Release Date: 26 Feb 2015

Subject: Update on Appointments


We will shortly announce another new member to the Trustee team, which will help us take IK forwards and expand our services. We are also rolling out a new appointments process that will be applied to all existing and new volunteers and paid staff at IK. This is all part of putting in place the people we need to build a better Incredible Kids for all. If you are considering to get involved more directly as a volunteer or paid worker at IK, please read on to find out who the new appointments process applies to, when it will happen, what’s the 4 steps in the process and what roles people play in ensuring a fair, constructive appointment. We are working hard to make Incredible Kids a place where our volunteers and paid staff get maximum fulfillment out of their contribution.

Greetings Incredible team, parents and other interested parties!

It’s been another busy week and this time we’d like to bring you up to date with our appointments process. Since we are going through a recruitment drive and making improvements to our appointment process, this update applies to anyone thinking about joining the Incredible Kids team on a volunteer or paid basis, as well as important information for existing members of our team.

New Trustee Appointment

We are very pleased to announce that we have an in principle go ahead from yet another person who will be joining our Trustee team. Our next trustee meeting will confirm this appointment within days, after which we will make another announcement to confirm and welcome our latest trustee member.

Improved Appointments Process roll-out

What’s in it for me?

Let’s get the important bits out first and tell you why the improved appointments process is a good thing for you:

  • An opportunity to clarify and learn what support you can expect from Incredible Kids, your manager and other volunteers/staff.
  • An opportunity to clarify and learn what the expectations are for any given role.
  • An opportunity to discuss your strengths and identify opportunities for development or even possible new roles or role changes which best fit your unique skills, expertise and desires for improvement.
  • Ensure alignment between your reasons for wanting to volunteer or work at IK and what the charity is all about, thus ensuring you get maximum enjoyment and fulfillment from your contribution!

Background to the improved appointments process.

To carry out its work, Incredible Kids seeks to appoint effective and appropriate leaders, and to involve other volunteers and paid staff in supporting roles, all of whom are required to accept fully the responsibilities of their commitment. The overriding considerations in making all appointments at IK is the safety and security of young people, and their continued development in accordance with IK’s purpose and values. Accordingly, all those whom IK accepts as volunteers or staff must be „fit and proper‟ persons to undertake the duties of the particular role to which they have been appointed as part of their responsibilities.

The board of trustees is implementing an improved appointments processes that have the following aims:
• To form and maintain a structure consisting of people in leadership and supporting roles, as required by the charity in order to fulfill it’s purpose. It is people that drive IK forwards, therefore roles are needed to direct people’s effort in a way that further IK’s goals.
• Ensuring people are contributing effectively to the charity’s goals and purpose and also enjoy what they do, to the full extent possible;
• To be welcoming and non-threatening. Potential new volunteers and paid staff must feel welcomed in to the Charity.
• To deal with all applicants fairly and in a constructive way, making a real effort to match people’s skills, experience and desire for development to available roles, as best as possible.
• To enable the charity leadership to identify roles and resourcing requirements effectively. Roles provide a useful framework by which managers can match up organisational requirements against available resources, skills, etc.
• To clearly identify the set of responsibilities, goals and tasks associated within each role, ensuring that people work efficiently, understand the expectations on them and can get fulfillment from achievement.
• To provide a clear development path for volunteer and paid workers. Role definitions can be used to understand where people need help in developing new or improved skill sets, and therefore is a useful instrument to understand where investment in people should go or is most needed.

Who does the appointment process apply to?

The new appointment process has a key aim of establishing a common standard that applies to anyone working for the charity. In the interest of fairness to all volunteers and paid staff, it was decided by the board of trustees to apply the appointment process to all existing, and future volunteer & paid staff. All volunteers and paid staff, regardless of role, will go through the four stages of the appointment process. More details about what happens at each stage of the process will follow.

When will the process be rolled out?

With immediate effect, all current and prospective future volunteers and staff will have to go through the process. Due to our limited resources and organisational make-up, we may not reach out to all of our existing volunteers and staff at the same time or even on the same day, but we are rolling out the new process as of writing.

What does the appointment process look like?

Just 4 simple steps:
Application: where an individual applies for any paid or unpaid appointment within the charity, by completing Form AAQ (Appointment Application Questionnaire)
Approval: where independent checking by an Appointments Advisory Committee concludes that this person is suitable for an appointment and includes agreement from the board of trustees, and where appropriate, successful outcome of the Personal Enquiry and/or two references
Appointment: where the board of trustees makes the appointment
Induction: where the line manager ensures that the volunteer/staff member receives a high quality induction

What are the key roles involved in the appointments process?

Applicant – Any person who started the appointments process by completing the “Appointments Application Questionnaire” Form AAQ and submitted it as outlined on the form.
Appointments Secretary – The official records keeper of the appointments process, as delegated by the Trustees, who is responsible for maintaining a record of the appointment status and all supporting documentation, as well as arrange appointment approval meetings where required.
Appointments Advisory Committee – The Appointments Advisory Committee’s main function is to assist with the process of appointing people in volunteer and paid roles by advising on their suitability. Note that not all roles require approval by the Appointments Advisory Committee. The committee normally consists of 3 people appointed by the trustees and may not include any line manager for the role(s) being approved.
Appointments Chairman – A member of the trustees who may join the Appointments Advisory Committee and attend any approval or review meeting.
Appointments Process Advisor – A non voting, advisory role performed by a person with expertise in the area of appointments, who’s function it is to coach charity members in appointments best practice and procedures. This person does not make recommendations on anyone’s suitability for any role.
Board of Trustees – Members of the governing body of the charity who collectively act as a decision making group and have a duty to approve all appointments made in the charity.

What are the key milestones and stages of the appointment process?

The improved appointments process has been in trial since 23 February 2015. We want to roll it out formally from 2 March 2015 onwards. It is our goal for the process to take an applicant an average of 3 weeks from the date the application is received, until either an offer of provisional appointment is made or the application is denied. Once all of the approval checks have been completed, the appointment will become provisional. It is then up to the applicant to decide on acceptance of the provisional appointment. Once the provisional appointment has been accepted, the adult may start volunteer work as outlined in their accepted role(s). After the induction period completes and any required training is completed to satisfaction, the appointment will become full.

Note that the above mentioned timescales are subject to change based on the availability of resources to run it efficiently and fairly. The appointments committee will always endeavor to keep the applicant up to date with significant changes in timescales.

Most people take up an appointment after a period of reflection and encouragement. During this time, it is important to be as welcoming, helpful and honest as possible. The volunteer/staff member should be encouraged to take the initiative and to ask questions when clarification is required.

What about complaints to a decision not to appoint?

Incredible Kids will always strive to deal with all applicants fairly and in a constructive way, making a real effort to match people’s skills, experience and desire for development to available roles, as best as possible. In addition it is also vital that applicants share and indicate a genuine willingness to contribute to and uphold the core values of the charity. We have put together a process of checks and balances that is demonstrably fair and working towards the betterment of the charity and all it’s constituents.

If there is a complaint from an applicant because the appointment has not been approved, the applicant may:
1. In the first instance, meet the Appointments Chairman and another member of the Appointments Advisory
Committee (preferably a member who has not been part of the approval meeting for the complainant so far). This
meeting shall allow the complainant to explain the problem and to see if an agreeable resolution can be found.
2. If the complainant is still not satisfied after step one, the complainant may make an appeal to the Chairman
of the Board of Trustees, who may choose to ask a small number of members of the Trustees (not involved in the appointment process) to investigate the issue and provide a confidential report to the Chairman, whose decision is final.
Once step two has been completed, the complainant may not take the complaint any further.

Are there any special considerations for existing/long service volunteers and paid staff?

Yes! In recognition of the great work done by many people over a long time to get IK where it is today, there are some concessions made to qualifying volunteers & staff with regards to the appointments process. For example, we won’t require you to go through an induction period of time, as you have already been with us for a long time. We may at our discretion require that some of you complete some training as part of an induction period, but generally speaking most long time volunteers and staff will go straight back to a full appointment with minimal to no induction.

Where’s the details?

As part of the improved appointments roll-out, we will make available the documents that describe the process in much more detail than this announcement. You can expect to get 2 pieces of documentation:
A guide to the Appointments Process. This is in effect one of the chapters of the new “Policy, Organisation and Guidelines” (POG) document being developed and revised. The “Appointments Application Questionnaire” (Form AAQ) which is required to be completed by any applicant wishing to start the appointment process. (That is, all existing and future volunteers & paid staff.)

Is the appointments process perfect?

Incredible Kids is an organisation that always strives to improve itself and will always consider the feedback from it’s constituents in order to make good, informed decisions about how to operate. If you do spot a potential or actual problem with the appointment process and you wish to discuss with us, please feel free to do so. The Transition Advisory Sub-committee is also reviewing the appointments process, in order to give the trustees some independent viewpoints to consider.

### Got questions about Appointments or anything else?
Of course you do! As always, please feel free to approach any of the trustees with your questions, whether in person or by email. Rest assured that we are trying our utmost to make Incredible Kids a better place for all and the appointments process is there to help you and it need not be a scary thing.

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