1. Governance

Self Assessment Standards

1.1

We operate within the rules of our organisation as defined in our constitution, including organisational membership, committee membership, authorities, delegation and decision-making processes.Typical Evidence

Sample Board Charter from Steve Bowman, Conscious Governance
Justice Connect - Not-for-profit Law offers Assistance for Victorian incorporated associations needing to update their rules to meet requirements of the new Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012
Information on Incorporated Associations rules (including a downloadable version of the model rules in four languages) from Consumer Affairs Victoria
Documents and records for Incorporated Associations (including information on member register) from Justice Connect Not-for-Profit Law (formerly PILCHConnect)
Sample Member Register and Instructions from RANCH Network
Sample Deeds of Delegation Policy from Our Community
Sample Deeds of Delegation Policy from RANCH
How to run an AGM from CHAOS Network
Sample nomination form from NIECH Network - to follow
Being a president or chairperson brings additional responsibility, not additional authority.  Click here for information on Sample document on Effective Chairing of a Committee Meeting from University of Winchester
Guide for Coordinators Reporting to Committee of Management from RANCH Network
Running an Incorporated Association link to Consumer Affairs Victoria
The Governance Role of Committees See Appendix 2 of the DHS NH Coordination Program Guidelines 2012 - 2015
Position Description for Committee members - 
From NIECH Network:

Sample Role Description President
- Link to Our Community Help Sheet - Tips for Chairing a Meeting
Sample Role Description Treasurer
Sample Role Description Secretary
Sample Role Description Ordinary Member

Link to Our Community Help Sheets - Board Help Sheets Part 9
Board Business - Towards More Effective Meetings

Minutes must be taken at CoG meetings and distributed to the CoG.
Checklist for Content of Minutes from PILCHConnect
Documents and records for Incorporated Associations (including information on Minutes) from PILCHConnect
Flow chart confirming and verifying minutes from PILCHConnect
Conventions for drafting minutes from PILCHConnect
Guide for Coordinators reporting to CoG from RANCH Network

The Governance Role of Neighbourhood House Committees See Appendix 2 of the DHS NH Coordination Program Guidelines 2012-2015
Assessing Skills and Experience
of your Board / Committee from the Potential Board Member Toolkit, DHS Community Sector Governance Capability Framework Toolkit
Roles and Responsibilities of running an Incorporated Association from Consumer Affairs VictoriaPosition Descriptions for Executive Committee members - 
From NIECH Network:

Sample Role Description President
- Link to Our Community Help Sheet - Tips for Chairing a Meeting
Sample Role Description Treasurer
Sample Role Description Secretary
Sample Role Description Ordinary Member
Link to Our Community Help Sheets - Board Business Part 9
Towards More Effective Meetings

1.2

We have a clear and current understanding of purpose (mission) for the organisation that is consistent with the sector philosophy and principles. This has been formally adopted (endorsed) by the Committee of Governance within the last 12 months.Typical Evidence

Creating a Shared Vision from the Centre for Collaborative Planning
Minutes must be taken at CoG meetings and distributed to the CoG.
What to include in Minutes Checklist from PILCHConnect
Documents and records for Incorporated Associations (including information on Minutes) from PILCHConnect
Flow chart confirming and verifying minutes from PILCHConnect
Conventions for drafting minutes from PILCHConnect
Guide for Coordinators reporting to CoG from RANCH Network

1.3

Our organisation structure is clearly documented and defines the key roles, authorities, responsibility and relations between the CoG, staff and volunteers.Typical Evidence

Generic sample organisational chart
Link to CoG Orientation Manual from BARWON Network
 
Roles and Responsibilities for members of Committee of Governance - link to Running an Incorporated Association from Consumer Affairs Victoria
Position Descriptions for Executive Committee members - From NIECH Network:
Sample Role Description President
- Link to Our Community Help Sheet - Tips for Chairing a Meeting
Sample Role Description Treasurer
Sample Role Description Secretary
Sample Role Description Ordinary Member

Link to Our Community Help Sheets - Board Business Part 9
Towards More Effective Meetings
Sample Delegation Policy from RANCH Network
Sample Delegation Policy from Our Community

1.4

Our planning process includes the production of an annual plan, which details: 

  • key activities to be resourced,
  • key objectives to be achieved, and
  • a financial budget showing income and expenditure.

Typical Evidence

Generic sample Strategic Planning Day Agenda
The Nine Stages for Preparing a Strategic Plan from Steve Bowman, Conscious Governance
Strategic Plan Preparation Checklist from Steve Bowman, Conscious Governance
Generic sample Strategic Plan
SWOT Development Tool
Generic sample Annual Plan Layout

1.5

We have developed policies and procedures that provide the framework and guide and support our operations. The policies and procedures are regularly reviewed and accessible to staff and volunteers.These policies and procedures have been formally adopted (endorsed) by the Committee of Governance within the last 12 months.Typical Evidence

Link to Waverly Community and Learning Centre Policy Framework index
Development of Policy and Procedure
from VCOSS
Developing Policies and Procedures from Kilmister, Boards at Work Ltd
The policy bank from Our Community
A statement on policy development from the North East Neighbourhood House Network

Link to A Guide to Creating a Financial Systems and Procedures Manual from ANHLC

Generic sample Petty Cash Policy

1.6

Our Committee of Governance & management staff understand our legal & regulatory obligations and ensure compliance with these.Typical Evidence

Running an Incorporated Association from Consumer Affairs Victoria
Link to Incoroprated Associations Reform Act 2012
Guide to the Legal Duties of Community Board Members of Not-for-profit community organisations in Victoria

An RTO is required to observe Australian, state and territory laws governing:

• Occupational health and safety
• Workplace harassment, victimisation and bullying
• Anti-discrimination, including equal opportunity and racial vilification
• Disability discrimination
• Vocational education and training
• Apprenticeships and traineeships.

There are a number of sites where these Acts may be viewed and downloaded.

Victorian Acts

Victorian Acts and Regulations are available from 'Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents'.
Go to: http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/.

- Then click on 'Victorian Law Today',
- Click on 'Search Acts' and then type name of Act,
- Scroll down to locate the Act,
- Double click to open a new page with an option to download a Word Document or a PDF file.

Commonwealth Acts

Commonwealth Acts and Regulations are available from a number of resources including Comlaw:

Go to: http://www.comlaw.gov.au/


Compliance Calendar from NIECH Network - Documents to follow

1.7a

We have internal reporting processes that regularly provide information to the Committee of Governance to facilitate informed decision making and ensure quality and integrity in operations.

1.7b

We have external reporting processes that meet our legal compliance, regulatory and funding obligations.Typical Evidence

For an overview on understanding accountability and compliance, follow this link to Navigating the Maze from ANHLC


Record Keeping for Small Business from the Australian Taxation Office
Business Records and How Long to Keep Them a guide from Small Business Victoria

Sample Compliance Calendar from NIECH Network - coming soon

Minutes must be taken at CoG meetings and distributed to the CoG.
What to include in Minutes Checklist from PILCHConnect
Documents and records for Incorporated Associations (including information on Minutes) from PILCHConnect
Flow chart confirming and verifying minutes from PILCHConnect

Documents to follow

Project Status Report from Department of Premier and Cabinet Tasmania
Neighbourhood House Coordination Funding guidelines
from DHS
Frequently Asked Questions about the new NHCP reporting requirements

Financial Reporting requirements from PILCHConnect
Link to Our Community guidelines re: Auditors and Assets

Information on Annual Statements from Consumer Affairs Victoria

1.8

Our Committee of Governance & management staff understand the financial operations of the house and is regularly provided with information to effectively manage the business of the house, ensure its sustainability.Typical Evidence

  • Income and Expenditure
  • Variance Report
  • Balance sheet showing assets & liabilities (eg staff entitlements & grants in advance)

A Guide to Creating a Financial Systems & Procedures Manual from ANHLC

Link to Our Community guidelines re: Auditors and Assets
Information on Annual Statements from Consumer Affairs Victoria

1.9

We have a risk management plan to identify and manage risk to protect our CoG, staff, tutors, volunteers and people accessing the house.Typical Evidence

 

Risk attestation 

Attestation for Funded Agencies with a 2012-2015 service agreement
Risk attestation is a declaration by your organisation that adequate risk management processes are in place.

If you are a community service organisation and have a service agreement with Department of Human Services, Department of Health or the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, you will need to complete the risk attestation process.  

For more information, visit the Department of Human Services website to read theGuide to risk attestation under the 2012-2015 service agreement, and VMIA's Risk attestation for community service organisations.

Bushfire Risk Self Assessment Tool
from ACFE
Risk Management Policy from Conscious Governance
Service Agreement Information Kit for Funded Organisations from DHS

 

Agencies funded through the NHCP are eligible to receive insurance coverage under the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority’s (VMIA) Insurance Program for Community Service Organisations.This scheme provides a range of general coverages including:

  • Public liability,
  • Directors’ and officers’ liability,
  • Professional indemnity, and
  • Personal accident (injury) cover for volunteers.


It is the funded agency’s responsibility to ensure insurance coverage is suitable for their operational activities. Further information regarding the policy can be found on the VMIA website
 

Organisations with alternative governance arrangements, as defined in these guidelines, Should refer to page 10 of the NHCP Guidelines 2012 - 2015
Certificate of Currency
sample North East NH Network

Agencies funded through the NHCP are eligible to receive insurance coverage under the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority’s (VMIA) Insurance Program for Community Service Organisations.This scheme provides a range of general coverages including:

  • Public liability,
  • Directors’ and officers’ liability,
  • Professional indemnity, and
  • Personal accident (injury) cover for volunteers.


It is the funded agency’s responsibility to ensure insurance coverage is suitable for their operational activities. Further information regarding the policy can be found on the VMIA website

Organisations with alternative governance arrangements, as defined in these guidelines, Should refer to page 10 of the NHCP Guidelines 2012 - 2015

The peak body for Neighbourhood Houses in Victoria, ANHLC has a preferred provider arrangement with Guild insurance for contents and building insurance. For more information about the Guild Neighbourhood Houses building and contents policy visit the Guild website.Note: if your building is leased or provided to you by another organisation such as local government or a church group, which with them first to see what you are covered for

Agencies funded through the NHCP are eligible to receive insurance coverage under the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority’s (VMIA) Insurance Program for Community Service Organisations.This scheme provides a range of general coverages including:

  • Public liability,
  • Directors’ and officers’ liability,
  • Professional indemnity, and
  • Personal accident (injury) cover for volunteers.


It is the funded agency’s responsibility to ensure insurance coverage is suitable for their operational activities. Further information regarding the policy can be found on the VMIA website

Organisations with alternative governance arrangements, as defined in these guidelines, Should refer to page 10 of the NHCP Guidelines 2012 - 2015

Documents to follow
Generally, you must have a WorkCover Insurance Policy if:

  • you employ workers and you expect to pay more than $7,500 a year in remuneration (this includes wages, benefits and superannuation), or
  • you employ apprentices or trainees, regardless of the amount of remuneration paid.

You need a policy from the date you meet either of the above conditions. If you employ apprentices or trainees you are required to pay at least the minimum premium.For more information see the Application for a WorkCover Insurance Policy: Instructions for completing the form document from WorkSafe.

1.10

We have a risk management plan relating to the selection of staff, volunteers and CofG to ensure that only fit and proper persons hold positions of responsibility within our organisation.
Typical Evidence
Police Checks
Sample Police Check Register from YNH Services
Working with Children's Checks

Reference check template from the Office of the Community Sector

1.11

We ensure that Professional Development opportunities (education and training) are provided to all Governance Committee members, according to the needs of their role, and their personal aspirations.Typical Evidence

Sample Professional Development Policy from Our Community