NCO is governed by a Board of non-executive Trustees. NCO’s operations and activities are managed by an executive team which reports to the Board. There are presently two Board committees – the Finance Committee, which scrutinises budgets, fundraising and financial matters, and Music Advisory Group, which supports artistic planning and musical activities. In addition certain trustees lead on specific matters such as Child Protection and Safeguarding.
In December 2015 NCO adopted new Articles of Association. The principal change was the creation of a group of Constitutional Members drawn from particular groups of NCO stakeholders.
The function of the Constitutional Members is to act as a safeguard and to ensure that the governance and custodianship of NCO by its Board accords with the abiding principles of NCO. In this way Members also can ensure that no one interest group can dominate or direct a particular strategic course for the organisation. Members are able to do this through a residual power to remove a NCO Trustee. Members have specific and limited powers and do not have the power to appoint trustees, to direct the NCO Board to act in a particular way, nor to be involved in the executive operation of NCO. Members serve as a key link between the Board and the wider NCO community and provide a sounding board and source of advice and support to the Board. NCO’s constitution provides for up to 25 Members drawn from the following categories:
- Course and Music Staff – 7 Members
- Social Staff/Volunteers – 7 Members
- Office Staff – 2 Members
- Parents – 7 Members
- Donors – 2 Members
A guide to NCO’s constitution is available. The eligibility criteria and a list of current members and the present Chair are also available. Constitutional Members meet twice a year, including once at the AGM. In the interim, the Members receive periodic updates from the NCO Board of relevant events, copies of the agenda for Board meetings and a report of discussions. Members do not attend Board meetings, and information received is of necessity edited to ensure that confidential or sensitive information – such as any information relating to children in membership of the orchestras – remains strictly confidential.
NCO is a remarkable organisation which has developed through the unstinting support and goodwill of a wide family of constituents. This unique constitution helps to underpin excellence in governance and management at NCO and to ensure that the NCO Board works fully in harmony with the stakeholder communities of NCO.