Good to Go: Good Governance
Hunts Forum of Voluntary Organisations is proud to launch its ‘Good to Go: Good Governance Mark’ for Charities and Community Groups designed to help organisations to achieve safe, quality services to meet the needs of their customers or service users by assessing the underpinning Governance that supports and guides the organisation.
Background to the Good Governance mark
Back in March 2020 as the world locked down in response to Coronavirus, communities reached out to support each other. Unfortunately, many fraudsters were also quickly taking advantage of the situation. In Huntingdonshire, Hunts Forum, working with Huntingdonshire District Council, developed a network of Recognised Organisations (ROs). An RO ‘mark and logo’ was created as a way to help people feel assured that offers of support were from genuine organisations that had policies and procedures in place to safeguard both those who were supporting and those being supported by the group.
This mark and network were extremely successful and helped to create closer working between the communities and the district council. However, it was always a temporary covid-driven measure brought about by a need for trust, yet over the last two years we have seen how there remains a need for something that continues to provide trust, but that is more robust and structured. In response to this, Hunts Forum has created the Good Governance Mark.
The Good Governance Mark is designed to help organisations to achieve safe quality services to meet the needs of their customers or service users. It is a straightforward system that helps identify minimum standards for all its members. Taking a methodical look at organisational governance and identifying areas where improvements are needed, it helps members to plan, budget and allocate the necessary resources for making organisational or procedural improvements.
A pilot scheme was run in late 2021 with a few Recognised Organisations that were keen to build on the success of the RO mark. The pilot allowed us to stress test our processes and evaluation schemes and we are grateful to both CARESCO and Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust for working with us on this.
This is what they had to say about their experience of the Good Governance Mark pilot and achieving Good Governance status.
CARESCO are thrilled to have been successful in our application for the Hunts Forum Good Governance Mark. The application process was simple to navigate through and to complete and we had plenty of helpful advice and assistance from the Hunts Forum team at every stage.
Ramsey Neighbourhoods Trust(RNT) are delighted to be one of the first organisations to be awarded the Good Governance Mark. RNT has worked hard to grow into an organisation that is trusted by the community serves, and it is fantastic to have this recognised.
The process itself was also a chance for trustees, staff and volunteers to reflect upon our practices and procedures. As an organisation that is constantly striving for improvement, it was good to take time to review and update our structures where necessary.
RNT hopes that this mark will show that we are an organisation that can be trusted to provide high-quality activities and services that have appropriate and robust standards of governance.
What’s involved in The Good Governance mark?
The Good Governance Mark ensures that organisations are well run with a good level of internal governance, financial control, management and data protection. There are some core procedures and policies which you must have in order to complete this process, you can see a full list below but the specific requirements of your application will depend on the type, size and nature of your organisation. Hunts Forum can help you develop these if you do not have them already in place or if they are out-of-date.
- A formal written constitution/ governing document
- Financial procedures
- Proof of Insurance
- Safeguarding procedures/policy
- Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy
- Health and Safety Policy
- Data Protection Policy
Help is available to get you through
Don’t worry if you don’t have everything to hand. Our development team is available throughout the process to help you through. This could be help with writing or updating policies that are required, providing template policies and procedures, answering any questions you may have or helping you through any technical issues with completing the online process.
Only documents requested in the core policies section are required to be submitted with your application. We will contact you for any additional documentation that we may require once your application is submitted.
Benefits of the Good Governance Mark
- Build Confidence: Working to a defined standard can build trust across sectors, build confidence in the third sector and bring both external and internal benefits for staff, stakeholders, funders or commissioners and beneficiaries.
- Raise the Profile: of the wide range of community activities and services available in the county for signposting and referrals.
- Support Organisations: to strengthen policies and practices to ensure they can continue to meet the needs of their communities, clients and customers.
- Stronger Position: to respond to tenders and reassure stakeholders and potential funders that they are fit for purpose with good governance practices.
- Improve and Reflect: It will provide a tool for continuous improvement and reflection for each organisation.
- Consistency: It will provide a framework for consistency and internal audit.
Groups with the mark
Ready to apply?
Download our Good to Go Good Governance Mark Guide 2023 to find out more about the application process and what information we require from you.
Please note due to our own capacity, we can only support 10 organisations at any one time to go through the process, this means we are currently not accepting any more applications till September 2023.
Please, however, feel free to give us a call or email to discuss if your organisation is in the best place to be put forward for the mark.
If you have any queries you can arrange a call with a member of our development team to discuss Good to Go, Good Governance, email GoodGovernance@huntsforum.org.uk