Board governance

The NES Board is a group of 12 senior professionals – some who work for NES, others from outside – who are answerable to the Scottish Government for our work.

The board’s role is:

  • to set the strategic direction, define annual and longer-term objectives and agreed plans to achieve them;
  • to ensure that plans and performance are responsive to staff and stakeholder needs;
  • to oversee the delivery of planned results by monitoring performance against objectives;
  • to ensure effective financial stewardship;
  • to ensure high standards of governance and conduct throughout the NES organisation; and
  • to appoint, appraise and remunerate senior executives.

The board and the executive team take governance very seriously and it is an area on which the whole of NES is regularly reviewed (along with all other NHS bodies) by Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS).

The Chief Executive and the other directors have among their personal objectives a common core objective to “Ensure robust governance arrangements in all NES activities”.

Because governance can be very complex, the NES board has delegated specific areas to a range of standing committees. These delegated responsibilities are central to the remits of these committees.

Board members receive a governance handbook on appointment and receive initial and ongoing training and development in corporate governance (typically starting with attendance at an “On board” training course, or similar).

The board’s standing orders are an important element within the governance handbook (see above link).

Board members are required to comply with the code of conduct, which requires them to register and regularly review and update their interests in the register of board members’ interests (which is published on the NES website) and to declare these interests at board meetings, as necessary.

The secretariat for the board and its standing committees and corporate management groups is provided by the board services function within the Planning and Corporate Governance team. One of the key roles of the board services manager (board secretary) is the provision of corporate governance advice and support to the board.