Checklist: Keeping on top of the mission

By governance expert Judith Rich

All trustees are responsible for ensuring that their organisation is being run in accordance with its mission, aims and objectives. This is true even if the strategy for ensuring this was drawn up before they joined the board.

- Trustees should always receive copies of all relevant mission statements and strategy documents during their inductions, as well as every time an induction is revisited - and perhaps also at other times.

- If new trustees don't receive the documents before they are interviewed or are invited to join the board, a gentle question to the chair or chief executive when the appointment is confirmed should do the trick. No one should hesitate to ask for such information before the start of their term of office. The Charity Commission website is a useful guide to refer to if some of the terms are unfamiliar.

It is also customary for the strategy to be revisited at least annually and always in the light of changing circumstances. At the very least, the charity's business plan will need annual consideration.

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