Statement on the Maintenance of the Board

16/08/2013

Context

Unipol’s Board has adopted this Statement on the Maintenance of the Board in order to promote good corporate governance; to enhance the values of the organisation; and to embed equality and diversity.

Preamble

The Statement recognises that Unipol’s Board is comprised of two groups of Directors/Trustees, viz. those Directors/Trustees appointed by Unipol’s principal members (currently 13) and those Directors/Trustees co-opted by the Board (currently 6). The statement is supplementary to the Articles of Association with a reference point for the principal members when determining their own appointees to Unipol’s Board.
 
In striving to promote and maintain a high quality Board of Directors that is well able to deliver Unipol’s vision, values and objectives as well as meet the requirements of the Articles of Association, the Board recognises the key importance of both its collective skills and attributes; and the significance of diversity and equality.
 

Skills Statement for Applicants for Trustee/Board Member

In order to fulfil its responsibilities the Board well understands the need for a wide-ranging and complementary set of skills amongst its membership. The Board has determined a required a generic set of skills based grouped as:
  • values and motivation  
  • analytical skills and decision making 
  • collaborative working 
  • relevant knowledge.
The required collective skills will vary over time, because of changes in Directors/Trustees; and the evolving aspirations of and challenges to the organisation and the Board will review these requirements, paying particularly attention to those skills listed under “Relevant Knowledge”, on an annual basis. 
 
Values and Motivation 
  • Have a genuine interest to make a significant contribution to the Board of Unipol and to Unipol more generally. 
  • Have an understanding and appreciation of, and a commitment to, the principles of equal opportunities and diversity and inclusivity with a non-discriminatory approach to cultural differences. 
  • Have a high level of integrity and a strong sense of responsibility and although Unipol is not a public body, as enshrined in the Nolan principles:
  • https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-7-principles-of-public-life/the-7-principles-of-public-life--2
  • Have an appreciation of confidentiality and how to handle sensitive information. 
 
Analytical Skills and Decision Making 
  • Have the ability to assimilate complex information – including detailed financial information, sometimes at relatively short notice.
  • Have strong judgement.
  • Have the ability to actively and constructively participate in decision making. 
  • Have the ability and commitment to accept collective responsibility for decisions taken. 
Collaborative Working 
  • Have the ability to command trust and confidence. 
  • Have excellent oral communication skills. 
  • Have the ability to reflect on own performance, and to be able to give and receive constructive feedback. 
Relevant Knowledge 
  • Have a general understanding of, and the ability to, work within the charitable voluntary sector, and to apply the Board’s policies. 
  • Have the expertise and suitable experience to bring to the Board and Unipol one or more of the following characteristics: 
  • strong local connections and able to facilitate networking in the areas Unipol works in (involved in business, industry or as a social entrepreneur) 
  • a national profile around relevant national policy and its implications for Unipol
  • other particular, professional skills, to be shown as highly relevant to the Board
  • having specific knowledge of an important arena of Unipol’s operations
  • high level legal or financial skills.
Current identified needs are for:
  • high level facilities management expertise within the specialist field of student accommodation
  • experience of fundraising, either with experience of grant-raising from established funds or high net worth individuals with either direct or indirect access to capital markets.
Not all voluntary skills desired by Unipol need to be met by trustees and the charity involves a number of expert volunteers in its Committee structure where contributions can be more targeted to particular issues.
 
Diversity and Equality
Unipol is committed to providing equality of opportunity. Everyone has a right to such opportunity and to a good and harmonious environment and atmosphere in which everyone is encouraged to apply their diverse talents and in which no-one feels threatened or intimidated. This right is protected in many instances by legislation.
 
Unipol will maintain a culture where individual differences are valued and respected and which enables everyone to give of their best and helps Unipol to respond more effectively to its residents, other clients and partners. Unipol will promote equality of opportunity and fair participation within the framework of the law; and seek to be broadly representative of the society that we serve.
 
Unipol will not discriminate on the grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, age, disability, religion, religious or similar philosophical belief, social class, marital status, family responsibilities, sexual orientation, gender re-assignment or community background.
 
Appointments to the Board by Unipol’s Principal Members
Unipol’s principal members have the right to make their own appointments to the Board. As part of the appointment process Unipol requests each principal member to consider and pay due regard to this Statement including, in particular, the sections on Skills and on Diversity and Equality; and also assure themselves of appointees’ commitment to uphold the values and objectives of Unipol and to acting with integrity. The principal members are also requested to liaise with Unipol regarding the outcome of any relevant Director/Trustee review(s).
 
Co-options to the Board
In all decisions on the co-option of Directors/Trustees, the Board will consider and pay due regard to this Statement, in particular the sections on Skills and on Diversity and Equality.
 
Co-options will always be made by selection on merit, by the well-informed choice of individuals who through their abilities, experience and qualities match Unipol’s needs.
 
Candidates for co-option will be required to demonstrate their commitment to uphold the value and objectives of Unipol and to acting with integrity.
 
The Board will also have regard to the outcome of any relevant Director/Trustee review(s).
 
This Statement last reviewed on 10th February 2017.