Charity Governance Code steering group: Diversity and inclusion specialist

Background

The Charity Governance Code is led by a steering group with an independent chair. The last version of the Code was published in summer 2017 and, for the first time, this version contained a principle specifically addressing diversity. Since then the Code has been widely adopted and gained respect across the sector as a coherent and practical tool for governance improvement. Research has shown that using the Code improves charity governance.

As a steering group, we want to continually improve the Code to reflect evolving understanding of what is good governance and expectations of the sector’s various stakeholders. When we published the last edition the intention was to review the contents and impact of the Code at three-year intervals, to make sure that it remains current. As such we have recently consulted on how the Code can be improved and we intend to publish an updated Code in summer 2020.

We believe we need to strike a balance between continually updating the Code and potential disruption to those using it, especially as it can take some time to work through all the recommendations. For this reason, we are only proposing a ‘light refresh’ of the Code this time round. However, one of the main areas where we feel there is both a requirement and appetite for change relates to the Code’s diversity principle.

The existing Code played a part in ensuring diversity is considered as core to effective charity boards. Yet the Code’s practice is focused very much on how a board recruits, retains and monitors their own diversity and, as a framework, it focuses on how a board should be more diverse in its own composition.

In this update to the Code, the steering group is keen to explore how the diversity principle might be enhanced, for example by also including practice on how a board should embed good diversity and inclusion practice throughout the organisation such as in the design of strategy, the delivery of services, management of staff and volunteers.

Opportunity

The Code steering group is now seeking a diversity and inclusion specialist to act in an advisory and support role to help us with this work. The specialist will support the group in reviewing feedback on the diversity principle, considering best practice, revising the Code and communicating key changes. This will be a short-term project which involves remote desk work and attendance at two to four meetings of the Code’s steering group, held in London. 

We anticipate this work will take around 10-20 days, to be conducted between late March and August 2020. The steering group has a budget of £6–7,000 for this work and price will be one of the factors by which a decision is made.

Objectives

  • Review and synthesise findings and recommendations from the Charity Governance Code consultation exercise in relation to how the diversity principle may be enhanced
  • Research and identify excellent diversity and inclusion practice in governance from the charity sector and beyond
  • Assist the steering group in engaging with and learning from specialist groups and representatives who are committed to increasing board diversity and changing practice
  • Act as an advisor and critical friend to the steering group in reshaping the diversity principle
  • Support with drafting revised principle, outcome and practice
  • Support the steering group in communicating its rationale for the changes made to the Code

Experience

  • A detailed understanding and awareness of diversity and inclusion and best practice in the charity sector is essential. Likely drawn from a background as a Trustee advancing diversity and inclusion at a board level. You may also have personal or professional experience in this area.
  • A good understanding of charity governance, board effectiveness and experience of having used the Charity Governance Code
  • Strong analytical skills with the ability to synthesis trends and present complex information in a coherent an accessible way
  • Experience of acting in an advisory capacity but with a track record of driving outcomes
  • A collaborative mindset
  • An appreciation for the challenges in developing sector wide guidance
  • Excellent project management skills
  • Strong verbal and written communication and analytical skills, with a demonstrated client focus

Useful links

Proposals

To apply for this role we ask a consultant to submit a CV and an outline of how they would approach the work (presented as no more than four pages in Word, PowerPoint or equivalent) which details how their experience would support the Code steering group.

Please submit proposals no later than midnight on 19 April by email to charitygovernancecode@ncvo.org.uk

Interviews are planned for 27 April, to take place via Zoom.

Contact

For an informal discussion about the role with Rosie Chapman, Chair of the Governance Code steering group please email  charitygovernancecode@ncvo.org.uk