The West Herts Homes Board

In March 2016, West Herts Homes adopted the NHF’s Model Rules (2015) as its company rules. The Model Rules are what most housing associations use, and as such, they are the “industry standard”. The Model Rules require West Herts Homes to commit itself to the highest standards in governance and probity.

Some key points, on how the West Herts Homes Board works:

  • The Board meets 6 times each year, and will usually also hold an annual strategy day
  • West Herts Homes has an Audit Committee that meet 3 times each year, and which is accountable to the Board
  • The Board has agreed that it will have a maximum of 9 members, and that all members will serve for a maximum of 2 x 3 year terms (6 years in total). The Chief Executive is a member of the Board, and the only executive member
  • The Chair and all Board members are elected at each Annual General Meeting 
  • The Board has committed itself to a regular and independent review of its performance
  • As vacancies arise on the Board, they will be openly advertised, and selection will be based on candidates meeting the criteria in place at the time of the recruitment process.

Role Description for Board Members

West Herts Homes is committed to having a Board with a mix of knowledge, skills, and experience which are relevant to the range, size and complexity of its business.

Skills, Abilities and Experience required by all members:

  • The ability to assimilate, analyse and scrutinise reports and data, determine key issues and make balanced judgements
  • Excellent communication skills including listening and questioning and the ability to summarise key points in discussions
  • The ability to contribute to the development of West Herts Homes’ strategy
  • The ability to distinguish between non-executive and executive roles
  • Be able to network and communicate with people from all backgrounds
  • An understanding of the communities within which West Herts Homes operates 

To be an effective, all Board members should:

  • Prepare for meetings and commit sufficient time to role
  • Commit to the mission and values of West Herts Homes
  • Achieve the right balance of challenge and support for the staff
  • Use appropriate communication styles for Board meetings 
  • Work collaboratively with peers and the staff team 
  • Take collective responsibility and support collective decisions
  • Keep up to date with changes in the environment in which West Herts Homes operates

We expect all Board members to:

  • Contribute to the development of strategy using skills, knowledge and experience from their areas of expertise
  • Show commitment to and support for West Herts Homes Vision and Values
  • Ensure that the Board and the Association acts in the best interests of  West Herts Homes residents and other stakeholders
  • Understand the key risks for the business and ensure that that there are adequate plans to mitigate them
  • Oversee scrutiny of West Herts Homes’ success in delivering its plans, objectives, performance standards and service quality
  • Satisfy themselves that information provided to the Board is relevant, timely and accurate and that appropriate schemes of delegation and systems of control are in place to meet statutory and regulatory requirements
  • Maintain the highest standards of personal professional integrity and conduct and be prepared to report any suspected breach of the relevant codes of conduct to the Chair and Company Secretary
  • Keep up to date with changes in the environment in which West Herts Homes operates and which may impact on the Association
  • Contribute to regular reviews of the effectiveness of West Herts Homes governance arrangements to ensure continuing relevance and high standards
  • Help represent West Herts Homes to external partners, and support the development of good and appropriate professional relationships 
  • Demonstrate a commitment to equality and diversity
  • At all times be committed to the highest standards of governance