For all of us, life as we know it has changed beyond all recognition in the weeks and months since the word ‘coronavirus’ first entered the collective consciousness.
We have all been making adjustments to our professional and personal lives, changes that for many of us would have been unthinkable just a short time ago. And yet, with change comes opportunity. This is a good time for us all to reflect upon and renew our commitment to our professional development, and the Institute is supporting that with a range of initiatives.
Among them, in the absence of our regular programme of conferences and classroom-based training, we are offering many events virtually. A number of our corporate, charity and academy governance courses are now available online, as are our two ever-popular courses on the role of the company secretary. The Governance Leadership Programme is also continuing, in the form of one-to-one coaching sessions with programme director Anna Bateson. You’ll find more details here.
We are also running a significantly increased programme of webinars. Last week, we hosted a webinar on regulation and good practice around AGMs in the current environment, while this week we’ll be hosting a webinar on good practice in the conduct of virtual board and committee meetings. Both webinars are free and so high has demand been that we are offering second dates for each.
These two webinars sit alongside the publication of two significant pieces of guidance – a piece on AGMs jointly authored with Slaughter & May, supported by a range of partners and reviewed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; and guidance on virtual board meetings produced jointly with Lorraine Young Board Advisory Services.
Both pieces of guidance have received a great deal of attention, and to them last week we added the first in a series of updates on the impact of COVID-19 on charities and their operations. And you’ll be seeing more webinars from us, including a session later this month exploring our work with Government on board evaluations and, from May, sessions on so-called ‘pro-active’ governance, corporate records and entity management.
Self-isolation also offers a little more time for more extended reading and reflection. With that in mind, I’d like to draw your attention to a few new titles from our publishing team, available in digital and print formats. They include the new Board Committees Handbook, which published in March, and the Non-Executive Directors' Checklists, which appears later in April. We are also exploring ways to make Governance + Compliance magazine available digitally for our members outside the UK.
So, a strange and uncertain time, then, but rest assured the Institute’s work in supporting and developing our members continues.
With my best wishes for good health for you and your families.
Sara Drake, Chief Executive of The Chartered Governance Institute