Governance and Charity Advice
Information and advice
Our various governance advice notes provide detailed guidance on the most common queries that we deal with, for example, charitable status, legal structures, conflicts of interest, company administration. We can also provide advice and guidance on your specific queries however we ask you to check our comprehensive advice notes in the first instance.
Governing document review and drafting service
We provide a service for reviewing and/or drafting governing documents, for example constitutions or memorandum and articles of association, tailored to meet your organisation’s needs. The governance team will work with you to ensure that your Objects clause sufficiently covers your current activities and that the governance arrangements are clearly laid out and reflective of what happens in practice. Please contact the governance team for details of the charges for this service.
CCNI Helper Group for charity registration
As one of the Charity Commission’s ‘helper groups’ we can assist you with your online application for registering with the Charity Commission. In working with a number of organisations we have found that the question that poses the greatest challenge is ‘the public benefit statement’. We will use the Commission’s public benefit toolkit to help charities write this and would encourage all organisations to read the Commission’s helpful registration support guidance BEFORE starting the online application.
Governance training for the board
For many boards, participating in governance training is a very important aspect of maintaining good governance. It is an opportunity for board members to gain a better understanding of their role and that of the board as a collective. It may be a time for the board to examine how effective it is and identify areas for improvement and/or it may also be an opportunity to keep up to date with the latest in charity regulations. Our governance team can design a bespoke session relevant to the needs of your board and deliver it in your own premises at a time that suits the board members, daytime or evening. We also provide more general governance training which is sometimes available on the training calendar, for example, risk assessment and governance for new trustees.
The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland commenced compulsory registration of charities in December 2013. We provide the sector with the most up to date information on the key changes in charity regulation. For the latest on new charity regulations and a history of recent charity law reform in NI, please see our dedicated charity regulation webpage.
Code of Good Governance
The revised Code of Good Governance sets out the principles and practices of good governance for the boards of voluntary and community organisations. Launched in early 2016 by the Developing Governance Group (DGG) it has been widely accepted as the set of standards for governance in the sector. In order to help boards adhere to the principles of the Code, the DGG devised a governance health check as a self-assessment framework in which boards could assess their own governance practices. In addition, the practical resources on the ‘diycommitteeguide’ website have been remapped to the principles of the Code.
The Code of Good Governance was first published in 2008, and after consultation with the sector is was agreed that the revised five principles were more appropriate for all sizes of organisations to work with.
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As the Arts Council finds itself hit by more cuts - most of which will have to be passed on to funded organisations - Scope speaks with chair Bob Collins, who says seeing the sector as a soft target misses the point and will lead to trouble.
Charity Commission Chief Executive Frances McCandless talks to Scope about CEO pay, governance and registration.
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