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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.


                          Organisational purpose
                          A well-run board is clear about the purpose and values of the organisation and how it will achieve its aims. As the board we have ultimate responsibility for directing the activity of our organisation and delivering its stated purpose
                          Understanding our organisational purpose and values and committing to them to make sure that our organisation delivers what it was set up to do
                              Making sure our governing document is fit for purpose, and sets out the details of how our organisation is to be governed
                                      Making and recording informed decisions in line with our governing document
                                        Overseeing the use of assets and resources to make sure they are used to achieve our organisation's purpose and aims
                                          Communicating the work of the organisation and the difference it makes to the people we work with and the public
                                            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.
                                            Identifying and embedding the vision and values of our organisation, and 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
                                                              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 activites 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
                                                                                Board behaviour
                                                                                A well-run board, both collectively and individually, embraces and demonstrates mutual respect, integrity, openness and accountability. As the board we understand that our behaviour can have a far-reaching impact and is fundamental to our organisation's reputation and success. We need to ensure our behaviour is consistent with our organisation's vision and values.
                                                                                Being transparent, open and accountable about how we govern, who we are, and the decisions we make
                                                                                            Promoting equity, diversity and inclusion and embedding ethical standards in the policies, practices and culture of our organisation
                                                                                                      Listening to each other, our beneficiaries, members, employees, volunteers and stakeholders, and respecting the role they each play
                                                                                                            Handling concerns and complaints transparently, constructively and impartially
                                                                                                                  Recognising and acknowledging where conflicts of interest may arise
                                                                                                                        Creating a constructive board environment where diverse, and at times conflicting views are respected and welcomed, and decisions are reached collectively
                                                                                                                              A well-run board will develop and implement appropriate controls to direct and oversee the progress and performance of the organisation. As the board we should put in place appropriate structures, controls and processes to make sure the organisation is run in line with its purposes and values, governing document and relevant legal and regulatory requirements.
                                                                                                                              Maintaining and regularly reviewing policies and procedures and reporting arrangements, for example our internal governance, safeguarding, fundraising and financial controls
                                                                                                                                  Making sure our scrutiny and collective decision-making processes are rigorous, informed, transparent, timely and well communicated
                                                                                                                                        Understanding and analysing the internal and external operating environments of the organisation to create effective strategies and systems for risk management
                                                                                                                                            Monitoring and evaluating performance against operational plans and budgets
                                                                                                                                                    Ensuring that any contracts are agreed and carried out in line with the interests of our organisation and in line with our values
                                                                                                                                                          Considering whether our organisation's legal and governance structure provides appropriate protection for the organisation, our trustees, and our members
                                                                                                                                                                Ensuring there are robust internal financial controls in place and clear information provided to the board to allow it to monitor the organisation's financial position
                                                                                                                                                                        A well-run board understands its role, powers and duties and works collectively and proactively to achieve its organisational purpose. As the board we should be self-aware and work together as a team, with a diverse and appropriate balance of skills and experience to continually improve the governance of our organisation.
                                                                                                                                                                        Understanding the legal structure and governing document of our organisation and making sure we act in line with it
                                                                                                                                                                          Setting, embedding and scrutinising the strategic direction of the organisation
                                                                                                                                                                            Regularly reviewing our performance and the composition and skills of our board
                                                                                                                                                                              Developing and improving our capacity and capability with ongoing support and training
                                                                                                                                                                                We have a proactive succession plan linked to the strategic direction of the organisation, following any rules for how trustees are elected and how long they serve
                                                                                                                                                                                              We have a transparent and timely trustee recruitment and induction process
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Our meetings enable us to explore key issues and reach well-considered collective and recorded decisions that are acted on
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Our meetings are well-organised, well-informed, effectively chaired and there is active participation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We communicate with those who have a legitimate interest in the work of our organisation
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