Draft of significant update to charity governance code

A draft for a new version of the Code of Good Governance has been published for consultation. Civil Society News says that this is a radical update. It proposes that trustee boards must consider mergers with other charities or winding their charity up, if other organisations are seen to be fulfilling similar charitable purposes more effectively.

NCVO’s news release also highlights new features and higher standards in the code. There is also a new section on the relationship between the trustee board and staff.

An NCVO blog gives the key changes from the previous version, which was last updated in 2010. The title has changed from ‘Good Governance: A Code for the Voluntary and Community Sector’ to ‘Charity Governance Code’.

See the Governance Code website for more on the consultation and to download the draft (17 page pdf, in English 205KB, or Welsh 211KB). Feedback requested by 7th February.

Note: your editor is still doubtful that the code website has adequate contrast for accessibility requirements. The pdfs also have some colour backgrounds giving low contrast.

More governance notes

Ireland has also got a newly revised version of its ‘Code of practice for good governance of Community, Voluntary and Charitable Organisations in Ireland’. See this news item from The Wheel (another grey site!) or direct to the Irish Governance Code website. (the full download pdf is 87 pages, 1.4MB).

A Code for Sports Governance has been published. It

“has three tiers and will apply to any organisation seeking funding from Sport England or UK Sport, regardless of size and sector, including national governing bodies of sport, clubs, charities and local authorities.”

UK Sport news item or direct to the publication page (64 page pdf download, 1.3MB). This code builds on the Voluntary Code of Good Governance from the Sport and Recreation Alliance.

ICSA, the governance body, has a recent blog ‘The governance merry-go-round‘ which puts a corporate governance angle on perennial charity governance debates. An extract:

Charity governance is not perfect and there is a lot to do in order to improve it. But please remove the rose-tinted spectacles when comparing it to other sectors. Do take what is best from other sectors and adapt it as necessary.

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