ACEVO launches Commission on Governance! Click here for more information.
What is governance?
Governance can be thought of as: ‘the systems and processes concerned with ensuring the overall direction, effectiveness, supervision and accountability of an organisation’. The Code of Good Governance distills this definition into 6 key principles of good practice.
Why is governance important?
Governance is high on the agenda in all sectors. As voluntary and community organisations working for public benefit, we are increasingly expected to demonstrate how well we are governed. Good governance is a vital part of how third sector organisations operate and are held accountable.
In the third sector, trustees take ultimate responsibility for the governance of their organisations. However, governance is not a role for trustees alone. More, it is the way trustees work with chief executives and staff (where appointed), volunteers, service users, members and other stakeholders to ensure their organisation is effectively and properly run and meets the needs for which the organisation was set up.
What can I do?
ACEVO is able to offer a wide range of support around ensuring your governance is fit for purpose and strong enough to see your organisation through the good, and bad times. These include:
- CEO/Chair relationship development
- Renewing your Board
- Faciliated away days and Board Development
- Governance Review Service
- Dealing with a crisis: Mediation Service
- A broad range of regularly updated publications
- Masterclasses for CEOs and trustees
Jenny Edwards, CEO from Homeless Link, talks about using the Governance Review Service; “As a CEO I feel the relationship with my board and particularly the chair is crucial to how we perform as an organisation.
ACEVO’s online questionnaire provided a welcome focus on our governance practices and the feedback to our board was really useful with practical results.
Assessing ourselves against the standards of the Code of Governance provided a very helpful benchmark and context. We can now move forward with implementing our plans for development, confident that we have a board which is performing well.”
In late 2007 ACEVO undertook a major survey into members’ views on governance. The Commission, chaired by Sir Rodney Brooke, gathered evidence from across the sector, culminating in the report Chief Executives on Governance. 76% of ACEVO members’ boards have no mechanism for assessing individual performance and 65% have no mechanism of appraising the performance of the board as a whole. 15% of members already believe that it will be necessary to remunerate trustees in order to ensure that boards in the sector have the right combination of skills and experience. Follow more interesting research on the policy page.
ACEVO has a range of Governance services to try and make third sector organisations more efficient: