About us

How do you know how good your governance really is?

We set up How Good is Your Governance to address this question, which has troubled the Boards of many not-for-profit organisations.  While there are many codes, checklists and professional consultancy services available to assess the governance health of a charity, these are invariably extremely time consuming, highly subjective and prohibitively expensive.

We offer a simple and cost-effective alternative, drawing on more than 80 years' combined experience in corporate governance.  Our online Governance Improvement Tool enables Trustees and senior executives, including CEOs, to gain assurance that your governance is sound and complies with all legal and regulatory requirements and widely accepted best practice.

Our innovative and easy-to-use tool also provides assurance to your members and other stakeholders that your organisation is being well run.

The Benefits of our Governance Improvement Tool

  • Benchmark your corporate governance arrangements against industry standards and best practice
  • Dynamic, responsive and easy to use interface, delivering quick results
  • Highly practical and straightforward – the Governance Improvement Tool can be completed within a few hours, after which you can download a comprehensive Report and Action Plan
  • Your bespoke Report and Action Plan allows your Board to see where there is scope for improvement and agree actions to address any weaknesses

By using our Governance Improvement Tool, Trustees and senior managers can be safe in the knowledge that your organisation's corporate governance arrangements meet all legal and regulatory requirements as well as comply with industry best practice.

David Nicholl, LLB FCPFA - Director

David, the original author of the ‘On Board’ Guides for Board Members of Public Bodies, has extensive experience in corporate governance in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

  • Trained more than 700 Boards of public, private and voluntary bodies
  • Widely recognised as a leading expert in corporate governance in the public and not-for-profit sectors
  • Diverse training experience in training Boards – from public corporations and nationalised industries to charities, health bodies, credit unions, trade associations, housing associations, local enterprise agencies, colleges and NDPBs
  • Advised more than 100 organisations on governance issues including:
    - Conflict resolution
    - Handling conflicts of interest
    - Development and improvement of corporate governance frameworks
  • Has undertaken many investigations into high profile governance failures
  • Author of more than 20 publications on good governance, finance and value for money
  • Chair of a charity working with at-risk young people in disadvantaged areas

Take a look at David’s LinkedIn profile here. 

Tony Haren, ACMA BSSc LIB - Director

Tony is an Associate and practising certificate holder of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants with 30+ years’ experience in finance, risk management and governance.

He has been involved in both private sector and third sector leadership and governance:

  • 8 years as a charity trustee, where he was Head of the Finance sub-committee
  • Led a governance review that resulted in major improvements in governance procedures, documentation, policies and oversight
  • 3 years as a credit union supervisory committee member where he implemented procedural changes to improve governance at board level
  • Experienced accountant with knowledge of financial management and risk management
  • Developed and reviewed 100s of business plans and strategic plans in private and third sector organisations
  • Experienced mentor and trainer in finance and risk topics

Tony believes that ’robust challenge‘ is a crucial requirement of a strong Board and good governance must be at the heart of every effective organisation.

Take a look at Tony’s LinkedIn profile here.

Professor Frank Clark CBE - Associate

Professor Frank Clark CBE has an unmatched track record as a Chief Executive, Chair, Non-Executive Director and Governance Troubleshooter, both in the public and voluntary sectors.

  • Appointed as Chief Executive of Lanarkshire Health Board in 1985 – the first of its kind within the NHS in Scotland
  • Took up role as Chief Executive of Strathcarron Hospice in 1996
  • Appointed as an Honorary Professor in the Department of Nursing and Midwifery in the University of Stirling, the same year
  • One among three professionals appointed by the Permanent Secretary in 2010, to examine and report on the effectiveness of the Scottish Government
  • Held various Non-Executive positions including:
    - Chair of Forth Valley NHS Board
    - Chair of the national care regulator – Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland (the Care Inspectorate)
    - Member of the Boards of the Scottish Social Services Council and Healthcare Improvement Scotland

Watch Frank on our latest corporate governance video, explaining the importance of good governance in charities.

Douglas Hutchens - Associate

Douglas has spent nearly 25 years in NHS management and planning, working latterly as Director of Planning and Corporate Affairs of a national NHS Board.

  • Non-executive director of the Scottish Government (Chair of Health and Wellbeing Audit and Risk Committee [ARC]
  • Non-executive Board Member of NHS Education Scotland
  • Non-executive Board Member of Disclosure Scotland
  • Chair of Crown Office and Procurator Fiscals Service ARC
  • Chair of a small community charity – Hope Hub
  • Director of a small consultancy organisation working primarily with public sector and third sector organisations
  • Member of Learning and Justice ARC
  • Member of Resources Justice Boards
  • Member of the UK Judiciary Appeals Tribunal
  • Active supporter of the Government Improvement Teams
  • Former Vice Chair of the Scottish Association for Mental Health and the Care Inspectorate
  • Recently co-chaired the Ministerial Task Force on the Future of Residential Care in Scotland – aimed at shaping residential care for older people in the next 20-30 years
  • Passionate about the quality of services offered to the public, particularly the underprivileged within society

Our team's wide-ranging experience and expertise ensures the Governance Improvement Tool focuses on helping you improve your organisation's governance in a very practical and cost-effective way. 

Read our latest not-for-profit blogs here for great insights, news, top tips and much more