The governance issue the organisation wished to address?

To increase diversity within the CRC’s governance structures

What approach and solution did the organisation adopt to address the issue and improve its governance?

The CRC introduced certain measures to increase diversity within its Governance Structures, one of the most successful solutions being the addition of the external co-optee members to Board Committees. The Co-optees have brought a wealth of knowledge and expertise which in turn has assisted both Committees and Board in becoming more diverse thus achieving a strategic objective for the CRC.

Other examples are:

  1. The creation / implementation of a new Board Diversity Policy;
  2. 11 Board members – 6 male/5 female;
  3. 7 Co-optees – 4 male/3 female;
  4. Our Board have different backgrounds, qualifications and life experiences;
  5. Board and Chairperson Recruitment includes a skills gap analysis on Board /Committees; enhancing advertising for the roles including third party organisations and social media to reach a more diverse audience;
  6. The extension of advertising campaign for Board roles to Adult Services Group & Parents Forum to encourage participation at Board level from our service users/clients;
  7. Presentations to Board by CRC departments / clients; Board member attendance at Adult Services User Council Meetings /Parents Forum
  8. Updating succession Planning Guidelines – looking at expertise of Board, its committees & consideration of Co-Optees as potential Board members in the future, with preservation of corporate memory in mind;
  9. Developing Co-optee Guidelines for the appointment of external co-optees

What has been achieved/how has governance been improved as a result of taking the governance improvement initiative?

  1. CRC has achieved more diverse committees from appointing external co-optees.
  2. Committees now have a broader range of skills/experience as a result of their membership not being restricted to Board members only.
  3. The addition of co-optees adds to the diversity, experience and knowledge of the organisation bringing independence and objectivity to the discussions/deliberations of the committee structure that enriches the Board decisions. It also adds an external opinion and rigor to the committee structure.
  4. Co-optees were engaged from broad range of backgrounds/skill sets from the academic and health sector, private sector and charity sector.
  5. Co-optees come to the Committee meetings independent of any former knowledge of previous decisions /discussions held at Board level therefore adding an independent, impartial perspective.
  6. The benefit of the addition of the co-optees members to the CRC Committees has been seen in the following examples:
    • Capital Projects and Infrastructure – the CRC is undergoing substantial review of its capital projects and with limited resources and expertise in the area of property management, the co-optee member, a Chartered Surveyor, with over 17 years’ experience in the property industry, has provided invaluable assistance including sharing his contacts, asset management register maintenance and contract negotiation advice and assistance.
    • Remuneration & Nominations: this Committee co-optees background is in Human Resources and was a senior executive in a large bank. They have proven invaluable in assisting with human resource matters and enhanced the achievement of the Human Resource Strategic Objective considerably.
    • Quality, Safety and Risk (QSR): this Committee co-optee comes from an academic and healthcare background and brings a fresh perspective in terms of her thinking and experience. More recently, we have recruited another co-optee to sit on this Committee who comes from a risk and compliance background in the highly regulated financial services industry  and his first meeting will be this October 2019.
    • Governance: this co-optee sits on QSR Committee also, comes from a risk and compliance background, has provided expertise on Policy Committee Terms of Reference, compliance with procurement guidelines and Charities Governance Code review.
    • Audit Committee & Investment: this co-optee has substantial experience in investment management /pensions industry. They sit on both the Audit and Investment Committee; their input includs re-drafting the Investment Policy Reserves Policy.
    • Fundraising: Two new co-optees, backgrounds in Charity Fundraising and Marketing, both have assisted greatly by: sharing industry contacts, marketing/branding advice; development of corporate campaign
    • Research: Co-optees from UCD and DCU are invested in supporting and directing research and development strategy for CRC.
  7. Compliance with the HSE Annual Compliance Statement 2019 -Section 38 Providers – Part 2 – Board and Governance Arrangements
    Membership of each committee should comprise of non-executive and independent members.
  8. Compliance with the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies – Audit and Risk Committee  –  7.12 Audit and Risk Committee:
    It is recommended for an Audit and Risk Committee to have members drawn from outside the Board.
  9. Compliance with Charities Governance Code- Principle 5 – Working Effectively 5.13. Conduct a regular review that includes an
    assessment of:  ……….’the structure, size, membership and terms of reference of any subcommittees.’