Governance Improvement Tool


In recent times, many public bodies have failed, and in nearly all cases, that failure has been attributed to poor governance. Good governance is vital because it ensures that a public body not only fulfils its underlying purpose but also achieves all desired outcomes for citizens and service users. In addition, it must also operate in an efficient and ethical manner. 

The Board must, therefore, have an effective governance framework in place, providing all stakeholders with confidence and assurance that services are being delivered as promised.  As a Chief Executive or Board Member of a public body, how can you reassure yourself as well as your key stakeholders that there are no governance weaknesses, and that your public body complies with the highest standards?

In partnership with other leading governance experts, On Board Training has recently developed and launched "How Good is Your Governance?" - an online Governance Improvement Tool designed to provide an answer to this very question.

Your road to governance improvement in 5 Simple Steps

Our Governance Improvement Tool is designed to support all public bodies in achieving high standards of governance. It enables the Board to benchmark its current governance arrangements against best practice and provides a robust and practical Report and Action Plan which addresses any weaknesses identified.

This can be accomplished in 5 simple steps:

1.  Register online – enter basic details and choose a method to pay (if you are not satisfied within a month, you get your money back)

2.  Complete the questionnaire – answer 120+ easy-to-understand questions about your current governance arrangements

3.  Generate a Report and Action Plan – after completing the questionnaire, you can immediately see the improvements that are needed

4.  Populate and modify the Action Plan – personalise your actions according to ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘by when’

5.  Present the Report and Action Plan to the Board – then, start working to implement the recommendations to improve your governance

The structure of the Governance Improvement Tool

The Governance Improvement Tool is made up of five sections, although there are significant links between each section.  These sections are as follows:

1. Strategic Leadership

Is the Board fulfilling its fundamental duty to provide strategic leadership to the organisation, which includes overseeing the development of a 3 - 5-year strategic plan and an annual operating plan?

2. Performance Management 

Are there systems and processes in place across the organisation to identify, record and control risks and ensure that the finances are managed robustly? Does the Board gain appropriate assurance from relevant sources (including the audit committee) that these systems and processes are sound and are operating effectively in practice?

3. Compliance

Is the organisation complying with the law and the reporting (and other) requirements of any regulatory authority as well as operating within the parameters of the governing document? Staffing and HR requirements; health and safety etc. - what assurance is there that the organisation is fully compliant in all these areas?

4. Stakeholder Engagement 

Does the organisation operate in an open and transparent way with all its key stakeholders to ensure that everyone with an interest in the organisation (staff, service users, funders etc.) has confidence in what it is doing?  Does the Board or organisation use feedback from stakeholders to improve its services and performance?

5. Board Performance and Development 

How are Board Members selected and trained? Is the Board effective and contributing to the success of the organisation in achieving its purposes and how do you know?

The outputs of the Governance Improvement process - the Report and Action Plan - should be owned by the Board.  Once developed, it can and should be made available and used by all Board Members. Experience to date shows that there is enhanced benefit if the Governance Improvement Tool is completed by the whole Board in a collective session or by a sub-group of the Board with support from the Chief Executive.

Why is the Tool good value for money?

At a cost of £395 (inclusive), the Governance Improvement Tool represents great value for money as:

It saves money – it costs significantly less than hiring consultants

It saves time – you can generate an online Report and SMART Action Plan instantly

It is straightforward – questions in plain English that can be grasped quickly

You can complete it at your own pace – there is no rush; complete it in a few hours, a day, or weeks, as you choose

It provides assurance – key stakeholders are assured that you are working hard to comply with the highest governance standards

You are benchmarking yourself against the highest governance standards – your governance framework is being assessed against best practice

You have online access to an interactive tool – complete it with your team, collectively bringing everyone on Board

Located outside the UK? No problem

Even though we developed the Governance Improvement Tool to benchmark governance arrangements against corporate governance standards in the United Kingdom, it can be used effectively by public sector bodies in other jurisdictions.  The Report and Action Plan can be modified accordingly to reflect your public body or NGO according to jurisdiction and individual circumstances

Register Now

Register now to start your journey to better corporate governance and if you need any help along the way or have questions about how the Governance Improvement Tool works, please contact us or call us on +44 (0) 28 9039 7512

Click here to launch the Tool!