18 March 2019 - Article
The ACEVO Governance Commission was established in 2012 in order to review the state of governance in the charity sector and to make recommendations as to how it could be improved. The Governance Commission conducted a number of open consultation exercises, during which it identified that there were three broad areas where respondents identified weaknesses and causes for concern in the governance sector: appraisals and accountability; understanding roles and responsibilities; and board management.
The Governance Commission published its report – ‘Realising the Potential of Governance’ – on 17 September 2013. The report makes various recommendations for charities, the Charity Commission and funders and commissioners in relation to these three areas of concern.
In terms of appraisals and accountability, the report recommends that all charities establish a regular formal appraisal procedure for the chief executive (or equivalent), the board of trustees and the chair, and that trustees discuss and consider the benefits of establishing a sub-committee or designated trustee with ongoing delegated responsibility for governance. The report also recommends that the Charity Commission should explore the development of a ‘good governance kitemark’ and that funders and commissioners should consider the strength of an organisation’s governance as part of their assessment process.
The report also recommends that charities should ensure they have up-to-date written guidance in place that can be given to trustees on induction in order to help them understand their roles and responsibilities and suggests that an open, advertised process should be used to recruit trustees.
The full report can be viewed online here.