This website uses cookies for anonymised analytics and for account authentication. See our privacy and cookies policies for more information.

Supporting Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

How to check where you're at on your journey to good governance

Posted on 27 May 2022 by Tracey Bird

Good governance matters because it underpins successful charities and is vital for their effectiveness and sustainability. It enables us to serve our beneficiaries and achieve our mission and values, and it also helps to protect and enhance the reputation of individual charities and all of the third sector.

But how do you know whether your governance is good?

Scotland’s Third Sector Governance Code sets out five core principles of good governance and was developed to help boards understand what best practice looks like. SCVO have developed an online Good Governance Checkup with support from CCLA to bring the five principles of the Code to life and show trustees how they can evidence and demonstrate good governance.

The Checkup, just like the Code, is suitable for all voluntary organisations, whatever their shape, size, and activities. It asks a series of questions about your organisation’s purpose and leadership, your board’s behaviour and effectiveness, and the controls you have in place. The Good Governance Checkup takes about 30 minutes to complete, and you can save your progress as you go and come back to it if you need to.

Once you finish the Checkup, you get your results in a personalised action plan which shows areas you might want to improve and develop, and where to celebrate your successes. You’ll also get links to tailored practical resources which will help you do the right thing in the right way.

You can share your results with other trustees, so why not use the Checkup as a part of a collective exercise? That way all your trustees can explore how your board measures up to the five key principles of the Code.

You can go back to get your results later, which gives you the opportunity to regularly review your progress, and by completing the Checkup you’ll also help SCVO build a picture of good governance in the sector. We’ll be able to look at anonymised results across Scotland and spot areas of strength and identify topics where we can develop more support and resources.

Here’s a recording of a webinar which tells you more about the Checkup and how to use it. And in a new development, SCVO is offering 1-2-1 support on completion of the Checkup. You can book a telephone call or online meeting to discuss your results and the steps to take next in your journey to good governance. So why not use the Good Governance Checkup today?

We’ll be running a session on good governance at the Gathering on Thursday 16 June where you can hear from experts, look at practical tools and resources, and find out ways to help your board and organisation to thrive. This is part of a two-day free programme of workshops, seminars, and training sessions at Glasgow’s SEC, and booking is open now. We’d love to see you there!

To take our Good Governance Checkup, click here.