HBRL Consulting (Hilary Barnard and Ruth
Lesirge) were commissioned by Crohn’s & Colitis UK to undertake a governance review. The review took place
between March and June 2014.
Crohn’s & Colitis
UK provides essential support and information for the 250,000+ people in the UK who suffer from these debilitating conditions.
The organisation, which is based in St.Albans, has 28,000 members and a turnover in excess of £3 million.
A relatively new Chief Executive has been
working with the Chair, Board and senior colleagues to modernise the organisational practice of Crohn’s & Colitis
UK. The Trustees and the Chief Executive agreed that an independent governance review formed an essential part of this
updating; a key underpinning principle of the review was to respect the character of this large membership organisation and
its strong self-help ethos.
governance review focused on both compliance and performance. All Board members, medical advisers and senior managers
were interviewed to get their assessment of current governance practices and ways in which these could be improved.
The aim was to achieve a real understanding not only of the structures and processes, but also of culture, values and ethos.
Part of our work was therefore to carry out a customised skills audit of
existing Board members was carried out to identify strengths and skill gaps, the latter to inform future recruitment of new
Sub Committee members were also
surveyed with particular reference to their governance work and its relationship with the full Board. This was followed
by a Trustee training/development session at which participants were stimulated to explore how their governance responsibilities
could be exercised in the best interests of the beneficiaries.
Finally, we produced a pithy and practical report was produced with detailed recommendations. This was discussed with
Board members who approved most of the recommendations.
Subsequently, HBRL Consulting was commissioned to provide further consultancy to assist with implementation, the outputs
of which were agreed at a further meeting with the Board.
The governance review was a process that engaged all Board members, ensuring their ownership
of the outcome of the review.
There is a clearer
demarcation between the respective roles of the Board and the Chief Executive and the senior management team.
The Board has successfully addressed skill gaps through recruiting new members.
The Sub Committee structure has been streamlined to fit governance needs.
Short life Task Groups have been established in specific areas to help address priority issues for the Board.