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  4. Accessing external advice when necessary

Principle 2

Accessing external advice when necessary

Seeking external advice

As the Code of Good Governance and this website indicates, as well as the many opportunities and benefits of sitting on the board or management committee of a community or voluntary organisations, there can be many challenges.  A board is unlikely to have all the expertise it requires round the table all of the time.  Particularly, where there are issues of legal compliance, or in relation to significant risks to the organisation, it is important to seek the appropriate external advice, if there is not currently the level of professional skills on the board in relation to the relevant issue.  Some of this advice may be available informally and free.  In other cases, it is necessary to pay for the appropriate professional advice.  In this case it is necessary to be very clear in writing what advice and/or support is required and to ensure you contract with the most appropriate person/company.

Some of the areas community and voluntary organisations often seek external advice in relation to are:

  • Board member recruitment
  • Governance reviews and training
  • Legal/charity status
  • Insurance
  • Human resources
  • Salary and terms & conditions reviews
  • Financial systems, policies and procedures
  • VAT
  • Insolvency
  • ICT systems and support
  • Cyber security
  • CRM systems
  • Website development
  • Strategic planning facilitation
  • Safeguarding policies, procedures and training
  • Health and safety audits, policies, procedures and training
  • Developing/reviewing fundraising strategies
  • Developing social economy businesses
  • Developing quality assurance systems
  • Developing impact measurement and reporting
  • Evaluation of projects/programmes
  • Evaluation of the organisation
  • Condition reports on properties
  • Developing planned maintenance programmes

Many infrastructure and support organisations in the sector can give advice on appropriate individuals and companies to approach for advice, to help develop select tender lists and developing tender documents.