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partnerships:azp:comp

Competence

Case studies of Development Trusts and discussions with Trust directors have identified key areas of good practice in running Trusts which can be defined in terms of 'competence'. These areas are Governance, Management, Communications, Financial sustainability and Project management. This sheet provides an overall set of checklists. Checklists of competence have become an increasingly common way of analysing training and information needs, by focusing on the skills and knowledge necessary to carry out a task. Stated simply, they aim to answer the questions 'What would a competent Trust (or Board member/ director/staff member) be like?' Similar competences can be identified for the process of setting up a Trust. Competences lead to the provision of training which is designed to help people become effective in their roles.

Using competences

Checklists of competence can be used in many ways:

  • As a framework for training and information materials (as in this toolkit)
  • To summarise what makes 'a competent Trust'
  • For individual Board members or members of staff (for example, to develop job descriptions, guide training and staff development)
  • To guide communication exercises aimed at funders, sponsors and the local community

Competences and trusts

Each of the five main competence areas, and that of setting up, is described in detail in other sheets. There are sheets covering

  • Setting up
  • Governance
  • Management
  • Communications
  • Financial sustainability
  • Project management

Each sheet provides a summary of the significance of this area to the work of the steering group or Trust, a brief description of roles and responsibilities, and a checklist encompassing the principle competences in each area. Each checklist can be used by Development Trusts and individuals for planning, appraisal or review in the particular area of the Trust's work.

Using this sheet

The two checklists in this sheet give an overview of the main competence leaflets. The first checklist provides an overall summary of the competence for a Development Trust and the setting up process, irrespective of individual roles in the steering group or Trust. It will be particularly useful at the beginning of a planning or review process, and should help you identify aspects of the Trust which need development, or new areas for activity. The second checklist uses the same list of competences, but is written for individual steering group members, Board members or staff. It should help you clarify your own role within the Trust, and identify aspects of the work about which you need to know more.

A competent trust

This checklist provides an overall summary of competence for setting up and then running a Development Trust. Tick the appropriate box if your steering group or trust:

Start up

  • understands the nature of Development Trusts and how they differ from other organisations
  • understands the local economic, environmental and social issues, problems and opportunties
  • has a plan for the setting up process
  • has a set of guidelines and principles on how the trust will operate agreed by the steering group
  • employs a development officer with clearly defined responsibilities
  • has a method to develop a vision of how the trust will operate and materials to communicate this
  • organises events to develop project ideas and provide all sectors of the community with an opportunity to shape the nature of the trust
  • is preparing a 'bid document' to funders based on a business planning exercise
  • is developing a mission statement
  • has a fundraising strategy to cover core costs

Governance

  • has a clear statement of purpose (a 'mission statement')
  • has a formal constitution
  • serves a defined geographical area
  • works in partnership with others
  • has a Board and committee structure
  • has an equal opportunities/anti-discriminatory policy
  • has a Board membership which: is diverse in terms of race, sex, age, social status and life experience offers appropriate expertise and experience has credibility within the community is representative of the public, private and voluntary sectors

Management

  • has a business plan
  • monitors and reviews the operation of the plan against performance criteria
  • has established procedures for recruitment and management of Board members staff volunteers
  • has contracts of employment with staff
  • runs induction and training programmes for Board members and staff
  • has adequate office facilities and equipment
  • has operating budgets for running costs, communications, projects and staffing
  • operates its own financial and administrative systems
  • has an annual audit and published accounts
  • has appropriate insurance cover
  • has a local and national network of private, public and voluntary sector contacts
  • knows and adheres to relevant legislation
  • has written agreements with any sponsoring organisations

Communications

  • has a communications and marketing plan with a clear statement of goals
  • monitors and reviews the operation of the communications plan
  • has a range of materials/media to explain the purpose and work of the Trust
  • runs events to involve the local community in the work of the Trust
  • has a policy on public access to Trust Board and committee meetings
  • maintains regular contact with the Trust's membership
  • maintains appropriate contact with the media - locally and nationally

Financial sustainability

  • has a business plan
  • has a fundraising and sponsorship strategy with clear goals for meeting core costs developing an asset base developing and running projects
  • has appropriate accounting procedures and financial systems
  • has written agreements with sponsoring and funding organisations
  • has a spread of funding support

Project management

  • understandings of how local economic, environmental and social issues may provide project opportunities
  • has guidelines for the balance of Trust and community initiated projects
  • has procedures for Board approval and reporting on project progress
  • has written contracts with professional advisers and contractors
  • undertakes feasibility studies before developing projects
  • conforms to health and safety legislation
  • has written management and maintenance agreements
  • is developing projects which will provide an asset base for the Trust

Checklist

This checklist looks at competences from the viewpoint of individual steering group members, Board members or staff members. It can be used to help clarify who should be responsible for what. Do you, (or should you):

Start up

  • understand the nature of Development Trusts and how they differ from other organisations
  • understand the local economic, environmental and social issues, problems and opportunties
  • develop/know the plan for the setting up process
  • know of key interests in the area
  • develop/knowthe guidelines and principles on which the Trust will operate
  • recruit the development officer
  • recruit Board members
  • create a vision of what the Trust will achieve and how it will operate
  • develop the 'bid document' to funders
  • develop a fundraising strategy to cover core costs

Governance

  • know the mission of your Trust
  • understand the constitution
  • know the areas and programmes of work of your Trust
  • know the Board and committee structure
  • know the criteria for Board membership
  • know how to develop/operate an anti-discriminatory policy

Management

  • develop/know/monitor the business plan
  • recruit and manage staff and volunteers
  • develop/run training for Trustees and staff
  • establish/maintain office facilities and equipment
  • establish/maintain budgets and accounting systems
  • establish/maintain administrative systems

Communications

  • develop the communications and marketing plan
  • produce publications
  • organise events
  • maintain regular contact with the Trust's membership
  • maintain appropriate contact with the media

Financial sustainability

  • develop the business plan
  • develop the fundraising and sponsorship strategy

Project management

  • understand how local economic, environmental and social issues may provide project opportunities
  • develop guidelines for the balance of Trust and community initiated projects
  • develop/know procedures for Board approval and reporting on project progress
  • establish written contracts with professional advisers and contractors
  • undertake feasibility studies into projects
  • enforce health and safety legislation
  • establish written management and maintenance agreements
  • develop projects which will provide an asset base for the Trust

© David Wilcox david@partnerships.org.uk. Tel +44 (0)1273 677377. Fax: +44 (0)1273 677379. These information sheets may be freely distributed with this attribution, but not republished as a whole. Partnerships Online : The Guide to Development Trusts and Partnerships: other sheets

partnerships/azp/comp.txt · Last modified: 2017/06/12 10:20 (external edit)