National Code of Good Governance

National Code of Good Governance for the Voluntary Sector

Note: Several national Charities led by NCVO have developed a code of good governance.  The full document runs to 42 pages.  The 7 principles are summarised here.  The code is more suited to large and/or established organisations.

You can downlaod a copy of the page here – National Governance Code


Principle 1: Board leadership

Every organisation should be led and controlled by an effective Board of trustees which collectively ensures delivery of its objects, sets its strategic direction and upholds its values.

The supporting principles are:

  • The role of the Board
  • Strategic direction

Principle 2: The Board in control

The trustees as a Board should collectively be responsible and accountable for ensuring and monitoring that the organisation is performing well, is solvent, and complies with all its obligations.

The supporting principles are:

  • Compliance
  • Internal controls
  • Prudence
  • Managing risk
  • Equality and diversity

Principle 3: The high performance Board

The Board should have clear responsibilities and functions, and should compose and organise itself to discharge them effectively.

The supporting principles are:

  • Trustee duties and responsibilities
  • The effective Board
  • Information and advice
  • Skills and experience
  • Development and support
  • The chief executive

Principle 4: Board review and renewal

The Board should periodically review its own and the organisation’s effectiveness, and take any necessary steps to ensure that both continue to work well.

The supporting principles are:

  • Performance appraisal
  • Renewal and recruitment
  • Review

Principle 5: Board delegation

The Board should set out the functions of sub-committees, officers, the chief executive, other staff and agents in clear delegated authorities, and should monitor their performance.

The supporting principles are:

  • Clarity of roles
  • Effective delegation
  • Terms of reference
  • Monitoring

Principle 6: Board and trustee integrity

The Board and individual trustees should act according to high ethical standards, and ensure that conflicts of interest are properly dealt with.

The supporting principles are:

  • No personal benefit.
  • Dealing with conflicts of interest.
  • Probity

Principle 7: Board openness

The Board should be open, responsive and accountable to its users, beneficiaries, members, partners and others with an interest in its work.

The supporting principles are:

  • Communication and consultation
  • Openness and accountability
  • Stakeholder involvement
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A Word About Words

This site is aimed at those who govern (control) small organisations - whether they are charities, companies, both or neither. Those who govern them may be called a variety of names. We have chosen to use mainly 'management committee' and occasionally 'committee member' or 'trustee'. more...
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