Re-opening safely – ICSA guidance for trustees
The Governance Institute (ICSA) has published new guidance on re-opening for charity trustees.
Many trustees are currently considering how to re-open offices and other sites in a controlled, measured and safe manner, whilst understanding that it is unlikely that all activities will return to a pre-lockdown situation for the foreseeable future.
The new guidance from ICSA states that:
However cautiously organisations re-open physical spaces, the trustees and senior management team (SMT) will need to work together to ensure the return is safe, effective and suitably flexible to respond to further local or national lockdowns.
This is a challenging situation for trustee boards and difficult decisions might have to be made. The ICSA guidance aims to provide an overview of the fundamental issues trustees should be considering when deciding whether and how to re-open physical sites. It summarises important documents from the government and signposts readers to sources of guidance to help inform discussions, decisions and actions. The guidance reminds charities that:
Any decision to open up a charity’s physical activities and sites must be made by the board of trustees, collectively, in consultation with the SMT. The executive is responsible for developing and implementing plans to re-introduce on-site activities. The board is accountable for those actions and outcomes. It is therefore essential that trustees are assured that proposals and actions meet government requirements, as a minimum.
Local charities can assess help with re-opening from their County Voluntary Council. You can find your nearest council here: Third Sector Support Wales
WCVA has produced Guidance for Community centres reopening in Wales.
You can read the Welsh Government guidance here Safe Use of Multi-purpose community centres
The Association of Chairs has a useful blog on Health and Safety for trustees
Trustees should have reference to the Charity Commission guidance that covers a wide range of issues, Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for the charity sector