A recent report from the Charity Commission, More Than Just a Number: themes and trends in charity registrations, urges charities to give training to all their trustees, preferably on a regular basis.
The commission reports the results of a recent survey, which found that about 40 per cent of the charities on its register did not offer any training or support to new trustees.
However competent and knowledgeable individual trustees are in their own professional fields, the responsibilities and needs of trusteeship bring with them their own set of challenges.
It is vital for the chief executive to ensure that, at the very least, every member of the board is informed as widely as possible about any current issues surrounding charity governance, particularly if these might affect their own organisations.
Many trustees will believe that the very fact that they are volunteering their time and skills is sufficient, and they may be reluctant to give up more of their time for training.
However, as with any discipline, it is essential that they understand the general background and existing needs against which they are making decisions for their individual charities.