BS 13500:2013 Code of practice for delivering effective governance of organizations

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BS 13500:2013

Code of practice for delivering effective governance of organizations

Status : Current   Published : August 2013



It is increasingly obvious that society’s expectations of organizational behaviours and performance, and thus “governance”, are rising. This rise in expectations is partly in response to a steady flow of major incidents and perceived abuses of authority.

The purpose of BS 13500:2013 is to clarify the fundamental requirements for delivering effective governance of organizational performance.

The approach within this code of practice however is based on the evidence that good governance positions organizations and our society for success. Therefore, the scope of this code goes beyond the avoidance or mitigation of problems.

Although there is a growing amount of sector level guidance on governance, there is relatively little in the way of summary level definition of the fundamentals of good governance. This document seeks to address that deficiency.

In doing so it offers more detail on the important principles that lie behind much sector-specific guidance by distinguishing different accountabilities to different stakeholders and offers a baseline for all organizations, including those for which sector-specific standards might not exist.

BS 13500:2013 is therefore intended to be used by those concerned with the governance of  organizations as a basic checklist to ensure that all the elements of a good governance system are in place.

When an organization can demonstrate that it is implementing all the code’s recommendations, it can be said to have a system for delivering effective governance. Having such a system does not guarantee effective governance but it does at least encourage and support positive organizational values and behaviours.

BS 13500 Introductory Guide

This provides an overview of governance, what the standard seeks to achieve and how it can benefit all organizations.

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1 Scope
2 Terms and definitions
3 Establishing an effective governance system
4 Principles that underpin an effective governance system
5 Implementing governance
Annex A (informative) Governance policy development: Areas that typical
governance policies might cover
Annex B (informative) Examples of different stakeholder profiles for different
Annex C (informative) Examples of handling multiple roles
Annex D (informative) Self-assessment checklist
Annex E (informative) Map of BS 13500 against the UK Corporate Governance
Code 2012
List of figures
Figure 1 – Integrated components of an effective governance system
Figure 2 – Implementing governance accountability
Figure 3 – Implementing governance direction
Figure 4 – Implementing governance control
List of tables
Table 1 – Structure of this standard
Table D.1 – Main steps in implementing a governance system and principles
Table E.1 – BS 13500 mapped against the UK Corporate Governance Code


BS 13500 Case Studies

BS 13500 is the British Standard for delivering effective governance. The code of practice can help organizations mitigate the risk of poor governance and ensure effective governance by helping it focus on accountability, control and direction.

To demonstrate how this standard can help your organization, BSI has produced four case studies to illustrate the benefits of BS 10500 in action.

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust is one of the leading providers of mental health, learning disability and community services locally, regionally and nationally. The Trust found BS 13500 an important standard to benchmark and align its existing governance systems and processes against.

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A small recruitment agency specializing in risk management, business resilience and niche technology roles. It used BS 13500 to ensure that risks were being managed at a time of rapid change. It found the standard to be scalable to the size of the organization and reduced their level of governance risk.

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JRI Orthopaedics

JRI Orthopaedics manufactures orthopaedic implants and surgical instrumentation, as well as doing research, product development, warehousing and distribution. It used BS 13500 to implement better governance and felt it was a useful tool and would help to strengthen their existing governance systems.

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A consultancy and software business that develops and deploys custom-fit technical solutions. Eko used BS 13500 to understand how effective it could be in implementing better governance. The standard helped to organize what they do into more defined and documented procedures, making the company stronger and placing them in a better position for future growth.

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Standard NumberBS 13500:2013
TitleCode of practice for delivering effective governance of organizations
Publication Date31 August 2013
Cross ReferencesBS ISO 26000:2010, BS ISO 31000:2009, ISO/IEC Directives Part 1:2012, ISO/IEC Guide 73:2009, PAS 1998, BS 10012, BS 11000-1, BS 11000-2, BS 11200, BS 31100, BS 65000, BS EN ISO 9000, BS ISO 15489-1, BS ISO/IEC 27001, BS ISO/IEC 38500
Draft Superseded By30228065
DescriptorsData processing, Computers, Management, Data security, Data storage protection, Risk assessment, Risk analysis, Information exchange, Business continuity, Anti-burglar measures, Computer software, Computer hardware, Computer networks
ISBN978 0 580 71608 9
File Size1.608 MB

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