Headlines: November 27th, 2006



A new e-learning scheme has been unveiled to help trustees of voluntary sector organisations to improve their skills. ‘Learning To Drive’ has been produced by the Governance Hub in partnership with the Suffolk Association of Voluntary Organisations. The Hub has been developed as part of the ChangeUp programme to build capacity in the voluntary and community sector.

The new learning tool follows research by the Governance Hub, which showed that although most people who become trustees volunteer because they want to give something back to society and contribute to a good cause, only 6 per cent of them feel that trustees usually have the skills needed for board membership. More than 40 per cent of trustees say they are given no opportunity to learn about their role and they are given little support or help in managing budgets, employing staff or running services.

‘Learning To Drive’ has been developed to help meet these training needs and aims to improve knowledge and skills through a flexible online system that allows people to learn at their own pace, in their own time and to their appropriate level. The course outlines trustees’ roles and responsibilities as well as showing how they can develop their skills. It also covers the main principles in the National Occupational Standards for Trustees and Management Committee Members and the Code of Governance. It is applicable to new trustees or those with more experience who want to brush up their skills. Trustees and voluntary organisation committee members can register at www.trustee-elearning.org.uk.

Jolanta Lasota, Head of the Governance Hub, said good governance was essential for the success of any organization. “Our research suggests that very few trustees feel that they are fully equipped for their role,” she said and added, “We are encouraging trustees to take advantage of this resource, to help prepare themselves for their role.” Jonathan Moore, Chief Executive of Suffolk Association of Voluntary Organisations, said response so far had been positive.