Charities: taking stock of your governance to enhance board performance

Reflecting or taking stock of the state of our governance is a good practice.


At least once a year it helps to stand back and ask the question is our governance fit for purpose? What are we doing well? What should we continue doing? What should we stop doing?

It is also a pit stop to celebrate what has been accomplished and to plan for the next year.

For charities this good practice is no longer optional. The Charity Code of Governance for large charities recommends that charities carry out an effectiveness evaluation exercise internally annually and invite in an external perspective external evaluation at least every three years. Charities with a typical income of over £1m a year and whose accounts are externally audited are required to apply the Code. The version for small charities applies to those below this.

A board evaluation considers the board balance of skills, experience, knowledge, its diversity, how the board works together and other factors relevant to its effectiveness. Boards are required to explain how the charity reviews or evaluated the board in the governance statement in the trustees’ annual report.

Does evaluation need to cost a lot of money or resource? No it does not. You can learn the tools of the trade, the practices that work and carry it out yourself, thereby minimising the cost while increasing your board effectiveness. You need to agree the purpose of such a process,clarify expectations for success, decide who needs to be involved and the timeliness to the effectiveness audit.

Onboard is running a masterclass on 13 June 2018. Come along to share with other governance experts tips, tools and approaches that work. To find out more please click here  and make the most of your time together. Remember all prices are inclusive of VAT.

This information is necessarily of a general nature and doesn’t constitute legal advice. This is not a substitute for formal legal advice, given in the context of full information under an engagement with Bates Wells.

All content on this page is correct as of June 1, 2018.