Good Governance Code

Charities and volunteer organisations play an important role in helping the less fortunate and in improving society in general. However, it is essential for the public to trust these organisations and that is where the Good Governance Code comes into play.

The Good Governance Code first came into being in 2005 through the work of the Founding Group in cooperation with the Charity Commission. In 2010, the Founding Group published a second edition of the Code.

Members of the Code Founding Group are:
fe553f6b4aACEVO — Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations
ICSA — Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators
NCVO — National Council for Voluntary Organisations
SCC — Small Charities Coalition
WCVA — Wales Council for Voluntary Action


A number of other groups also participate in developing and improving the Code including the Charity Commission, Clothworker’s Company and the NCVO Governance Forum.

The idea behind the Code is to provide board members of voluntary and charitable organizations with a framework of best practices and principles. Well-governed organizations are better able to meet legal requirements and to engender trust among the public, whose support they need.

Six principles form the backbone of the Code:

• Board members should properly understand their role
• They must provide organisational purpose
• They must be effective as individuals and team members
• They must exercise effective control
• They must maintain integrity
• They must be open and accountable


Utilizing these core principles, the Code expands on each allowing board members to understand their importance and necessity, and providing guidance on how to implement the principles within their own organizations.

All the Code materials are free of charge with users only required to provide copyright acknowledgement of the Code Founding Group.