How can I use the Code?

People tell us they use the Code in the following ways:-

  • as part of the induction for new board members
  • by including a copy  in the board member induction pack
  • as part of training for board members
  • by discussing one Principle at a board meeting on a regular basis
  • by discussing it at Board Awaydays
  • as the starting point for governance reviews

The Code’s Principles of Good Governance have been designed to be valid for the entire voluntary and community sector.

The Full Code and Code for small organisations include an outline of the relevant laws applicable, along with examples of good practice.  This outline of the law is not sufficient on its own. All board members will need to have access to more detailed guidance on their legal duties.   Charity trustees will also need to refer to Charity Commission guidance.

The examples of good practice given may not apply to all organisations. We suggest that the “apply or explain” principle should be adopted so that if the example in the Code does not appear to be relevant to your  organisation, you should find another way of applying the principle and give reasons for your decision.

You may want to develop the Code and change it to suit your own structure and activities. We are happy for different types of organisation to develop their own tailored versions but we would urge you to seek validation by peer review for the modified version.

We are also happy for organisations to include extracts from the Code in their own guidance or other materials but, if you do, please make a full acknowledgement of the source.

Initially this has been drafted for use in England and Wales but we know that organisations from other countries have found it useful. We would like to hear from you about ways in which you have used the Code and what difference it has made to your organisation.