Governance round-up: May 2018

NCVO launches new compliance checklist

A vital component of organisational effectiveness is ensuring compliance with legislation. This involves not only being sure of all of the legislation that applies to your organisation and complying with it, but also being able to demonstrate compliance by keeping records of checks, having policies and procedures around the legislation, and having evidence that people are taking responsibility for compliance. At times this can feel like a daunting task for trustees and as such we have developed a simple compliance checklist designed to help your board navigate these responsibilities.

A new programme for chairs leading smaller charities

The Association of Chairs have announced that they will be launching their new ‘Beacon’ programme, a National Lottery-funded programme for chairs and vice chairs of smaller charities (with an annual income of under £1m) across England.

Developed with chairs of smaller charities, this programme is uniquely well placed to support chairs to do their role effectively. The programme will offer an exciting range of tailored activities, free practical written resources and webinars and opportunities for chairs to share ideas and learn from each other.

If you are a chair, vice chair or interested in hearing more then we’d encourage you sign up to Beacon’s new e-bulletin hosted by the Association of Chairs to:

  • get regular updates about how the programme can help you or chairs in your network
  • be among the first to hear about new tailored, practical resources
  • hear from chairs of smaller charities on how they have tackled key issues.

From the Commission…

We are really pleased to see that the Charity Commission has launched its new welcome pack which will be sent to new trustees. The pack is designed to introduce trustees to their role and has been described by Sarah Atkinson, director of policy, planning and communications at the Charity Commission as a ‘friendly but firm regulatory welcome handshake’.

We are pleased to have worked with the commission to ensure the pack points to the range of support available to help trustees make a success of their role. A big thanks to the readers of this blog who helped feed into the Charity Commission consultation.

Charity Governance Code seeks donations

The Charity Governance Code launched last summer to help charities and their trustees develop these high standards of governance. The Code itself is authored by a voluntary steering group without dedicated staff resource. The Code steering group are now encouraging regular donations to help support this important work and strengthening the sector’s governance.

If you, or your organisation, have found the code useful and want to support its sustainability then you can visit the Code website to find out more about these plans.

In the news…

Regulating Students’ Unions

Joint Committee on Human Rights has suggested that the government should consider handing regulatory responsibility for students’ unions to the new Office for Students, instead of the Charity Commission. The Commission has made clear it isn’t for them to determine who should be the primary regulator, but that under the law students’ unions are charities.

Are charities doing enough on diversity?

Our director Karl Wilding, has called on the charity sector to reflect on whether it is doing enough on diversity saying that charities should ask ‘whether we reflect the communities we serve’ and ‘whether or not we are the mirror to the society we want to be’. This is following NCVO’s Almanac data on the composition of the charity workforce and recent research that boards diversity.

Upcoming training and events

Trustee Conference, 5 November 2018

The annual NCVO/BWB Trustee Conference is now open for early bird registration. Join us as we use the Charity Governance Code to explore the key principles of good governance and how to embed them across your organisation. Using the Code we will give you practical tips and guidance on how to support your charity to follow best practice in governance and help you to develop in your role as a trustee.

Save the date: Governance forum, 17 September 2018

We have set a date for our next Governance forum our event for professionals who support boards and work in governance. More details on the agenda and how to register to follow in a future round-up but for now its just to save the date.

Training courses

Dan Francis is NCVO’s Senior Governance Consultant. For more regular updates follow @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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