Governance round-up October 2015

We’re in final preparations here at NCVO for our annual Trustee Conference on 2 November delivered in partnership with Bates Wells Braithwaite. Join 400 trustees to get the latest legal and regulatory updates, remind yourself of your obligations as a trustee and get tools and advice to help in your role.

This year the conference will mark the beginning of Trustees’ Week 2015 a sector-wide series of events celebrating the role of trustees and championing best practice in governance.

NCVO has made all our online video training free for members including our Trustee Training Pack. Check out our Study Zone for the list of courses. You can join us though our website.

Fundraising: It’s all about good governance in the end…

Leading up to the conference our other focus has been the release of the Regulating Fundraising for The Future: Trust in charities, confidence in fundraising regulation report, chaired by our CEO Sir Stuart Etherington. This past summer the charity sector had a difficult moment in the sun over various fundraising practices. Scrutiny from various quarters including ourselves has thrown up some of the governance issues underlying the operational practices that we need to consider. My colleague Elizabeth Chamberlain’s blog post is a very clear and concise summary on the implications for trustees.

And with the government accepting the report recommendations, Sir Stuart outlines in his latest blog post where next for implementation.

The trustee recruitment wish list: lawyers, accountants and under-26 year olds

The case for a diverse board is largely accepted by most organisations but actually getting one is a harder proposition. The Charities Aid Foundation has recently published the Young Trustees Guide which has some good tips on recruiting and guidance on how to make boards and trusteeship more youth friendly, rather than just expecting younger people to learn and adapt to the status quo. In my experience the process can result in improved governance procedures for everyone on the board.

Get Legal

Our colleagues at Bates Wells Braithwaite are dramatically expanding their Get Legal website for charities and social enterprises. Until now Get Legal has largely been a very useful free tool to decide on incorporation and legal form. It is now offering an expanding range of customised and legally compliant documents for setting up and running a voluntary organisation available to download in the range of £12 to £30.

With more to follow, current key documents include:

  • a standard employment contract
  • disciplinary and grievance policy
  • AGM notices and forms
  • filing checklist for regulators.

From the Charity Commission

For charitable companies digital lodgement of annual accounts with Companies House has generally made life a little simpler. The Charity Commission has now launched a consultation on enabling all charities to also file digital accounts with the Commission. The consultation closes on 8 December 2015.

The Commission has also published guidance on whistleblowing by charity employees.

Upcoming events

If you can’t make the conference then you may also be interested in our upcoming training days:

  • Charity Trustees: Understanding the Numbers 23 October 2015
  • Meaningful Strategy 16 and 17 November 2015
  • Charity Trustees: Induction and refresher training 24 November 2015
  • Volunteering and the Law 4 December 2015
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Myles currently leads on NCVO’s practical support offer and was previously an NCVO governance consultant. He has spent most of his career in the UK and Australian voluntary sectors. Myles is a former chief executive of both a local law centre and the Community Legal Centres Association of Western Australia. He is also an experienced trustee and chair of various frontline organisations and umbrella bodies in the legal aid, human rights and health sub-sectors.

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