Usually ‘trustees’ means the managing trustees. Managing trustees are the people responsible under the charity’s governing document for controlling the charity’s management and administration.
In the governing document they may be called committee members, governors, directors, or some other title.
Sometimes a charity also has custodian or holding trustees, whose function is solely to hold its property. Custodian or holding trustees usually have no power to make management decisions and must act on the lawful instruction of the managing trustees.
Our guidance, The Essential Trustee explains what is expected of someone who is appointed as a charity trustee: