Elderpark and Hawthorn to undertake joint peer governance review

Gary Dalziel

Elderpark Housing Association and Hawthorn Housing Co-operative have agreed to work together over the next few months carrying out a basic review of each organisation’s governance policies and procedures.

The review is intended to be used to share good practice, provide a ‘critical friend’ role and highlight potential ideas to enhance each organisation’s governance. It is expected the review will be relatively ‘soft’ and is not designed to be a detailed review of how each organisation meets every aspect of the regulatory standards but primarily about providing comfort to staff and management committees in an area which has an ever increasing focus placed on it.

Gary Dalziel, Elderpark Housing Association’s chief executive, said: “We recognise that good governance is crucial in running any successful organisation and it can be beneficial to have some outside assistance asking questions on how and why we do things in this way. While there are genuine merits in seeking independent formal assurance through commissioning external bodies the advantage of this approach to us were that we are providing our staff with an excellent opportunity to work together and learn from another organisation and we have the confidence both organisations have the current knowledge of governance to provide effective ideas and comment.

“Crucially, for me I am clear that the best partnership working is built on people and not organisations and there is a level of trust between myself and Colin that means we are keen to work together, have the same understanding of what the review should deliver and have the opportunity to revise and shape it to ensure we get the maximum benefits to both Elderpark and Hawthorn Housing.”

Colin Turnbull

Colin Turnbull, director of Hawthorn Housing Co-operative, added: “I am really excited about this initiative. It utilises the expertise we have in our organisations to explore how we currently do things and identify ways we can improve by learning from each other. I would like to think we can build on this initial audit to examine other areas of governance to ensure we are complying with the regulatory standards and are following best practice.”

The review will take place over the next few months with initial focus placed on the rules, standing orders and scheme of delegation with some observing done at a committee meeting. If, as anticipated, this should prove to be a worthwhile exercise, the next stage will then begin to explore other areas related to effective governance.

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