Governance round-up: December 2016

New easy read Good Trustee Guide

Over the past few months we have been working with The Advocacy Project to develop an easy-read version of our Good Trustee Guide. By making information accessible to those with learning disabilities, we hope to help organisations improve the diversity of their governance structures. Increasing board diversity is a key recommendation of the new draft Charity Governance Code and I’ve written a blog post about some of the wider lessons on the process of developing the guide.

Charity Governance Awards

The awards are organised by the Clothworker’s company in partnership with NPC, Prospectus and Reach. By shining a spotlight on the sector, the awards demonstrate how effective governance can transform a charity and the lives of its beneficiaries. It’s a great opportunity to raise your organisations profile and to highlight good practice. Entry to the awards is free. Each of the seven categories offers a £5,000 cash prize.

The award categories are:

  • Board diversity and inclusivity
  • Embracing digital
  • Embracing opportunity and harnessing risk
  • Improving impact – charities with three paid staff or fewer (including charities with no paid staff)
  • Improving impact – charities with 4-25 paid staff
  • Improving impact – charities with 26 paid staff or more
  • Managing turnaround

See more about last year’s awards and winners and enter

Information Commissioner’s Office investigations

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the independent regulator dealing with data protection and privacy, has fined the RSPCA and the British Heart Foundation for breach of data protection rules. The ICO’s investigation concluded that breaches had taken place in both charities in relation to: wealth screening, data and tele-matching, and data sharing.

The ICO has said it is committed to ensuring compliance within the charity sector and that it will organise an educational event in partnership with the Charity Commission and the Fundraising Regulator.

Charity Governance Code consultation

The consultation on the new Charity Governance Code was launched last month. The Code’s steering group are now inviting responses to the consultation which will run until February. I’d really encourage you to take a look at the consultation document and feed in your thoughts. I will be meeting with the code’s steering group in the new year to work through responses and understand how the consultation document needs to change.

From the commission

The commission has launched a new customer survey about its digital services which will close on Wednesday 18 January. The commission says its digital vision is:

To protect the integrity of the register of charities and public confidence in charities by providing customers with simple and easy to use services, as well as collecting data to enable it to regulate effectively, and exploiting new and more effective forms of communication to reach trustees.

New fundraising responsibilities are now in force – these include the requirements for extra information to be contained in written agreements between charities and third parties, and the additional requirement for audited charities to include fundraising information in their annual returns.

NCVO Annual Conference

Registration is now open for our Annual Conference which will take place on 20 April. We will explore all the key elements you need to consider when running your organisation and inspire you to lead with purpose.

Upcoming NCVO training and events

  • Charity trustees: Induction and refresher – 13 January 2017
  • NCVO Data Protection Seminar, Manchester – 26 January 2017
  • Supporting good governance: Effective board servicing and governance administration – 27 January 2017
  • High performance board – 6 February 2017
  • Charity trustees: Induction and refresher – 9 March 2018


For more regular updates follow me @mynameisdanfran or @NCVO on Twitter.


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Dan is responsible for NCVO’s governance consultancy offer, focusing on governance reviews, board performance and trustee training. He joined NCVO from the National Union of Students (NUS) where, as a long standing consultant, he supported the organisational development of local students’ unions as charities.

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