• Tara Humphrey

Do You Need Formal Governance Within Your CEPN?

I am often asked whether a Community Education Provider Network (CEPN) needs formal governance, and when thinking about best practice, I would say yes.

It doesn’t have to be a cumbersome, drawn out or bureaucratic process, but documenting your intentions, deliverable's, processes and channels of communications to manage your network operations, I feel is an important and valuable exercise.

For those of you who are operating in an easily definable CCG foot print, this process should be relatively straight forward and is probably already informally embedded anyway.

For those of you with multiple stakeholders operating at a STP footprint level, people will need to see your thoughts on paper.

As a CEPN Board it is important that you can articulate:

  • What the CEPN will mean to your locality

  • Your network deliverable's and how you are progressing against these

  • Who is on your CEPN leadership/ board group

  • Who your stakeholders are along with their key contact details

  • Who will be responsible for financial management

Without this, your network may;

  • not be able to move forward as no-one will understand what you’re doing and why you're trying to do it

  • be reliant on a few individuals that hold the vision in their heads, which isn’t practical

  • miss involvement from key individuals/ organisations as your stakeholder group may not be clearly defined

  • make decision making extremely difficult, especially when trying to receive funding.

  • duplicate activity, wasting valuable time and resources

  • Also, it’s likely your CCG Organisational Development Lead/ Education Lead/ Chief  Executive/ Accountable Officer, Financial Lead may need to sign a contract to receive money and manage your network funds. As the financial management, may require additional resources, to sign the agreement, they will need to know what’s going on.

I know governance to some people can seem like generating documents for the sake of it, but when done properly, it is a helpful and meaningful exercise, and in the early days of developing your network, this process will help reinforce yours and others understanding of your CEPN.