Posted by: alexswallow | September 17, 2013

The results of the ACEVO Governance Commission- some pointers for the Sector

The ACEVO Governance Commission is reporting back today and I wanted to share some of its findings with you, especially because I promoted a survey related to it on this blog some months ago.

The Report, entitled Realising the Potential of Governance, has a number of key recommendations. Here are a selection:

  • Charities should ensure that they have processes for appraisal of Trustees, individually and collectively, as well as for the chief executive.
  • Trustees should discuss and consider the potential benefits of  establishing a subcommittee or a designated Trustee  with ongoing delegated responsibility for governance.
  • Charities should be required to include in their Annual Report a section reporting on key governance processes and standards
  • Funders and commissioners should explicitly consider the strength of an organisation’s governance as part of their assessment process.
  • Charities should use an open, advertised process to publicise trustee vacancies and request applications
  • Boards should consider implementing defined term limits for trustees, staggered to ensure an appropriate rate of turnover.

ACEVO established the Commission after seeing a 40% increase in demand for its Governance Helpline and CEO in Crisis services. The Commission carried out five consultation meetings across different regions of the country (I Chaired a session in Manchester), and released an online survey that was answered by more than 200 respondents.

The report focuses on three main areas: appraisal and accountability; clarity and understanding of roles and responsibilities; and board management issues, including recruitment, training and dispute resolution. It targets recommendations at charity boards themselves, as well as the Charity Commission and the government.

Derek Twine, chair of the ACEVO Governance Commission and former CEO of the Scouts Association, said: “This report puts forward a range of practical suggestions aimed at supporting  the improvement and development of charity governance. Charities operate in a fast-changing environment and are under more pressure than ever to deliver improved outcomes with limited resources. I hope the recommendations made in this report will help charities to ensure that their governance is ready for future challenges.”

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time on the Commission, representing the Small Charities Coalition and want to thank ACEVO for letting us be involved in their work.

For more information you can contact the ACEVO Press Office on 0207 014 4616


  1. […] The results of the ACEVO Governance Commission- some pointers for the Sector […]

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