Governance round-up: November 2019 – Trustees’ Week special

Happy Trustees’ Week! 4-8 November

This month’s governance round-up is focused on Trustees Week. The week is an annual celebration of trustees, to showcase the great work that voluntary boards do. It’s an opportunity to share resources and guidance, and to highlight opportunities for people from all walks of life to get involved and make a difference at a board level. We’ll resume the usual governance round-up service next month.

At NCVO we’ll be celebrating the contribution that trustees make by:

  • Welcoming hundreds of board members to our flagship Trustee Conference
  • Allowing free access to all our online governance resources and online training
  • Offering discounts on all training booked during the week
  • Discounting our Trusted Charity Mark during the week
  • Launching a new tool for individual trustee appraisal
  • Launching a new partnership to allow members to list board vacancies on Trustees Unlimited’s website for free.

Don’t miss out on these – check out our Trustees’ Week webpage for all the details.

Charity Governance Code consultation

In my blog in August I talked about the need to ensure the Charity Governance Code (the Code) remains relevant and up to date. As we approach the three-year mark since this version of the Code was launched, we’re pleased to be working with our colleagues on the Code’s Steering group, to launch a consultation on refreshing the recommended practice.

Rosie Chapman, the chair of the Code’s steering group has written a blog about some of the proposed changes and the need to balance updating the Code, with the fact that many charities are still working to implement the principles.

To find out more about areas we’re proposing to develop and to respond to the consultation, visit the Charity Governance Code website.

New tool to support individual trustee appraisal

Under the principle of board effectiveness, the Code recommends that in larger charities, alongside a board review, the performance of individual trustees should be reviewed annually. Although this is a valuable exercise in both improving board dynamics and supporting individual learning, we find that this is an area which often get deprioritised.

Although initially the prospect of reviewing the performance and contribution of individual trustees can seem daunting – this need not be the case. During Trustees’ Week we’ve developed new guidance to support boards in different approaches and varying levels of depth for individual reviews.

Free webinar: How charity sector trends can inform your next board strategy

Don’t forget I’ll be hosting a webinar with our research team on November 19 which will explore what boards can learn from our UK civil society Almanac. Sign up to join us for free!

General election planning for trustees

Barring any mishaps in the House of Lords we now know that the long-rumoured election will be taking place on 12 December.

My colleague Douglas has shared guidance on the two areas of law most relevant to charities which campaigners and trustees should be aware of in order to ensure your political activity is legal.

Chris from our communications team has also explored what charities and their trustees need to know about the election, how to plan for it and ensuring charities follow the rules.


Governance training

We’re offering 10% off all the above courses with the code TW2018.

You might also be interested in our Introduction to PQASSO and the PQASSO Quality Mark 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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