ALONE is an ambitious organisation determined to support an increasingly growing number of older people nationwide. Over the past 18 months ALONE have developed a new strategic plan to ensure these ambitions are actualised.
ALONE previously had bases in Dublin and Louth and in the past 18 months have expanded with bases in Donegal, Carlow and Kilkenny, with development plans for further locations across Ireland.
Going from a smaller organisation centralised in Dublin, to a rapidly growing organisation with bases nationwide, has brought many challenges to the organisation. One challenge faced was ensuring that the Governance practices of ALONE were able to develop and keep up with this level of growth.
Recognising the importance of good governance in this process of growth, ALONE have invested significantly in the improvement and development of its governance.
Understanding that the Board need adequate supports that are integrated within the organisation, ALONE have invested in providing this resource. ALONE have now appointed a full-time Quality and Compliance Officer, giving further reassurances and support to the Board. This new role has allowed for further accountability within the organisation to review all procedures, ensuring compliance and consistency across the organisation. The role has also provided the Board with a further internal support and point of contact, allowing for greater lines of communication and transparency to and from the Board. With financial and legal issues being such an important aspect of Governance, ALONE have ensured that responsibilities are clearly and appropriately assigned to the Finance Manager. The Finance Manager now closely supports the Board’s finance and audit sub-committee on financial and legal compliance issues.
The Board has increased in size with three new members joining at the end of 2018, adding to the skillset represented within the Board.
These additional resources have allowed ALONE to focus on good governance and make many significant improvements that are more aligned and up to date with the larger organisation that ALONE has become.
Some of the additional changes seen within the last 12 months are listed below:
- The Trustees handbook has been completely revised and
- A new process for notifiable events was introduced; improving the lines of communication with the Board and staff team when a significant event
- A new ‘Conflicts of Interests Register’ has been created with a more robust process for transparency.
- The recording systems for Board members details have been updated to allow clearer review of membership, officer roles and skills within the
- A clearer schedule for compliance standards has been created, allowing for greater comprehension and continual oversight from the Board, management and quality department.
- The Quality and Compliance Officer has been trained in Internal Auditing to allow for a more robust review of the organisation, including its Governance
- ALONE have invested in ensuring a good quality management system is in place and are currently working toward the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Award that also requires good governance is maintained within the
- ALONE have embarked on a project with the risk department at Central Bank that will see an organisation wide review of how risk is managed in ALONE. This project will help ALONE to create a new sustainable framework for risk management across
- The Board sub-committees have been reviewed to give greater focus on key areas that greater reflect the current needs of the
- The management structure has changed significantly and the lines of communication between management and the Board have been redefined with a clear schedule of meetings and agendas to be prepared
To ensure the practices and changes made are reflecting good governance, ALONE commissioned Grant Thornton to do an external review of its Governance. This review assessed ALONE against the new Governance Code standards; recommendations from this review have given ALONE an opportunity to fine tune and make further improvements; making it’s Governance practices more robust.
The investment of the last 12-18 months are not only enabling greater Governance in the present, but have put in place processes and resources that will allow for the ongoing review and continuous improvement of the organisation and it’s Governance.
ALONE have significantly mitigated the risk that the Governance of ALONE will be unable to match the pace of growth that the organisation is anticipated to continue to see.
ALONE are now more confident that its Governance is robust enough to work toward achieving its new strategic goals.