A Code for the Voluntary and Community Sector

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Governance is high on the agenda. Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations driven by altruistic values and working for public benefit are increasingly expected to demonstrate how well they are governed.

In a previous edition of our Signpost magazine we introduced the six guiding principles advocated by ‘Good Governance: A Code for the Voluntary and Community Sector’, beginning with leadership in delivering organisational purpose. The six principles are designed to be universal and applicable to all VCSE groups although practice and procedure will vary according to the type and size of the organisation. This time we’re considering that:

  • An effective board will provide good governance and leadership by working effectively both as individuals and as a team.

To work in the best interests of the organisation and its beneficiaries, the board should recruit individuals who have a mixture of knowledge, skills and experience relevant to operational requirements. Those individuals should have the right characteristics and skills to work as a committed, effective and supportive team, whilst retaining independent thought and the ability to challenge constructively; and they should embody diversity in its widest sense, strengthening decision-making by bringing a broad range of backgrounds and perspectives to the organisation’s objectives.

The board will have a range of appropriate policies and procedures, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours to enable both individuals and the board to work effectively.  The full document can be found by clicking here

Here’s a guide to what each element of this principle might look like for a community group or medium-sized VCSE organisation.