Faces in Focus aims to promote the well-being of young people aged 11-25 years. We work with them to build upon their assets so they can exercise their individuality, be empowered to make informed choices about their futures and fulfil their potential.
What is a conflict of interest and what issues does it raise?
A conflict of interest is any situation in which a trustee’s personal interests, or interests which they owe to another body, and those of the charity arise simultaneously or appear to clash.
We recognise that it is inevitable that conflicts of interest occur. The issue is not the integrity of the trustee concerned, but the management of any potential to profit from a person’s position as trustee, or for a trustee to be influenced by conflicting loyalties. Even the appearance of a conflict of interest can damage the charity’s reputation, so conflicts need to be managed carefully. To this end the Board has a conflict of Interest Policy based on Charity Commission Guidance.
You should fully understand this guidance in order to fulfill your responsibilities as a trustee and determine if you have any existing conflicts of interest that should be declared.
Once you feel you have an understanding of the organization, have declared any conflicts of interest in accordance with guidance and only when you are clear you are happy with the responsibilities that you are agreeing to take on as a Trustee you should sign the following declaration and return to the Chief Executive.
The 7 principles of public life apply to anyone who works as a public office-holder. This includes people who are elected or appointed to public office, nationally and locally, and all people appointed to work in:
They were first set out by Lord Nolan in 1995 and they are included in the Ministerial code.
You agree with holding a public office that the following guidelines apply to you in that the practice of:
You can download the book ‘Striking The Balance’ from the government website.
All volunteers complete a 90 day probation before being offered the role permanently.
The trustee roles, responsibilities are set in Act of law. They are none negotiable. They are obligatory, and it is expected that everyone making decisions for actions to be taken by the organisation is doing so is acting on an advisor to the organisation and is obligated to inform the board. So that any decision that has an impact on those connected to the organisation is recorded for public inspection.
Complying with the charity’s governing document and the law
Acting in the charity’s best interests
Managing the charity’s resources responsibly
Trustees must act responsibly, reasonably and honestly. This is sometimes called the duty of prudence. Prudence is about exercising sound judgement.
You and your co-trustees should put appropriate procedures and safeguards in place and take reasonable steps to ensure that these are followed. Otherwise you risk making the charity vulnerable to fraud or theft, or other kinds of abuse, and being in breach of your duty.
Acting with reasonable care and skill
Ensuring the charity is accountable
Welcome and thank you for agreeing to become a trustee of Faces In Focus. The following information should help you get an understanding of your role and responsibility as a trustee.
In the first instance you should read the Charity Commission Guide – The Essential Trustee – What You Need to Know.
As a Trustee the commitment and energy you display will make a direct difference to the charity and everyone it helps. You don’t have to be a hero or famous to change lives for the better – trusteeship allows you to do just that.
Being a trustee can be hard work and, for most, it’s unpaid. The trustees have the ultimate responsibility for running a charity, for its property, finances and the employment of any staff or volunteers.
But being a trustee is also immensely rewarding, providing both expected and unexpected opportunities for personal development. And while you bring your skills and energy to running the charity, you will also find you are gaining new experience and knowledge. For instance, you will help plan the strategic future of the charity and its work, be involved in developing and managing staff and volunteers and make policy decisions for the charity. You will also ensure it’s accountable to its beneficiaries, to the Charity Commission and the public in general.
But you won’t be on your own. You’ll be joining a team of trustees and becoming part of the 900,000 charity trustees in England and Wales. Effective trustee boards need a range of people with a good mix of skills. The best boards are also diverse, with people who have a real understanding of the needs to be met and others with good financial, business and management experience. The rewards of working with, and learning from, people from different backgrounds and skills will be great.
We hope you will enjoy making a difference to society and to supporting Faces In Focus to deliver its charitable objectives. And remember that, as well as regulating charities and protecting their reputation, the Charity Commission is here to help you and your fellow trustees.
As you read the charity commission guidance, you’ll learn much more about your responsibilities and about the many sources of help and support.
Once you have had an opportunity to read the guidance and the following information you are requested to make an appointment with the Chief Executive Officer/Chair Person will talk through the role of trustee with you. This will give you an opportunity to answer any queries that arise from the guidance and to clarify the duties and responsibilities outlined below.
The ‘honorary officers’ comprise a Chair, Vice-chair, Company Secretary/ Treasurer. The roles of Chair and Treasurer are particularly important. The honorary officers are usually elected by the members of the board of trustees.
Unless the board has explicitly delegated decision-making powers to the honorary officers, they should act in an advisory capacity and take care to report their activities to the full board to prevent the other trustees feeling excluded by, the inner group.
The governing document may give the honorary officers specific roles, functions and responsibilities.
The role of the Chair extends well beyond drawing up the agenda and chairing the meetings of the board of trustees. The Chair has to take a leadership role in ensuring that the board of trustees fulfils its responsibilities for the governance of the organisation. S/he must also work closely with the employees to support them in achieving the aims of the organisation, and act as the channel of communication between trustees and staff.
Job description for a Chair and Vice Chair
The Chair may act as a figurehead of the organisation and represent it at functions, meetings and in the press and broadcasting media. Other tasks include authorising action to be taken between meetings of the full board, signing cheques and legal documents.
Role of the chair and vice chair
The role of the Chair is to lead the board of trustees, ensuring that it fulfills its responsibilities for the governance of the organisation. The Chair’s role is also to work in partnership with the employees, helping her or him achieve the aims of the organisation; and to optimise the relationship between the board of Trustees and the staff.
Responsibilities of the chair and vice chair
Person specification for a Chair and Vice Chair
The Vice-chair acts for the Chair when the Chair is not available and undertakes assignments at the request of the Chair. The current Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Faces In Focus is still a vacant position.
General responsibilities of the chair, vice chair and Secretary
In addition to the above statutory duties, each trustee should use any specific skills, knowledge or experience they have to help the board of trustees reach sound decisions. This may involve scrutinising board papers, leading discussions, focusing on key issues, providing advice and guidance on new initiatives or other issues in which the trustee has special expertise.
The Company Secretary, advised and supported by the Treasurer, takes the lead in overseeing the financial affairs of the organisation, ensuring its financial viability, and seeing that proper financial records and procedures are maintained.
Secretary person specification
The Treasurer will assist other trustees to perform their financial duties, by interpreting and explaining accounting requirements, ensuring that the board receives reports containing the information trustees need in an ‘easy to understand’ format, and helping trustees guide any other professional advisers they have appointed.
Job description for a Treasurer
The overall role of a Treasurer is to maintain an overview of an organisation’s affairs, ensuring its financial viability and ensuring that proper financial records and procedures are maintained.
The tasks of a Treasurer will include:
Person specification for a Treasurer
The Treasurer advises the Finance and Fundraising Committee and ensures it meets its objective to fulfill all aspects of financial management required by the Board, including compliance with all regulatory requirements.
In addition to the qualities needed by all trustees, the Treasurer should also possess the following: