A new version of the Charity Governance Code was published on 08 December 2020. The Code sets out seven principles of good governance practice for charities in England and Wales.
The updates focussed on Principle 3: Integrity and Principle 6: Diversity, now called Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). The enhancements to the Code stress that boards should be diverse and reflect the communities they serve and emphasise ethics and the right of everyone who has contact with the charity to be safe.
We have summarised the main changes to the Code below but charities are encouraged to visit the Code’s website to view and download the new edition of the Code.
The updated Code can be found here.
What has changed?
Principle 3: Integrity
The Integrity Principle has been updated to highlight the need to ensure:
- decision making is consistent with the charity’s values;
- trustees regularly check whether there are inappropriate power imbalances in the board or charity;
- trustees adopt and follow a suitable code of conduct that reflects the charity’s values and sets out expected standards of ethics, probity and behaviour;
- the board considers how the charity is seen by the people and organisations who are involved in its work and by the wider public;
- the board ensures that the charity follows the law and to consider the NCVO’s Charity Ethical Principles;
- trustees understand their safeguarding responsibilities; and
- trustees and the board identify, deal with and record conflicts of interest/loyalty.
Principle 6: Equality, diversity and inclusion
The EDI principle has been updated to highlight the need to ensure:
- the principles of EDI embedded in the organisation and help to deliver the charity’s public benefit;
- The board regularly assesses its approach and own practice to EDI using available data and, where applicable, lived experience;
- The board set context-specific and realistic plans and targets in the sphere of EDI;
- The board take action and monitor the performance of their EDI plans and targets;
- The board publish performance information and learning on its progress towards achieving EDI plans and targets; and
- The board tackle any organisational or board inequalities and gaps that have been identified.
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