Keeping the code up to date

As a steering group, we want to continually improve the Code. Understanding of what is good governance evolves, as do the expectations of the sector’s various stakeholders. When we published the new edition of the Code in summer 2017, our 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 are launching a consultation on how the code can be improved.


We believe we need to strike a balance between continually updating the Code and potential disruption to those using the Code, especially as it can take some time to work through all the recommendations. For this reason, we are proposing a ‘light refresh’ of the Code in 2020, with more far-ranging changes taking place in 2023. As part of the consultation we will test this approach to ensure users agree with a ‘light refresh’.

By ‘light refresh’ we mean to say we will set a high bar for making changes in 2020, particularly to the seven principles of the Code and their associated rationale and outcomes. We will focus more on additions and revisions to the Code's recommended practice. In the consultation document we have identified a few areas where we think there is a case for urgent change.

We have had consistent feedback that users of the Code like its structure, language and user-friendliness. The steering group sees the role of the Code as setting standards, and we see it as a role for others to produce tailored guidance to support the Code. We do intend however to add more signposts to useful resources. In the consultation we ask for suggestions on resources you have found useful for each principle.

Future changes

In addition to the refresh we plan to develop a ‘route map’. This will allow us to set out other suggested changes that we think have merit for a more in-depth revision in 2023. This will be useful for people who are already fully complying with the Code and seeking additional guidance on emerging good practice. We hope it also allows existing users to be aware of further changes that may be expected in the coming years. We plan to publish a series of blog posts exploring these potential longer-term changes during and after the consultation.

How to respond to the consultation

The consultation process will run from 4 November 2019 until 28 February 2020. You can download the consultation document here (PDF, 90KB).

You can submit responses through the online survey available here.

Alternatively, you can send your response by email or post. Details of how to do this are contained in our consultation document (PDF, 90KB).

Updates from the code steering group

To find out more about the consultation or specific areas we are keen to explore, read the Charity Governance Code blog on Medium.