19 March 2019 - Article
The way in which charity trustees are recruited can make a huge difference to the quality of a charity’s performance. The Charity Commission wants to ensure charities appoint the best possible individuals.
The Commission are also keen, however, for charities to broaden the spectrum from which they recruit their trustees to include those with direct experience of the charity.
The Commission’s guidance ‘Finding New Trustees- What Charities need to know’ reflects the changes introduced by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and provides detailed advice on trustee recruitment. It highlights the key points to consider during the recruitment process.
The guidance acknowledges that charity trustees are often recruited in an informal manner and gives comprehensive advice about recruiting trustees in a more dynamic way. The Commission suggests ways of increasing the diversity of trustees – for example (and where appropriate) by recruiting from the volunteers, or beneficiaries, of the charity, who have direct experience of how the charity works on the ground.
The Commission also recommends analysing the skills of the current trustees prior to recruitment to identify gaps in expertise which need filling, such as in financial experience or communications.
The guidance covers the legal and regulatory requirements relevant to trustee recruitment. Practical tips include a checklist of procedural points that must be followed, such as ensuring proper background checks are made and that other relevant bodies are informed of the appointment.
The guidance is a hugely valuable tool – not only to those establishing a new charity but also for well-established boards that are looking to review their methods and policies of trustee recruitment.