New charity governance code marks step change for trustees

Commenting on the new Charity Governance Code, Nick Sladden, head of charities at RSM said:

‘Good governance is essential for the success of any charity, and due to greater press and public scrutiny this is now more important than ever. The code raises the bar and provides an industry best practice guide that seeks to increase transparency and accountability, and ensure all UK charities implement effective governance processes.

‘Interestingly the new code recommends all larger charities perform an external governance review every three years – which is the first time an external review process has been recommended as a matter of course. This will encourage high standards and ongoing development which is a positive move but the external review brings additional costs to carry out and implement – applying further financial pressure on charities.

‘In addition, increasing diversity on boards is clearly a key requirement, and the code supports bringing different skills, expertise and viewpoints to the table to ensure charities reflect the society they support. Back to back with this is the recommendation of a maximum nine year term of office for Trustees – encouraging ‘new blood’ or change at board level to ensure charities continue to evolve in an ever changing operational and fiscal landscape.’

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