Structure and Governance of the Scottish Writers’ Centre

  1. The structure of the Scottish Writers’ Centre is a simple one: a Board of Directors (who have equal legal and financial responsibility) provides governance and oversees the work; appropriate office-bearers are appointed; and a number of workstreams are taken forward by sub-groups and individuals as directed by the Board.

 

  1. The general role of the Board of Board of Directors is to:
    1. set and maintain the vision, mission and values of the organisation;
    2. develop direction, strategy and planning;
    3. ensure the organisation has the structure and resources for its work;
    4. establish policies and procedures to govern organisational activity, including guidance for the board, volunteers and staff;
    5. establish systems for reporting and monitoring;
    6. manage risk and ensure compliance and accountability with the governing document, external regulators and the law;
    7. make certain that the financial affairs of the organisation are conducted properly and are accurately reported,

 

  1. The Board appoints a Chairperson to, among other things:
    1. prepare agendas for the meeting in consultation with other Board members;
    2. ensure meetings are run efficiently, and discussion and decision-making is democratic and fully participative;
    3. hold the casting vote in the event of a split decision;
    4. ensure that AGMs and EGMs are carried out according to the governing document;
    5. represent the organisation at external events and meetings.

 

  1. The Board appoints a Treasurer to, among other things:
    1. Control and account for the organisation’s finances;
    2. issue receipts for cash received, keep records of cash paid out, and be a counter-signatory to any major banking transaction;
    3. oversee bookkeeping;
    4. present financial reports, raise issues and answer questions at regular meetings and the AGM;
    5. liaise with the auditors or financial examiners for the annual review of accounts;
    6. ensure statutory returns are made to any relevant regulators.

 

  1. The Board does not appoint a Company Secretary. The usual roles of Secretary are shared out among directors (mainly the office-bearers), including to:
    1. convene meetings and book rooms;
    2. deal with correspondence;
    3. prepare agendas for meetings;
    4. prepare paperwork for meetings;
    5. oversee procedures for the operation of the board (eg organising the AGM);
    6. provide the Registrar of Companies with required information eg financial returns, changes in directors, and notification of where the organisation’s records are kept.

 

  1. Workstreams

The Board of Directors delegates responsibility for certain aspects of the work of the Scottish Writers’ Centre to individuals, standing or temporary sub-groups, including ‘Task & Finish’ groups where appropriate.

 

These groups and individuals operate by the agreement of the Board and remain fully accountable to the Board. The focus of the workstreams can be amended at any time by the Board. Sub-groups appoint a member to facilitate its work, in agreement with the Board.

 

Sub-groups can operate with two or more people.

 

The workstream approach is essential to ensure that the work of the Scottish Writers’ Centre is spread among a number of people, enabling broad thinking and supporting all members to contribute. It also adds to democratic decision-making in a way that allows Board members to bring their specific skills and interests to bear on our work.

 

 

 

Charlie Gracie

Chair

2 April 2020

 

 

References:

Certificate of Incorporation for Scottish Writers’ Centre, 2008

SCVO: Good Governance, 2020