I will act within the governing document of Ashford Mediation Service (‘the Service’ or ‘AMS’) and the law and abide by the policies and procedures of the organisation. This includes having a knowledge of the contents of the relevant policies and procedures of the Service.
I will support the objects and mission of Ashford Mediation Service championing it, using any skills or knowledge I have to further that mission and seeking expert advice where appropriate.
I will be an active trustee, making my skills, experience and knowledge available to the Service and seeking to do what additional work I can outside trustee meetings, including sitting on sub-committees.
I will respect organisational, board and individual confidentiality, while never using confidentiality as an excuse not to disclose matters that should be transparent and open.
I will develop and maintain a sound and up-to-date knowledge of the Service and its environment. This will include an understanding of how the Service operates, the social, political and economic environment in which it operates and the nature and extent of its work.
I will use Ashford Mediation Services’ resources responsibly, and when claiming expenses will do so in line with all policies and procedures.
I will seek to be accountable for my actions as a trustee and will submit myself to whatever scrutiny is appropriate.
I accept my responsibility to ensure that Ashford Mediation Service is well run and will raise issues and questions in an appropriate and sensitive way to ensure that this is the case.
I will not gain materially or financially from my involvement with Ashford Mediation Service unless specifically authorised to do so.
I will act in the best interests of the Service as a whole, and not as a representative of any group – considering what is best for the Service and its present and future beneficiaries and avoiding bringing the Service into disrepute.
Unless authorised, I will not put myself in a position where my personal interests conflict with my duty to act in the interests of the organisation. Where there is a conflict of interest I will ensure that this is managed effectively in line with AMS policy. I understand that a failure to declare a conflict of interest may be considered to be a breach of this code.
I will attend all appropriate meetings and other appointments at AMS or give apologies.
If I cannot regularly attend meetings I will consider whether there are other ways I can engage with the Service.
There are four Board meetings per year. I understand that if I am unable to attend two of those meetings (50%), that I will be required to have a meeting with the Chair to discuss my capacity for the Trustee position. I understand that sometimes people commit to roles where later it becomes untenable to fulfil those roles. In discussion with the Chair, I will be asked to reflect on my capacity to perform my role and the conclusion may result in the mutual decision for my resignation.
It is expected that Trustees will spend between two and four hours per week on their duties and will also be asked to attend several events and activities over their term of office,
I will prepare fully for all meetings and work for the organisation. This will include reading papers, querying anything I do not understand, thinking through issues before meetings and completing any tasks assigned to me in the agreed time. If I am unable to prepare for meetings or to provide the information or completed work that I have committed to on more than two occasions, I understand that I will be required to have a meeting with the Chair to discuss my capacity as a Trustee.
I will actively engage in discussion, debate and voting in meetings; contributing in a considered and constructive way, listening carefully, challenging sensitively and avoiding conflict.
I will participate in collective decision making, accept a majority decision of the board and will not act individually unless specifically authorised to do so.
I will actively contribute towards improving the governance of the trustee board, participating in induction and training and sharing ideas for improvement with the board.
I will help to identify good candidates for trusteeship and, with my fellow trustees, will appoint new trustees in accordance with agreed selection criteria.
Relations with Others
I will endeavour to work considerately and respectfully with all those I come into contact with at. I will respect diversity, different roles and boundaries, and avoid giving offence.
I recognise that the roles of trustees, volunteers and staff are different, and I will seek to understand and respect the difference between these roles. Where I also volunteer with the organisation I will maintain the separation of my role as a trustee and as a volunteer.
I will seek to support and encourage all those I come into contact with. In particular I recognise my responsibility to support the chair and the senior staff member.
I will not make public comments about the organisation unless authorised to do so. Any public comments I make about the Ashford Mediation Service will be considered and in line with organisational policy, whether I make them as an individual or as a trustee.
Leaving the Board
I understand that substantial breach of any part of this code may result in procedures being put in motion that may result in my being asked to resign from the trustee board.
Should this happen I will be given the opportunity to be heard. In the event that I am asked to resign from the board I will accept the majority decision of the board in this matter and resign at the earliest opportunity.
If I wish to cease being a trustee of Ashford Mediation Service at any time, I will inform the chair in advance in writing, stating my reasons for leaving.