The Governance Code for Community, Voluntary and Charitable Organisations provides, for the first time, clear guidelines on the roles, duties and responsibilities of those who run community, voluntary or charitable organisations.

All Community, Voluntary and Charitable organisations have a responsibility to their stakeholders to provide and follow a code of good practice. This responsibility rests on the Board of Directors or Management Committee, who are tasked with governing the organisation.


The Governance Code is based on five main principles, each with three sub-principles. For each principle there are recommended guidelines and actions on how to put that principle in place for your organisation. Having taken the actions, you will then know that you are adopting that particular principle.

The Governance Code is developed to serve the entire sector, regardless of size or stage of development. To this end, the developers of the Code have identified three broad organisational types within the sector and have tailored the Code to these categories. These are defined as ‘Type A’, Type B’, and ‘Type C’. Whilst the five principles remain the same across the three categories, the actions will be different.

Have a look here to see which category you fit into and the set of actions most suitable for your organisation.

The Governance Code is principles-based, rather than rule-based, and it is voluntary. It is expected that groups and organisations will compare themselves to the standards outlined in the Code on a ‘comply or explain’ basis. This means that you measure your organisation against the principle in question, specifically against each of the actions for that principle. After this you make any changes needed to bring your organisation in line.

Click here for the Governance Code for Type A organisations
Click here for the Governance Code for Type B organisations
Click here for the Governance Code for Type C organisations

Boardmatch Ireland played an important role in the development of the Code, alongside the 7 other community, voluntary and charity organisations in the working group. We sincerely appreciate the invaluable thoughts and insights that were offered and are particularly encouraged by the overwhelming positive response to this initiative, which is led by the sector for the sector.

As a corporate governance charity, we are passionate about strengthening governance in the not-for-profit sector and urge all organisations, big and small, to sign up now!


The Governance Code was developed over a three-year period by a Working Group of eight Charities including Boardmatch Ireland, and assisted by a number of experts in the area of governance. The working Group consulted widely with community and voluntary organisations, funders, regulators, statutory bodies and other stakeholders.

The following organisations from the Community, Voluntary and Charitable Sector were active members of the Working Group:

· Boardmatch Ireland
· Business in the Community
· Carmichael Centre for Voluntary Groups
· Clann Credo
· Disability Federation Ireland
· Irish Charities Tax Reform
· Volunteer Ireland
· The Wheel