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Charity Governance Code: Refreshed with focus on Diversity and Integrity

Added: 14/12/2020

Charity Governance Code

The Charity Governance Code sets out seven principles of good governance practice for charities in England and Wales and has published a refreshed version of the Code. The main changes see clearer recommended practice in the renamed Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Principle, and updates to the Integrity Principle to emphasise ethics and the right of everyone who
has contact with the charity to be safe.

The updated Code follows a rigorous consultation with the charity sector that involved user focus groups and received over 800 responses. With feedback particularly focused on the diversity and integrity principles, the Code’s Steering Group commissioned specialist EDI consultants to carry out further research and advice.

The consultation report was published in August 2020 and is available here. The original consultation document can be found here 

Rosie Chapman, Chair of the Charity Governance Code Steering Group said: “These improvements to the Charity Governance Code reflect changes in society and the broader context in which charities are working. The updated Code is designed to help charities adopt good practice and secure better outcomes for the communities they serve. “We know that charities are at varying stages in their efforts to fully adopt the Code, including in achieving equality of opportunity, diversity and inclusion, and the updated Code is designed to help charities on this journey”. “We’ve also heard that charities and boards would like more guidance on how to improve their approach to EDI. In response, we are asking charity umbrella and infrastructure bodies to provide more guidance and support to charities, to help them meet the recommended practice in the Code.”

The Code recommends four stages of practice for charities in their EDI journey.

Boards should:
1. Think about why equality, diversity and inclusion is important for the charity and assess the
current level of understanding.
2. Set out plans and targets tailored to the charity and its starting point.
3. Monitor and measure how well the charity is doing.
4. Be transparent and publish the charity’s progress.

The Integrity principle includes new recommended practice on the right to feel safe, which builds on the Charity Commission’s regulatory guidance setting out trustees safeguarding duties.

Further details outlining the Governance Code, including explanatory videos and accompanying blogs can be found on the website

Charity Governance Code

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