Governance is the structure an organisation uses to set goals, monitor performance, maintain viability and ensure compliance with legal requirements and ethical standards
The main tasks of the governing body of an organisation (the board, committee, collective etc) are:
- Ensuring the organisation meets its contractual, ethical and legal obligations
- Ensuring resources are sufficient and well managed
- Ensuring the organisation's objectives/mission are developed and sustained
- Planning and monitoring organisational achievements in relation to these objectives/mission
- Ensuring the ongoing viability of the organisation.
A good governing body should not:
- Interfere with the day-to-day functional aspects of an organisation
- Manage the administrative functions (some of these tasks might be done by committee members working as volunteers, this is not 'governing').
Good governance allows an organisation to:
- Have a 'big picture' vision and appropriate strategies to realise that vision
- Be accountable to its members
- Achieve its stated objectives
- Support its employees to pursue the full range of their job descriptions.
The governance board/committee does this by:
- Understanding the organisation's philosophy and objectives
- Being organised, efficient and responsive
- Understanding its responsibilities
- Understanding the objectives, programmes and work of the organisation
- Demonstrating inclusive and fair processes
- Setting goals and priorities and monitoring progress on these
- Ensuring the committee is diverse, relevant, skilled and representative of the organisation's membership.