is allowed. In future versions, we will be adding the capability of having multiple consent agenda items.  

1 – Create the Main Consent Agenda Item  

After creating your meeting, load the Agenda Editor. 

Add a New Agenda Item named exactly as “Consent Agenda”  

  • At present, this item must be named exactly “Consent Agenda” 
  • When creating this item DO NOT CHECK the box “Consent Agenda” 
  • This check box is only for items that will be contained inside a Consent Agenda and the Main Consent Item should NOT have this checked. 
  • Optionally, you may key or copy/paste in (to the Item Summary) the list of items that are included IN the Consent Agenda. Do this ONLY if you wish to display this list on the Public Display during the meeting. If you don’t display this detail on the Public Display, there is no need to key this detail here at all. 
  • For example, your item could look like the following: 
Main Consent Agenda with details in Item Summary

2 – Create the Consent Agenda Children (to be contained within the Consent Item) 

  • After the Main Consent Agenda Item is added, create the “children” that will be contained within the Consent Item. 
  • Simply create Agenda Items like you would any other Item. 
  • However, for these you MUST CHECK the Consent Agenda check box. 
  • When you check this box, the item will “automatically be placed WITHIN the item named “Consent Agenda. 
  • Continue to key any number of items you wish to be included within the Consent Agenda, each having the Consent Agenda Box checked. 
  • You may have NONE or as much detail as you wish in the Brief Summary or Detail Summary but MUST have a valid Item Name. 
  • Then view your Agenda, which may look like the following screenshot. NOTE the small carrot to the left of the Consent Agenda Item. 
Consent Agenda Item with Details Closed
  • The carrot signifies that this item has additional items within it. 
  • Click on the carrot to open and view the Consent children items, and you will see a screen like the one further below. This example has 4 (four) children. 
Consent Agenda Item with Details (Children Items) Expanded after pressing the Carrot icon
  • IF the Consent Agenda is not in the position you want, you can move it up or down by grabbing / dragging the up/down arrows and moving where you wish, just like any other Item. All the children inside Consent will move with it. 
  • IF you wish to remove ANY of the children from the Consent Agenda before the meeting, simply open that item and un-check the Consent Agenda box. The Item will “automatically” leave the Consent Agenda, become it’s own separate item, and be placed in the agenda directly AFTER the Consent Agenda item.  You can then move it to wherever you wish it to be. 

3 – Your Consent Agenda Item is now ready for discussion in a Meeting 

Please review the Notes/Special Situations below, but when you are ready to learn more about working with the Consent Agenda in a live meeting, please view the following document link: 

Notes / Special Situations  

Creating a Consent Agenda WITH Multiple Children 

It is important that you create your Consent Items as explained above, so that any one of them can be easily selected during a meeting, IF Members decide they need to pull it from Consent and vote on it separately. During a meeting you will be able to separate any of these items from Consent with one click.  

See the following document link for more information regarding this process.  

Creating a Consent Agenda WITHOUT Children 

Alternatively, if you never or very seldom remove individual items from consent, and the detail of each Consent item is sent in your Board Packets, you may NOT wish to add separate items (children) under the Consent Item. In this case, simply add an item named Consent Agenda, add whatever summary or detail descriptions you wish to this main item, but include NO items as children. In this way you can still vote on a Consent Agenda without all the detail if that is your preferred method.  

IF, in the rare event an item is asked to be removed from the consent agenda vote, you can note this in your minutes (notes section of the Meeting Manager) and quickly Add this as a new Item from within the Meeting Manager, and then vote on it separately.  

Special Feature to Auto-Create the Main Consent Agenda Item 

The documentation above walks you through creating the Consent Agenda item (which must be named exactly “Consent Agenda”) before creating the children items that will fall within it.  This is mainly so you understand the sequence of events / process. 

Note however, that there is an feature that creates the main Consent Agenda item for you automatically.  This may be handy to know if you create Consent Agendas, with children items, for each meeting.  Here is how it works. 

  • In the Agenda Editor, don’t create the main Consent Agenda item. 
  • Rather, create the first of all the children that will be in the Consent item, by using ADD or INSERT Item. 
  • Be sure to check the Consent Agenda box on this item. 
  • Press OK to add the item.   
  • IF there is no Consent Agenda item yet in your agenda, the system will automatically create one and place the item you just created as the first child within it. 
  • It will always be placed as the LAST item in the Agenda, but once there, you can move it to any position you wish.  Click the carrot to the left of the Consent Agenda Item number to expand and see the children. 
  • Upon adding all your other Consent Items, as long as you check the Consent Agenda Box on each one, they will each be placed as children, within the one Consent Agenda. 
  • Remember –   the system only accommodates ONE Consent Agenda at this time. In future releases, we do plan to have multiple types of Consent Agendas.     

Additional Support or Questions 

If you are having issues that are not successfully addressed above, or you are not successful signing into Meeting Manager, please call OpenMeeting Customer Support at 320.249.0555.