This website uses cookies for anonymised analytics and for account authentication. See our privacy and cookies policies for more information.


Supporting Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

The Scottish Governance Code for the Third Sector - Introduction

This governance code is a statement of best practice. It sets out the core principles and key elements of good governance for the voluntary sector in Scotland. We, Scotland’s Third Sector Governance Forum, originally developed the code in 2018. It was the first code produced specifically for Scotland’s third sector, to address the need for the sector to have its own principles of governance.

We recognise that the sector’s understanding of good governance, and their expectations, change over time. So in 2022 we carried out a review of the code. We would like to acknowledge the support of the Robertson Trust, which enabled us to carry out a wide-ranging consultation with the third sector. That consultation produced several recommendations. These are incorporated in this code, which was published in November 2023.

The code is intended for the governing bodies of third sector organisations – charities, community groups and social enterprises. It reflects and celebrates the good practice that exists in our sector and provides a standard all third sector organisations should aim for.

Thank you to everyone who contributed – we could not have done it without you.

About us

We are Scotland’s Third Sector Governance Forum. We bring together people and organisations with knowledge of and expertise in issues relating to governance (that is, the structure of rules, practices and procedures used to direct and oversee an organisation). We are a small group of people with a big ambition to improve governance in the third sector. You can find out more about us at

Last modified on 15 November 2023
Was this page helpful?
Thanks for your feedback!