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The meaning of direction and control October 25, 2010

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A UKPGA response to ‘Governing the New NHS: Issues and Tensions in Health Service Management‘ by John Storey, John Bullivant and Andrew Corbett-Nolan,1 Routledge, 2010.

The authors of the above named book report that they “are not persuaded by the ‘policy governance’ view which seeks to keep governance separate from organisational management.” They continue:

“Indeed, we suggest that many of the failings in health-care governance in both provider and commissioning trusts in recent years have stemmed from directors failing to understand the nature of health care and failing to be appropriately engaged."

They also assert the following:

"The detached gaze that justifies governance as a separate function from operational management is all very well, but the principle which separates governance from operational detail or even from management can lead to isolation from reality and into a parallel world of processes without purpose. Too much obsession and reliance on process may result in neglect of the patient experience."

"We argue that governance in health services needs to go beyond the Carver model. While recognising that the distinction between management and governance needs to be the subject of serious consideration, health-care governors need to insist on engagement with whatever information is relevant to assure themselves of patient safety and quality of service."

This response from the UK Policy Governance Association (a non-profit, public benefit organisation) starts from the generally accepted view that board governance is about direction and control. On this point we suspect the above authors would agree with us. Where we differ it seems is on how best boards can provide direction and control.

Traditionally most boards operate by examining documents and data provided by management and occasionally by external auditors. They do this in more or less detail depending on how concerned they feel about a particular topic. The level of concern varies in accordance with the calibration of individual board members’ antennae and in their response to concerns expressed to them by external authorities, staff or patients.

Thus, where the board focuses its attention at any given moment is a fairly random affair. This has the advantage that the board might thus be alerted to something really important. However it also has the very serious disadvantage that it could be missing something far more important.

The premise of Policy Governance is that every board is collectively accountable to their organisation’s legal (and in some cases, moral) ownership for everything that their organisation does and does not do. Thus it is important that, on behalf of their owners, boards set comprehensive standards for organisational accomplishment and risk management the monitoring of which enable it to keep its collective eye on everything all the time – not just some things some of the time. Policy Governance has been specifically designed with this challenge in mind.

In the absence of having an alternative to offer for meeting this challenge, the authors would do well to study Policy Governance and the reasons for its continuing popularity more closely. Of course health-care governors need to insist on engagement with whatever information is relevant to assure themselves of patient safety and quality of service but we suggest that the boards that use Policy Governance to do this in a collective, comprehensive and systematic fashion are providing far superior assurance when compared to the boards that don’t.

1 Governing the New NHS: Issues and Tensions in Health Service Management‘ by John Storey, John Bullivant and Andrew Corbett-Nolan. Published by Routledge, September 2010.

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Supporting and enhancing Policy Governance implementation in further education colleges – a 1 day UKPGA event September 30, 2010

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This one-day workshop has been developed specifically to support the boards, principals and clerks of FE Colleges in the UK who are involved in introducing or operating systems of governance based on John Carver’s Policy Governance® model1. You are invited to join this unique gathering of experienced colleagues as well as persons who have been professionally engaged in leading the development of Policy Governance and supporting Further Education bodies in the UK and North America.

Outcomes

1) Participants have a clear understanding of the potential of Policy Governance for UK FE Colleges1.

2) Participants have a clear understanding of the challenges UK FE Colleges face in implementing Policy Governance.

3) Participants have shared ideas, experience and resources for supporting and enhancing Policy Governance implementation.

Suitable For

Members of boards and staffs involved in introducing or supporting College board development using Policy Governance.

Outline Programme

10.00 a.m. Introductions: Caroline Oliver, Chair UKPGA

10.15 a.m. The Potential of Policy Governance – Sharing of Practical FE Board Experience followed by Group Work

11.15 a.m. Break

11.30 a.m. The Challenges of Policy Governance – Sharing of Practical FE Board Experience followed by Group Work

12.30 p.m. LUNCH

1.30 p.m. Variations on a Theme – Summary Discussion comparing the theory of Policy Governance with UK FE College practice – what’s working, what isn’t working? Does Policy Governance fit with the future of governance in FE Colleges?

2.30 p.m. Break

2.45 p.m. Strategies for Supporting and Enhancing Policy Governance Implementation

Available Resources – Sharing of Experience re types and quality of implementation resources

Maximising Cost-Effective Use of Resources – Group Work

3.30 p.m. Final Questions, Summing Up and Next Steps

3.45 p.m. Evaluation

4.00 p.m. Close

Registration Fee

£125 per person. 25% discount on any additional registrations from same College.

Venue

The Stables, High Melton, Doncaster DN5 7SZ

The Stables Restaurant and Conference Centre is a subsidiary of Doncaster College set in the picturesque village of High Melton. The Centre is located 20 minutes from Doncaster town centre and just 5 minutes from junction 37 of the A1. A taxi from Doncaster Rail Station costs approximately £8.00.

For information about overnight accommodation see http://www.thestables-doncaster.co.uk/ or contact: telephone: 01302 553715 or email: stables.restaurant@don.ac.uk

To Register

Please email us at: ukpolicygovernance@gmail.com with your intention to register and the address to which we should send your invoice.

UK Policy Governance Academy – Directions May 22, 2010

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The UK Policy Governance Academy being run by John and Miriam Carver takes place at Birkbeck, University of London this week (24-28 May, inclusive).

The Academy commences at 1pm on Monday and 8.30 am Tuesday-Friday, inclusive.

With reference to the campus map (Download  largerscalemap), the Academy will take place in the following rooms:

· Monday 24 May – Room CLO 101 – Clore Management Centre (Building 2 on campus map)

· Tuesday 25 May – Room MAL 403 – Malet Street (Building 1 on campus map)

· Wednesday 26 May – Room CLO 101 – Clore Management Centre (Building 2 on campus map)

· Thursday 27 May – Room CLO 101 – Clore Management Centre (Building 2 on campus map)

· Friday 28 May – Room MAL 403 – Malet Street (Building 1 on campus map)

If anyone has any queries, please call Caroline Oliver, Chair of the UK Policy Governance Association, on 077662 73837 (UK mobile number).

Assessing board assessment May 12, 2010

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There are moves afoot to have board effectiveness assessed independently on an annual basis.

In this brief article, Caroline Oliver looks at board assessment through the lens of Policy Governance and provides some useful questions boards might like to ask themselves in their efforts to assess board assessment.

Read Caroline’s article here.

Protected: UK Policy Governance Academy May 2010 – handouts for participant download May 9, 2010

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A case for global governance theory – a published paper from Dr John Carver April 24, 2010

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Dr John Carver is by far the World’s most published author on board governance. His Policy Governance model for boards is acclaimed by the likes of Sir Adrian Cadbury and Bob Monks, and is used by many nonprofit and public sector organisations world-wide, plus a number of commercial organisations, most notably BP. His seminal book Boards that Make a Difference: A new design for Leadership in Nonprofit and Public organisations is by far the biggest selling board governance publication with over 100,000 copies sold.

Dr Carver has published a paper in the latest edition of Corporate Governance – An International Review, published by Wiley. Titled A Case for Global Governance Theory: Practitioners Avoid It, Academics Narrow It, the World Needs It, the paper essentially puts the case for development of a global theory of corporate governance.

The paper can be accessed here.

UKPGA responds to Charity Commission consultation on Key Principles of Good Governance November 16, 2009

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Caroline Oliver, Chair of the UK Policy Governance Association, has responded to a Charity Commission consultation on  the refashioned principles of good governance. The principles were originally set out in Good Governance: a Code for the Voluntary and Community Sector published in 2005, which is supported by the Charity Commission.

In the web-based consultation questionnaire, Caroline stressed that the principles need to allow for concept of moral ownership and for boards to set criteria for strategic plans and budgets rather than doing the planning and budgeting.

Caroline further stated that UKPGA would be pleased to talk with the Governance Code Steering Group, responsible for refashioning the principles. Watch this space.

UKPGA submission to the Walker Review of Corporate Governance of UK Banking Industry November 3, 2009

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The UKPGA has made a submission to the independent review of corporate governance in the UK banking industry being carried out by Sir David Walker.

The Terms of Reference for the review are to examine corporate governance in the UK banking industry and make recommendations, including in the following areas:

  • the effectiveness of risk management at board level, including the incentives in remuneration policy to manage risk effectively;
  • the balance of skills, experience and independence required on the boards of UK banking institutions;
  • the effectiveness of board practices and the performance of audit, risk, remuneration and nomination committees;
  • the role of institutional shareholders in engaging effectively with companies and monitoring of boards;
  • whether the UK approach is consistent with international practice and how national and international best practice can be promulgated; and
  • whether the recommendations of the review are applicable to other financial institutions.

Full details of the review, including a consultation document issued in July 2009, can be found here.

Submissions to the Walker review can be found here.

Download the UKPGA submission to the Walker review here.

2010 IPGA conference, 21-24 July, Las Vegas October 6, 2009

Posted by ukpga in International events.
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The 2010 International Policy Governance Association (IPGA) conference will be held at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Registration and further information will be available on the IPGA website in due course.

The Importance of Boards in Democracy – Caroline Oliver’s speech to the IPGA conference, Montreal October 2, 2009

Posted by ukpga in International events, Policy Governance events.
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Here is an article by Caroline Oliver, chair of the UK Policy Governance Association, based on her keynote speech to the International Policy Governance Association (IPGA) conference, Montreal, July 2009: The importance of Boards in democracy