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Guide to the BS 13500:2013 Standard

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What is this standard about?

BS 13500:2013 sets out the fundamental requirements for delivering effective governance of organizational performance.

Who is this standard for?

Any organization, large or small, looking to implement good governance. Both private and public-sector organizations

Why should you use this standard?

Society’s expectations of organizational behaviours and performance are growing, as is the evidence that good governance positions organizations and ultimately society for success.

While there’s a growing amount of sector level guidance on governance, there’s relatively little in the way of summary level definitions of the fundamentals of good governance. BS 13500:2013 addresses this and offers more detail on the important principles that lie behind much sector-specific guidance by distinguishing different accountabilities to different stakeholders. It also offers a baseline for all organizations, including those for which sector-specific standards might not exist.

BS 13500:2013 is intended to be used as a basic checklist to ensure that all the elements of a good governance system are in place.

When an organization can demonstrate that it’s implementing all the code’s recommendations, it can be said to have a system for delivering effective governance. Having such a system does not guarantee effective governance but it does at least encourage and support positive organizational values and behaviours.

Why do you need the BS 13500:2013 Standard?

BS 13500:2013 provides a comprehensive, clear exposition of the fundamental principles of good governance. It can be used as a tool for corporate governance, a logical reference point for other standards, to give an overview of management systems in order to avoid duplication, and to guide the implementation of legal entity and natural group mineral rights allocation mechanisms.It is appropriate for compliance and regulatory purposes, while the recommendations in it can also be applied within a broader context focused specifically on organic social and economic development.

What are the benefits of having the BS 13500:2013 Standard?

  • It will help to raise the profile of good governance in organizations and ensure that they make it a priority and deliver improved performance.
  • It will help to ensure an increased focus on the fundamental principles of good governance among an organization’s executives, managers, employees and representatives throughout society as a whole.
  • It will provide an up-to-date exposition of the fundamental principles of good governance that will complement and enhance current guidance on issues like corporate social responsibility, sustainability and business ethics.
  • It will facilitate understanding of the importance of good governance beyond business sectors by showing how it influences and underlines human rights, thus helping people in all parts of society to learn to work together to shape the future of society.

What are the various parts of this Standard?

  1. Introduction – Describes the purpose of the standard, who it is for, and how it should be used.
  2. Code – The essence of the standard, explaining some of the fundamental principles of good governance and how they should be applied within a modern society.
  3. Oversight – The checks and balances needed to get the full benefits of the Code.
  4. Evaluation – How to test and evaluate your compliance with the Code.
  5. Glossary – Terminology used and detailed descriptions for each point.
  6. Appendix – Forms for compliance, examples and answers to frequently asked questions.

How do you identify and implement this standard in your organisation?

There are three areas to consider:

  • Long term vision – Formulate in detail what you would like your organization to look like in 5 years time
  • Alignment with your vision – We all know that the most effective way to get any group to achieve ambitious goals is to ensure that each member of the group understands his or her role in achieving them.
  • Creating consensus – As we look around the world we see the obvious tensions in society; today more than ever we need to ensure that our core values are transparent and shared within every group
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