A well-run board is clear about its role and responsibilities, and provides strategic direction in line with the organisation’s purpose, vision and values.

As the board we are here to lead our organisation, and we are individually and collectively responsible for our decisions. We need to make sure our organisation has a clear strategy to achieve our purpose. We will do this by:

  • identifying and embedding the vision and values of our organisation, making sure these underpin all our decisions and activities
  • having a clear understanding of the individual and collective roles and responsibilities of our board
  • setting the tone through our leadership, behaviour, culture and overall performance
  • promoting equality and diversity throughout the organisation
  • communicating with our staff, volunteers and members about our vision for the organisation and the decisions we make, and listening to feedback
  • leading and overseeing progress and performance by scrutinising information on activities and achievements, and their longer-term impact
  • understanding and respecting the difference between governance and operations, delegating operational tasks where appropriate, recognising that responsibility and accountability is always retained by the board

Three questions to think about at your next board meeting

  • Does your board share and agree on the values that underpin your organisation, and put them first when making board decisions about the work of the organisation and the use of its resources?
  • Does everyone on your board understand, that irrespective of the office they hold, their duties are collective, and you’re all equally accountable for the decisions you make?
  • Does your board understand the difference between governance and the day to day operations of the organisation?

How your board can demonstrate good governance

  1. You have clear role descriptions for trustees and office bearers outlining how these roles relate to any staff or volunteers.
  2. You make sure the board understands they are all part of the leadership team, and understand their responsibilities, through good induction, regular training and performance review.
  3. You have a clear, coherent and consistent vision, and involve stakeholders in creating a strategic plan.
  4. You make sure the board and individual trustees value collective decision making, and once a decision has been made, everyone supports and carries out that decision.
  5. You create an action plan to promote equality and diversity on the board and throughout the organisation.
  6. You receive regular information regarding the organisation’s activities, assets, and resources to ensure effective scrutiny.
  7. If your organisation has members, you’re clear about their role in the governance of your organisation. Your governing document should be clear on who can be a member, and you should consider members’ views on key issues.