The RSCDS's role and responsibilities
The RSCDS is a membership-based charitable organisation dedicated to the promotion of Scottish Country Dancing and its music. It is also a company limited by guarantee.
The grass roots of the RSCDS are its subscribing members who, through the delegates appointed to represent them, play an important part in shaping the direction the RSCDS takes. They determine who sits on the Management Board and Committees and hold its members to account in General Meetings of the RSCDS held in Scotland.
Most members join through a local or regional Branch. Each Branch is broadly independent; with its own elected committee and governance structure and delegates are elected or appointed to represent each Branch at the AGM.
From its beginnings the RSCDS has been imbued with a profound sense of mission, to promote traditional Scottish Country Dancing and its music. In all of that it has achieved considerable success.
As the RSCDS approaches the start of its second century it is required to take account of societal changes, but also, with encouragement from modern charity law and regulation, to remain true to its outward-facing history working for the promotion of its clearly defined charitable objects.
What are the means by which the RSCDS works to meet its charitable objects?
Corporate governance is the system by which businesses and other organisations are directed and controlled.
“Good governance in charities is fundamental to their success. It enables and supports a charity’s compliance with the law and relevant regulations. It also promotes a culture where everything works towards fulfilling the charity’s vision”.*
The structure which delivers the RSCDS's governance is important.
Good governance is, however, more than a simple hierarchical structure but rather depends on a series of fundamental principles appropriate to any organisation operating in the public realm.
- Good leadership is essential – at every level
- Personal and corporate integrity are of paramount importance
- The Board has to ensure that its decision-making and risk control are of the highest standard
- The Board has to be effective, bringing together a range of key skills and areas of expertise, combined with a commitment to give an appropriate amount of time to the requirements of the Society
- A real engagement with diversity has to be the subject of continuing development
- Finally, there have, at all times, to be openness and accountability
The evident adherence by a board to the principles of good governance provides reassurance to its stakeholders in general and inspiration to its members.
*Charity Commission of England and Wales Charity Governance Code 2018