The Governance Forum

Our Clients

Work Carried Out

Amongst the routine governance work that we carry out with our clients around governance reviews, board development and governance diagnostics there are a number of initiatives that we have pioneered over the last few years.

Recently we were involved in the setting up of the Association of Corporate Governance Practitioners (ACGP). ACGP is a professional body focused on supporting governance practitioners, governance consultants and board members who have a responsibility for corporate governance.

We also ventured into the Education sector and developed a pilot programme for schools. TGF concentrates on improving a school’s effectiveness through the mutual development of people and systems. We provided a governance diagnostic for schools, carried out a national survey of governance in schools and developed a toolkit of essential resources.

In 2009 TGF successfully engaged with over 50 third sector organisations through its governance assessment process (GAP). This has led to a national benchmarking exercise and a campaign promoting good governance across the sector. The GAP was endorsed by several national and regional organisations throughout the course of the year including Sir Adrian Cadbury.

In 2007/2008 TGF received outstanding feedback from two projects in particular. The first being, Birmingham City Council who commissioned TGF to engage and capacity build large Islamic organisations specifically around the area of governance and has been delivered for the last three years. A similar contract delivered in 2010 in Waltham Forest, London. The second client was a part of a £1 million Advantage West Midlands regionally funded drive that sought to progress both the leadership and capacity within third sector.

Our consistent, detailed and open dialogue proved enormously successful as it revealed invaluable insights and challenges that faced key stakeholders, participating organisations and the wider community.

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Client Testimonials

The process was so easy to use. I think it has great potential for organisations of all size, whether they have governance experts or not in their team, as the assessment is based on what you currently have/do and helps you identify areas to develop and enhance your governance arrangements. It’s a very good health check process, to ensure that your organisation’s governance is in working order”

Jules Mason, Interim Director of Strategy/Head of Governance Support - British Red Cross

I have just read the diagnostic report produced by the Governance Forum as part of the governance assessment process: the implementation plan is excellent – exactly what we needed. I think this will help us to focus our efforts on the gaps identified under the initial assessment and enable the board to build on the high standards of governance that we are already demonstrating as an Association; this will bode well with the TSA; the audit commission and other principal stakeholders. Thank you for a job well done”

Mike Bent, Board Member - Nottingham Community Housing Association

The governance programme developed by the governance forum was straight forward and easy to implement for the organisations that they worked with. The self-assessment diagnostic is a comprehensive and unique governance tool. It successfully helped focus the attention and support of our pilot organisations by developing a realistic and practical plan of action.”

Dr Mashuq Ally, Head of Equalities - Birmingham City Council

Sense is a large charity and it is important for us to have effective governance arrangements. We have recently undertaken a detailed governance review and found the diagnostic assessment to be a very useful tool in this process. It offers a comprehensive framework for analysis and the resultant action plan gave us a clear way forward. We would recommend this process to any charity that wants to check their existing level of governance or identify areas for improvement.

Jacqui Penalver, Company Secretary - Sense

This programme was a real opportunity to revisit our governance arrangements to develop our Board, our leadership and become even more effective in the services that we deliver.

Locksley Brown, Chief Executive - Zone Housing and Resettlement

This entire process of diagnosis, action planning and support in implementation has fast tracked and focused the organisation’s governance development over the past two years. We have been provided monitoring tools that have proved paramount in the successful management of the overall process.

Llewellyn Graham, Chief Executive - Nehemiah United Churches Housing Association

We found the diagnostic process to be clear and logical and it gave us the ability to drill down into the parts that are really important. Although the process was essential the quality of conversation derived from the questioning was where we benefited and helped us to focus.

Linda Gregory, Chief Executive - University of the First Age

The governance diagnostic process has made me think about how we manage this organisation. We have learned that we have a competent board, but we could improve on the system and how it manages itself, it has been a cooperative and effective process.

Gill Coffin, Chair – St Paul’s Community Trust

This is a really effective exercise to go through to properly benchmark where governance is in your organisation. A lot of organisations think they are more advanced with their governance arrangements than they are and this process helps you to check against a pre-determined framework and pick up any gaps.

Jonathan Driffill, Chief Executive - Friendship Care and Housing

The approach taken by Central Consultancy & Training, on behalf of the Governance Forum has assisted us greatly not only by identifying key areas for improvement but also by raising members’ awareness of good governance and generating enthusiasm for a Board development programme.

Walis George, Chief Executive - Cymdeithas Tai Eryri

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The governance forum has developed a robust procedure of diagnostic assessment, planning and actions. Organisations that follow this process will benefit from its comprehensive and practical applications.”

Sir Adrian Cadbury – Cadbury Code

The forum’s diagnostic process and its experience of working with a range of agencies should offer both the methodology and the understanding to provide a clear analysis of an organisation’s performance.”

Roger De La Mare, Assistant Director Risk and Assurance – Tenant Services Authority

This process of assessment is both thorough and unique in its three tier approach. It seems well researched, meeting the requirements of key regulatory bodies. Organisations will receive practical benefits from going through a process such as this which can protect them from the potential pitfalls of poor governance and help to improve overall performance.”

Dr Mirza Ahmad, Corporate Director of Governance - Birmingham City Council

The social housing sector is very diverse and each board is at a different stage in its development, with different aspirations for the future. This comprehensive and transparent diagnostic process, identifies priorities for governance improvement in a realistic and focused way.”

Patricia McCabe, Managing Director - Central Consultancy and Training

The effective application of the diagnostic assessment process would represent an effective means of self-assessment in relation to meeting new TSA Standards and governance in the social Housing Sector.”

Professor Robin Pritchard, Head of the Centre for Internal Audit, Risk Management and Governance - Birmingham City University

BVSC sees excellence in governance as essential to the successful work of any organisation in the third sector.  We have recently evaluated the Governance Assessment Process (GAP) by applying it ourselves, and found it extremely beneficial. The GAP provides a reliable means by which the trustees of voluntary and community organisations can benchmark the effectiveness of all aspects of their governance. The process can provide confidence in the strength of existing governance arrangements and give practical suggestions for improvements where gaps have been identified. It will be of great benefit to any organisation wishing to convey strong evidence of compliance with the highest governance standards.”

Brian Carr, CEO, Birmingham Voluntary Service Council

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