Become a trustee

Are you interested in becoming a Trustee at BHA?

We now wish to further enhance the strength and diversity of our Board of Trustees and are looking for enthusiastic, community-minded people from all walks of life.  While you don’t need to have previous board-level experience, we do require people who can support our team in delivering our ambitious business plan. In particular, we would like to hear from people who have, or have held, positions in finance, business transformation, marketing or customer services.

Although the role of Trustee is unpaid it is highly rewarding. Our Trustees benefit from support, development and a sense of real pride and satisfaction from providing quality homes for people who need them. And while we don’t offer remuneration, we pay reasonable out-of-pocket expenses.

If you think you would be interested in becoming a trustee at BHA please keep reading:

What is the Role of a Trustee at BHA?

The Berwickshire Housing Association (BHA) Board of Trustees comprises up to 15 individuals who together are ultimately responsible for the work of the Association.  The Board’s role is to provide leadership and strategic direction for the Association and to ensure that the Association complies with its statutory and regulatory requirements. The operational management of the Association is delegated to staff, within a framework of controls established by the Board.

Trustees are ambassadors, acting in the best interests of BHA at all times.

What is the board responsible for and what decisions does it take?

In relation to its strategic and leadership function, the core responsibilities of the Board are to:

  • safeguard the Association’s central purpose, its values and its culture
  • establish BHA’s strategic direction and business objectives, review regularly and adjust as required; disseminate and ensure compliance with the values of the Association
  • develop and maintain an understanding of the operating environment of the Association, and take this into account in assessing BHA’s strategy
  • establish a framework for the development, approval and review of policies and plans to achieve the Association’s business objectives
  • ensure that the Association is adequately resourced to meet its business objectives
  • build and maintain strategic links with external bodies; decide on and keep under review formal partnerships and alliances with other organisations
  • foster relationships with senior staff to enable them to discharge their strategic and leadership duties.

In relation to its control and compliance function, the core responsibilities of the Board are to:

  • oversee a framework for delegation to office bearers, to committees and to staff
  • establish and regularly review systems of internal and external control
  • establish and oversee a framework for the identification and management of risk
  • ensure the solvency of the Association, approve the annual budget, and approve the annual accounts prior to publication
  • monitor and assess the Association’s performance against plans, budgets, controls and targets
  • establish and oversee a framework for the employment of staff
  • appoint, support, and scrutinise the performance of the Chief Executive, and determine his/her remuneration
  • ensure that the Association meets all its statutory obligations and acts in accordance with regulatory expectations and accepted good practice standards
  • ensure that the Association’s activities are consistent with its constitution and corporate control documents
  • assess periodically the Board’s own effectiveness including how well it follows its Code of Conduct.

In both sets of responsibilities, the Board is informed, advised and supported by the staff group.

Examples of the type of tasks that are completed by the Trustees include the following –

The Board is responsible for the following approvals:

  • Direction of the Organisation
  • Business plans
  • Annual Budget
  • 30 and 5 year financial plan
  • Land sales and Acquisitions
  • Major Projects
  • Major changes in staffing structures
  • Changes in management team structures
  • New house building developments
  • New development projects of any kind
  • Business plans of subsidiary
  • Policies of the association
  • Adding to risk register
  • Changes to Brand
  • Treasury management
  • Spend over £25,000 outside planned maintenance contracts

And Reviewing and Noting:

  • Management Accounts
  • Key Performance Indicators
  • Risk Register
  • Briefings on Scottish Housing Regulator, local authority activity and practice, Scottish and UK government legislation and guidance
  • Receiving any inspection reports from regulator
  • Kept updated on new ideas and opportunities and giving guidance on whether they are of interest to the association to pursue.

What does being a Trustee involve?

To be effective each Trustee must have:

  • a commitment to the Association
  • the ability to see the big picture and to contribute to strategy development/long term planning
  • sound, independent judgement
  • the ability to analyse information and reach decisions
  • a willingness to question, make constructive suggestions and to express themselves succinctly
  • the ability to work as part of a team
  • a willingness to learn

Trustees need to understand and act in accordance with their legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities. Full details will be provided as part of the induction of new Trustees.

Trustees must commit the time necessary to prepare for and attend up to eight Board meetings a year plus the annual Board Strategy planning off-site event. In addition there may be training events and conferences that Trustees are asked to attend. As a guide, a Trustee should expect to spend around fifteen days preparing for and attending Board meetings, sub-committees and the annual strategy planning event and between two and three days on training and conferences. Trustees are encouraged to work with at least one of our sub-committees where some more detailed tasks can be reviewed in more depth. Generally each sub-committee will meet between four and six times per year.

How will we support you as a Trustee?

BHA is committed to ensuring that Trustees receive support and assistance to carry out their responsibilities, and to make their role a rewarding and satisfying one.

In return for their commitment and time, the Association provides it’s Trustees with a warm welcome, a comprehensive induction, and clear guidance, information and advice on their responsibilities and on the work of BHA throughout their time on the Board.

New Trustees are supported by a more experienced Trustee as a mentor for a period while they settle in and for as long as this is a benefit to them. They work together in a stimulating and mutually supportive environment and have the opportunity to network with others with shared commitment and ideals.

BHA is striving to become ‘paper-lite’ and provides all Board papers via an electronic platform (Minutepad) that can be accessed using any PC, laptop or Apple iPad device.  BHA will provide full training and ongoing support to all Trustees on the use of this product and can also arrange to provide Trustees with a suitable device to access Board papers should this be required.

Who will you be working with?

As a trustee on our board you'll be working closely with the other trustees and our leadership team. Follow these links to find our more about our current trustees and members of our leadership team. You can also explore this website to find out more about us and the area where we provide homes and services.

A message from our convener

Thank you for your interest in joining the Berwickshire Housing Association (BHA) Board of Trustees, steering us towards our vision and values and helping us to stay focused on our exciting ambition of creating thriving rural communities, continuing to put our customers at the heart of everything we do.

Our focus is not just giving people a home, it’s building communities and giving support to help people maintain their tenancy, assisting vulnerable people in their homes and running a befriending service.  BHA is also very innovative – one of our forward thinking projects is the windfarm, which generates an income to allow BHA to create better homes in the future.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our company secreatary secretary@berwickshirehousing.org.uk

I look forward to receiving your application and hopefully meeting you during the selection process.

Jim McDevitt
Convener

How do I apply to become a trustee?

If you are interested in becoming a trustee please download and complete this form:

Then return your completed form along with a copy of your CV and a covering letter explaining why you wish to be considered for this role to:

The Company Secretary
Berwickshire Housing Association
55 Newtown Street
Duns
TD11 3AU

You can also e-mailing your completed form, CV and covering letter to: secretary@berwickshirehousing.org.uk

If you have any questions about the role or your application please contact our Company Secretary by e-mail: secretary@berwickshirehousing.org.uk You can also contact us by calling 01361 884000 and asking to speak with the Company Secretary.