2.1 Governance mechanisms

Course: NVQ Level 5 Diploma In Leadership & Management for Adult Care

Unit 2: Governance and regulatory processes

LO2: Understand internal governance arrangements within own organization

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2.1 Governance mechanisms

Governance mechanisms are the processes and structures by which an organization is directed and controlled. They include the board of directors, management, shareholders, and other stakeholders. They also include mechanisms for formally managing relationships with other organizations, such as contracts.

The board of directors is the most senior governance body and is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organization. It oversees the management and makes decisions on key issues. The management team is responsible for implementing the strategy set by the board and reporting back to them on a regular basis. shareholders are those who own shares in the company and have a financial interest in its success. Other stakeholders include employees, customers, suppliers, and the community.

Governance concepts

Social care governance refers to the policies, strategies, and processes that help to ensure the provision of high-quality services that meet people’s needs. While there are many different ways of doing this, social care has tended to favor a less rigid approach than in some other sectors such as health. This is because outcomes for service users can be very varied and it may not be possible to set explicit objectives against every desired outcome.

Social care governance tends to focus on a number of key features:

A framework that helps to determine how resources are allocated and used in an effective way to improve the quality of service provision. A strategic direction focused on individual needs rather than a “business as usual” approach. An emphasis on ensuring that services are flexible enough to adapt to the varying needs of service users. A focus on continually improving practice through assessment, sharing information, and inviting feedback.

A strong emphasis on relationships between all those involved in service delivery with a clear role for local authority commissioners of services whilst avoiding bureaucracy and unnecessary interference.

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Governance Processes

Governance processes are rules for governing, rather than the general concept of governance. Such processes regulate decision-making and include formal mechanisms for accountability to stakeholders or other interested parties.

The process of shared decision-making makes it possible for service users and carers to take part in shaping services. The other processes are not universally accepted as essential or even desirable, however, they do represent the emerging emphasis on involving service users and other stakeholders in developing services.

  • Risk management: This is a system whereby an organization identifies, assesses, and manages risks to ensure that they do not have a negative impact on service users or the organization itself.
  • Performance monitoring and professional development: This is a system whereby those providing care and those responsible for the governance of the organization communicate effectively regarding any concerns, problems, successes, and aspirations within their environment.
  • Decision-making: This is a system whereby decisions are made in an open and transparent way, taking into account the views of all relevant stakeholders.
  • Auditing and review: This is a system whereby an organization assesses its own performance and evaluates how well it is meeting its objectives.
  • Partnership working: This is a system whereby an organization works closely with other organizations in order to achieve more than it could do alone.
  • Information management: This is a system whereby an organization manages all the information it gathers, distributing it to those stakeholders who require it.

Roles and responsibilities within the governance process

There are a number of key roles and responsibilities within the governance process. These include:

  • Boards of directors: Boards of directors are responsible for setting the strategic direction of an organization, overseeing the management, making decisions on key issues, and ensuring that the organization complies with laws and regulations.
  • Chief executive officer: The chief executive officer (CEO) is responsible for the day-to-day operations of an organization and for ensuring that it meets its strategic objectives.
  • Senior management team: The senior management team is responsible for implementing the strategy set by the board of directors and for delivering quality, safe, and effective care.
  • Clinical and non-clinical staff: Clinical and non-clinical staff are responsible for delivering quality, safe, and effective care.

Understanding of the governance process within the organization

The governance process does not exist in isolation. Instead, it is very much interconnected with other management disciplines and at a wider organizational level. Understanding the interconnections is therefore vital to ensure that the various components of the governance process work together effectively and efficiently.

Having said that, it is worth noting that good governance requires the contributions of all members of an organization’s workforce. You do not need to be on the board of directors or hold a senior position within the organizational structure to contribute to good governance; you can make a positive contribution through your day-to-day behavior and actions simply by following safe and effective practice.

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