Job Title: Chair of Trustees
Direct Report: Works closely with the Director and Board of Trustees
Background: A general background in strategy, governance, finance, HR, fundraising would be useful. Previous experience as a Chair or trustee would be welcomed.
1.0 Role Summary
The Chair of Trustees will:
- Provide leadership and direction to the Board of Trustees and enable the Board to fulfil its responsibilities for the overall governance and strategic direction of the organisation.
- Ensure that the organisation pursues its objects as defined in its governing document, charity law, company law and other relevant legislation/regulations.
- Work in partnership with the Director to support employees and volunteers, helping them achieve the aims of the organisation; and to optimise the relationship between the Board of Trustees and the staff.
- Facilitate the Board of Trustees in stimulating excellent, well-rounded and carefully considered strategic decision-making.
2.0 Main Responsibilities of the Chair
The Chair of Trustees will be expected to:
In relation to the Board of Trustees
- Formulate strategic plans and regular review of long-term strategic aims of the charity.
- Develop organisational policies, define goals, targets and evaluate performance against agreed targets.
- Approve the annual cycle of the board meetings, meeting agendas, chair and facilitate meetings, monitor decisions taken at meetings and ensure they are implemented.
- Liaise regularly with the Treasurer to maintain a clear grasp of the charity’s financial position and to ensure full and timely financial transparency and information disclosure to the Board.
- Lead and mentor other Board members to fulfil their responsibilities and enable access to training/coaching/information to enhance the overall contribution of the board.
- Annually review the Board structure, role, staff relationships and ensure implementation of agreed changes/developments are carried out.
- Encourage team working among Board members and encourage them to identify and recruit new trustees as required.
- Create a strong, profitable and fulfilling working relationship with trustees and the Director through review and self-reflective evaluation of contributions and effectiveness of the board.
In relation to the Director
- Assume guardianship of the legal and financial integrity of the organisation.
- Consult with the Director on matters of strategy, governance, finance and HR.
- Oversee the Director’s activities in the context of the implementation of the Board’s strategy and policies.
- Maintain careful oversight of any risk to reputation and/or financial standing of the organisation.
- Receive regular informal progress reports of the organisation’s work and financial performance through the Director.
In relation to the community and code of conduct
- Represent the organisation as a spokesperson at appropriate events, meetings or functions.
- Lead the Board in fostering relations with potential clients and potential funders/donors.
- Act as final stage adjudicator for disciplinary and grievance procedures if required.
- Facilitate change and address conflict within the Board of Trustees, within the organisation and liaise with the Director to achieve this.
- Undertake review of external complaints as defined by the organisation’s complaints procedure.
- Ensure adherence and compliance around key policies to e.g. Hiring Policy,Health & Safety and in all decisions and discussions of the Board and its sub-committees.
- Attend and be a member of other committees or working groups when appropriate in role as Chair.
- In order to perform the above role, the Chair should have reasonable access to all staff and information, in line with the board’s fiduciary duties.
In relation to Child Protection
- Uphold the charity’s Child Protection Policy, and ensure its rigid application to all of the Board’s duties and endeavours.
- Place child safety at the forefront of all deliberations, and adopt a diligent awareness of any area in which child safety might be at risk.
- Report any and all potential violations of the charity’s Child Protection Policy to the Board of Trustees immediately.
3.0 Qualities of a Chair
The Chair of Trustees is expected to demonstrate the following qualities:
- Understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of Trusteeship and adhering to Nolan’s seven principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
- Commitment to the charity’s objects, aims and values and willingness to devote time to carry out responsibilities.
- Strategic and forward looking vision in relation to the charity’s objects and aims.
- Good, independent judgement, political impartiality and the ability to think creatively in the context of the organisation and external environment.
- Good communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to respect the confidences of colleagues.
- Balancing tact and diplomacy with willingness to challenge and constructively criticise.
- Prior experience of committee/trustee work.
- Knowledge of the type of work undertaken by the organisation - disability care and poverty alleviation.
- A wider involvement with the voluntary sector.
- Experience of chairing meetings, committee work, some experience of charity finance, charity fundraising.
- Leadership skills exercised through a period change.
4.0 Time Commitment
- The Board meets at least 4 times a year and the Chair is expected to be available 4 times in a year.
- In addition to Board Meetings, other contact – usually electronic or by telephone – will be necessary.
5.0 Equal Opportunity
EmbraceAbility is an equal opportunity employer. We diligently monitor and evaluate our compliance with equal opportunity laws, guidelines, and policies to ensure that employment practices and contracting arrangements give equal opportunity without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.