Purpose of the role

To add value to Great Places’ business by contributing experience, expertise and insight to determine strategy, direction and control in the interests of tenants, other customers/service users and the wider community.

Key accountabilities

The Board has ultimate responsibility for the governance of Great Places Housing Group. The Board’s central role is to direct and control Great Places’ work - to determine strategic direction and policies, and to oversee the controls, assurance and risk management frameworks that will ensure that Great Places achieves its aims and objectives. The implementation of strategies and policies is delegated to management.

All Board members share responsibility for Group decisions. Each Board member should act only in the interests of Great Places and not on behalf of any constituency or interest group. Board members should put the interests of the organisation before their own interests.

Leadership and Direction

  • To define the vision and values of the Group and ensure that these are realised and upheld;
  • To define the direction of the business;
  • To ensure clear accountabilities and communications within the Group;
  • To maintain a clear customer and service user focus;
  • To support the Chair in providing strategic leadership;
  • To create a positive climate within the Board which fosters constructive challenge to assumptions about the business;
  • To agree the role and role profiles of the Chair, Deputy Chair, Committee/Subsidiary Chairs and other Board members;
  • To review Board composition, performance and succession plans regularly;
  • To appoint (and, if necessary, remove) the Chair.

Strategic Development

  • To set the key strategic objectives and determine the strategic aims and outcomes required;
  • To drive the development of the business plan, providing constructive challenge and contributions and ensuring the effectiveness of the plan;
  • To approve an annual budget and long term business plan that supports the achievement of the corporate plan;
  • To ensure that all assets are managed efficiently and effectively, that social housing assets are safeguarded, and capacity is properly utilised, so as to maintain long term viability and sustainability of the association and its homes.

Risk Management

  • To oversee a framework for the identification, review, management and mitigation of risks, including agreeing risk capacity and appetite;
  • To contribute to the review and evaluation of strategic risks in both the external and internal environments and receive regular reports on these and on crystallising and emerging risks;
  • To ensure that a positive culture of managing opportunities, threats and uncertainties is embedded throughout the organisation;
  • To determine policies and decisions on all matters that might create a significant financial or other risk to the organisation, or which raise material matters of principle.

Internal Controls Framework

  • To oversee the framework of delegation and systems of internal controls;
  • To obtain assurance on the effectiveness of internal controls.

Performance Monitoring

  • To regularly review and monitor performance in relation to plans, budgets, controls and decisions;
  • To obtain and consider performance information in relation to customer and stakeholder feedback and benchmark against comparable organisations and activities.

Probity and Integrity

  • To approve each year’s audited Financial Statements prior to publication;
  • To obtain assurance that Great Places’ affairs are conducted lawfully and in accordance with generally accepted and specific standards of reporting and performance, including Great Places’ chosen “appropriate code” of governance and probity policies;
  • To ensure Great Places’ compliance with all relevant regulatory requirements.

Transparency and Openness

  • To review regularly Great Places’ openness arrangements, taking account of good practice developments;

Ambassadorial Role

  • To promote Great Places at key events and other meetings, and establish constructive, high quality relationships, with key current and potential partners and stakeholders, both internal and external, in line with a Board-agreed relationship management policy as required;
  • To monitor, safeguard and enhance Great Places’ reputation.

Executive and Management Arrangements

  • To appoint (and, if necessary, dismiss) the Chief Executive and other executives and approve their salary, benefits and terms of employment;
  • To ensure there are appropriate policies and systems to recruit, develop, retain and remunerate staff.

Responsibility lines

Individual Board members are responsible through the Chair of Great Places who is elected annually by Board members, to contribute to the achievement of the success of the Group and Great Places’ objects as set out in its Rules, its vision and values, and its aims set out in the current Corporate plan and Business Plan.

The Chair will ensure the efficient conduct of the Board’s business; that all Board members are given the opportunity to express their views; that the Board makes proper and appropriate arrangements for its own appraisals and that of Board members; and for a succession plan for members.

Board Member Person Specification

Our values are integrated into our expectations for this role:

We appreciate

  • Senior management experience in the private, public, charity or social enterprise sectors
  • Knowledge of corporate governance standards and practice
  • Ability to think strategically
  • Ability to effectively analyse information in different formats, interpret results and provide robust and constructive challenge
  • Ability to evaluate risks and likely outcomes in decision making
  • Ability to lead and motivate to influence the success of the organisation

We innovate

  • Champions innovation, is open to new perspectives and ideas
  • Interest in the strategic challenges and opportunities for the social housing sector

We are fair

  • Good awareness of equality, diversity and inclusion matters, able to contribute to ensuring this informs the work of the Board
  • Strong sense of probity and personal integrity
  • Ability to influence through persuasive contributions

We partner

  • Shares the vision and values of the organisation
  • Ability to work as part of an effective team, working collaboratively with colleagues and promoting positive working relationships
  • Commitment to develop partnerships and relationships that support delivery of the organisational strategy
  • Willingness and ability to govern within the operational culture and operating environment of Great Places

We care

  • Understands our various customer groups, aligns approach with a focus on the needs and priorities of customers
  • Effective communication and engagement with colleagues
  • A personal and professional credibility that will command confidence at all levels
  • Insight into the socio-economic needs of the region, pride in contributing to the success of the North West region
  • Self-managing and takes ownership of own personal development
  • Ability and willingness to commit to the time commitment for the role