Having placed good governance at the centre of the organisation’s behaviors, we felt that it was not sufficient to have good governance just driven top down. As a result of attending last year’s Governance Awards we raised the question;
“How could we enhance and develop our Governance Model throughout our organisation”?
We took a step back and scrutinized our organisation as a whole. We believe that good governance comes down to people, whether it be our board, our staff or service users. We concluded that an effective governance model that is meaningful and implementable across the organisation was needed.
A “Good Governance Focus group” was established from the wider team to look at how governance can be driven bottom up as well as top down. Reporting to the CEO they meet with the board twice yearly. This drive is seen as being about embracing governance rather than enforcing it.
It’s about everyone involved in CIDP understanding good governance, how it is applied, and recognizing the difference it makes. So, we reviewed our governance framework, starting at board level, and brought it right through to our service-users.
A full board evaluation took place facilitated by Sheila Cahill. From this, fifteen recommendations were made and the board committed to implement these recommendations. The Board believes strongly in professional development and board members are requested to have a minimum level of experience and given training opportunities. Good Governance informs every board agenda as well as CEO reporting to the board. In addition we have a dedicated committee of the board to oversee governance.
At management level we have implemented performance management (PM) as part of our governance framework. To ensure that good governance practice is demonstrated and their own responsibility is understood by each manager, good governance has been set as one of the themes for PM. The senior management team attended external training on the Charity Regulators Governance Code at the start of 2019 to develop awareness and understanding of good governance. The outputs of this are reviewed at each PM session.
Staff & Service Users
As CIDP provides residential services to the Deaf Community, this makes us unique to many other organisations. We have increased staff from the Deaf Community to 25% of our workforce. With Deaf and hearing employees and Deaf service users, and operating in both Irish Sign Language and English, it is critical for us that everyone has equal access to information. Therefore, we needed to ensure that our governance model is inclusive and accessible to everyone.
The focus group developed a Governance Induction Module which is now mandatory training for all employees. The initiative was presented to the board and agreed.
The Governance Induction Module is being produced in video format and presented in ISL with an English voiceover and subtitles ensuring access for all employees.
- Gives an overview of what good governance looks like in an organisation using the six principles.
- Explains how CIDP has applied the principles.
- Gives examples of how certain decisions may result in bad governance and how to avoid these.
- Explains who our board are, what they do and when they meet.
- Makes good governance concrete through practical examples of good employee practice
As part of induction employees will complete an assessment after watching the video ensuring they understand what good governance is.
The Induction module will be fully implemented by the end of 2019.
We have ensured that good governance is practiced throughout the organisation by:
- Carrying out a board evaluation
- Providing access to relevant training
- Placing Good Governance as a performance management theme
- Providing training for the management team on the Governance Code
- Setting up a governance focus group and acting on its initiative
- Producing a Good Governance Induction Module meeting the needs of Deaf and hearing board, staff and service users.
The induction module will give CIDP the confidence that our staff fully understand good governance. The performance management reviews will highlight governance issues in turn helping improve and develop governance going forward. The Focus Group will continue to work on initiatives to ensure that governance always stays on CIDP’s management as well as board agenda.
CIDP has not just implemented a good governance Initiative; we have taken the Initiative placing us in the position where other organisations are looking to us for guidance around governance issues. This is an endorsement of the progress we have made in our drive towards good governance.