Whilst some associations are fortunate to have a qualified Chartered Governance professional dedicated to the role of Company Secretary, pressures on resourcing often make it necessary for smaller associations to combine the role with another Director. Often in these circumstances Directors receive little opportunity for specialised training in this area and instead learn on the job. 

Francis Bourke from South Devon Rural Housing Association (SDRHA) was recently appointed Company Secretary for his organisation. Although he had been involved in governance with the organisation, becoming the Company Secretary, he wanted to learn the specific responsibilities and contacted the Board Development Agency for assistance.

We were able to design one-to-one company secretarial training specifically tailored for the housing sector and factoring in the exact governance arrangements at SDRHA.

The training covered the full breadth of the role of a housing association company secretary and the key things Francis needed to know to get him up and running and ensure he was  able to comply with all his company secretarial responsibilities.

With topics ranging from constitutional arrangements, regulatory and legislative requirements, regulatory returns and governance frameworks to board member succession planning, skills matrices, recruitment, induction, training and development and appraisal and remuneration and more besides.

In addition to the initial training sessions, the BDA is able to offer ongoing mentoring to for Francis and provide advice in relation to any new issues he faces as part of his ongoing professional development.

Mandy is highly experienced, and has delivered training which has given me a clear insight into the role and responsibilities of Company Secretary. I have found the training and guidance from Mandy, extremely valuable, and also having Mandy as an ongoing mentor is great, having the confidence to know you have somebody to go to with all the knowledge and skills to support you, when needed.