Key Governance Policies

Risk Management

Risk management is an essential component of good corporate governance and Trustees ensure that there is ongoing risk assessment and that the risk register is maintained and updated.

The risk management strategy comprises:

  • An annual review of the principal risks and uncertainties that the organisation faces
  • The establishment of policies, systems and procedures to mitigate those risks identified in the annual review
  • The implementation of procedures designed to minimise or manage any potential impact on the organisation those risks materialise.

The Audit and Risk Committee has oversight of risk management within the organisation and reports to the Board at regular intervals on the organisation’s risk register.

Reserves Policy

As a matter of policy, each year the Trustees review the value of the reserves retained in the form of investments, cash and cash equivalents not held for restricted purposes or designated projects.  The Trustees consider the Charity’s exposure to major risks in terms of their likely impact on its income sources and planned expenditure in the short to medium term, as well as assessing the best way to mitigate such risks.  This will include analysis of short term setbacks; regular short term fluctuations; growth plans within the Charity and risks identified within the corporate risk register.  The major threat to income is any reduction in legacies or voluntary donations.

The present level of free reserves is sufficient to offset any short term reduction in legacy/voluntary donation income.

Investment Policy

Investment policy is a Reserved Matter for the Board. The present investment policy is to maximise the long term total return of the Charity’s investment funds subject to the risks normally associated with a cautious approach to portfolio management having regard to an ethical stance. The Charity does not however restrict its fund managers as regards any particular category of investment.

The professional advisor (stockbroker) is selected on the basis of competency and value for money, and the appointment is subject to regular review.

Remuneration Policy

The guiding principles of the organisation’s remuneration policy are:

  • to ensure the charity can attract and retain staff with the skills necessary to deliver quality services to our beneficiaries;
  • to achieve fairness, objectivity and transparency in the setting of remuneration levels.

The Remuneration Review Process is made up of two key elements:  

  1. Annual Cost of Living Review
  2. Remuneration Benchmarking Process

The USPCA undertakes a cost of living review for all posts each year with due recognition being given to affordability before any award is made.

The USPCA also benchmarks the remuneration of all posts on a three year rolling cycle. The purpose of remuneration benchmarking is to compare an internal post to that of an external post of similar content in order to enable informed decision making around setting appropriate levels of remuneration. In undertaking the benchmarking, the USPCA takes into account critical factors such as organisation size and turnover, responsibilities of the post as well as an appreciation of core responsibilities, when establishing the appropriate market comparisons.

Equality & Diversity

The USPCA is committed to the promotion of equality of opportunity in employment and in the delivery of services to our beneficiaries.

It is our policy to provide employment and deliver services irrespective of:

  • gender, marital status or family status
  • religious belief or political opinion
  • disability
  • race or ethnic origin
  • nationality
  • sexual orientation
  • age

We are committed to;

  • preventing any form of direct or indirect discrimination
  • promoting equal opportunities for women and men
  • securing fair participation for Catholics and Protestants
  • promoting equal opportunities for ethnic minorities
  • promoting a good and harmonious working environment where all men and women are treated with respect and dignity and in which no form of harassment will be tolerated
  • fulfilling all legal obligations under the relevant legislation and associated Codes of Practice
  • taking any necessary positive/affirmative action, including setting goals and timetables