Governance encompasses the system by which an organisation is controlled and operates, and the mechanisms by which it, and its people, are held to account.

For smaller groups a simple constitution will be the main element of governance to consider.  Larger organisations or those undertaking more complex projects will require to consider further elements of governance and develop procedures to cover financial management and accounting, employment law and OSCR regulations, in order to meet all legal and regulatory requirements.  You will also need to consider which legal structure best suits your organisation.

OSCR is the Scottish Charity Regulator.  If you feel that becoming a charity is right for your group, they offer advice on all aspects of setting up and running a charity.  They give information on which type of legal structure and constitution will suit you best and advice on the role and responsibilities of charity trustees.

Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action can offer help and advice on the most appropriate legal structure and on governance generally.


Very often, but not always, funders will expect your group or organisation to be constituted.  This is so they can be sure you have clear rules and good governance.  If you do not already have a constitution we can offer some help and advice to get you started.  A simple constitution can be written using one of many templates that can be accessed online. 

Sometimes a more complex constitution is required, if you are looking to apply to OSCR for charitable status for example (i.e. specific SCIO constitution). If you hope to make a Community Asset Transfer you will need to include some essential clauses within your constitution.  Specific advice on this can be found at:

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

Development Trusts Association Scotland