New Charity Governance code has launched

This is a must read for all Chairs keen to improve their Board’s governance.

After a period of consultation and amendment, the new Charity Governance Code will help charities and their trustees aspire to high standards of governance and achieve continuous improvement.  It complements the more formal guidance from the Charity Commission which has marked its endorsement for the new code by withdrawing its publication, Hallmarks of an Effective Charity, in favour of encouraging charities to use the code.

We were delighted to be represented by our Director Ros Oakley on the cross-sector steering group that has updated the code, based on the previous Code of Good Governance.

The guidelines come in two versions which share common principles and outcomes: one set of recommended practice applies to smaller charities and another to larger organisations, where accounts are audited.  It addresses people and behaviours, not just structures.

Key recommendations include:

• an expectation that the board will review its own performance and that of individual trustees, including the chair, every year, with an external evaluation for larger organisations every three years
• no trustee should serve more than nine years without good reason
• boards should think carefully about diversity, how they recruit a range of skills and experience, and how they make trusteeship a more attractive proposition
• more oversight when dealing with subsidiary companies and third parties such as fundraising agencies or commercial ventures
• boards should operate with the presumption of openness

and, we’re pleased to say

• stronger emphasis on the role of the Chair and vice Chair in supporting and achieving good governance.

A new website www.charitygovernancecode.org has also just launched to host the code online.