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Professional Governance Services

Services

Induction training

A survey of newly registered charities by the Charity Commission showed that 40% of charities do not undertake induction training for trustees. This can result in trustees who do not understand the governing documents and strategic direction of their charity or the responsibilities and duties of trustees.

PGS can help by providing general or tailor made induction training for trustees.  This could include drafting a trustee handbook (hard copy or electronic), a code of conduct for trustees, and face to face induction training covering the responsibilities of trustees and your organisation’s governing documents.

Board assessment and development

"Governance and leadership are the yin and the yang of successful organisations. If you have leadership without governance you risk tyranny, fraud and personal fiefdoms. If you have governance without leadership you risk atrophy, bureaucracy and indifference."
Mark Goyder (Founding Director, Tomorrow's Company)

Boards who commit to a regular evaluation process find benefits in terms of improved leadership, greater clarity of roles and responsibilities, improved teamwork, greater accountability, better decision making, improved communication and more efficient board operations.

Regular review of the Board allows Board members to develop a shared understanding of their roles and responsibilities as trustees and directors. It can also encourage teamwork and trust between Board members.

PGS can help by working with you to develop the best approach for your board and organisation. This could include using questionnaires, interviews, or a combination of both to gather data. The feedback could, for example, be collated and presented as written feedback with recommendations, or as a presentation to form the basis of a workshop to develop an action plan for future activity.  We can also assist in assessing the effectiveness and performance of Board committees to ensure their maximum contribution to the overall governance of the organisation

Governance Reviews

Some Boards go for years without reviewing their governing documents and structures. At its worst, this can lead to mission drift and non compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. Keeping the governing document under review helps to ensure that it properly reflects what the organisation does and how it operates.

PGS can work with you to determine if your governing structures are still fit for purpose.  We can undertake a review of the governing documents and recommend improvements and ways in which they can be updated to reflect the current activities and structures of the organisation. Where appropriate we work with your professional advisors, and will always advise when we think professional advice will be required.

CEO and Chair support

It can be lonely at the top.

The appointment of a CEO is probably the most important activity that a Board will undertake.  The development of leadership is a core board competency and needs to be taken seriously. Even the most experienced of CEOs and Chairs can find they need support and coaching in particular circumstances.

PGS can provide the opportunity for confidential support in the areas of business choices, critical relationships, personal characteristics, board relationships and organizational climate.

Board member recruitment

An effective board needs a wide range of skills and experience amongst its members.  However quite frequently charities struggle to attract and recruit new trustees.  An open and transparent recruitment process can ensure a diverse and skilled board.  Boards which depend on word of mouth recruitment can end up recruiting more people like themselves, which can reduce and limit constructive challenge – an important board attribute.

PGS can work with you to undertake a gap analysis to identify the skills and experience needed.  We can then help identify the best means of recruiting and selecting potential trustees.

Complaints systems

Many organisations find it difficult to deal with complaints, which can be both time-consuming and expensive. Within the not for profit sector, charities are all strongly encouraged by the Charity Commission to have sensible and effective complaint handling systems in place which will help to resolve any problems that arise. However many charities have not faced up to this challenge and, even where they have, the systems they have set up often fail to address the needs of the charity itself, its staff and its users. Often complaints are regarded as a nuisance, rather than as a valuable source of information which can help an organisation to understand what happens ‘on the ground’ and to do things better in the future.

PGS can work with you to identify how best to set up a tailored system for handling complaints which is not unnecessarily bureaucratic but offers trustees and managers the assurance they need that complaints will be dealt with appropriately, and lessons can be learned.

Additionally, for complaints that cannot be resolved internally, we can offer a bespoke complaint review and settlement service delivered by experts in dispute resolution and mediation.