At the heart of the Code are five basic Principles of good governance. These set out high level statements of good governance and provide the structure of the Code. The five basic Principles are listed below. A brief overview of what constitutes each Principle, and why this is important, can be accessed by clicking the red arrow within each section. Principle 1: Structure Organisations shall have a clear and appropriate governance structure, led by a Board which is collectively responsible for the long-term success of the organisation and exclusively vested with the power to lead it. The Board shall be properly constituted and shall operate effectively. Why is this important? The right governance structure, with decisions made at the right level, enables the best decisions to be made to drive the success of the organisation. Having an appropriate governance structure demonstrates to all stakeholders that the organisation is well managed. This is key to winning the confidence of staff, suppliers and potential investors and also provides a framework for organisational growth and development. Principle 2: People Organisations shall recruit and engage people with diversity of background, thought, independence, skills and experience to take effective decisions that further the organisation’s goals and best serve their communities, stakeholders and wider UK society. Why is this important? Diverse, skilled and experienced decision-making bodies which contain independent voices and engage in constructive and inclusive debate enable good decision-making and help create trust with stakeholders. Principle 3: Communication Organisations shall be transparent and accountable, engaging effectively with stakeholders and nurturing internal democracy. Why is this important? Being responsive to stakeholders, understanding their interests and hearing their voices helps shape the organisation’s governance and strategy. Transparency about why the organisation exists, what it is trying to do, how it is doing it, with what results and in an accessible way empowers stakeholders by giving them the information about the organisation that they need to know. Principle 4: Standards and Conduct Organisations shall uphold high standards of integrity, promote an ethical and inclusive culture, and engage in regular and effective evaluation to drive continuous improvement.Why is this important?Having the right values embedded in the culture of the organisation helps protect public investment and also enhances the reputation and effectiveness of the organisation, earning stakeholder trust. Constantly seeking to improve makes an organisation swift to respond to new challenges and opportunities. Principle 5: Policies and Processes Organisations shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations; consider the social and environmental impact of their decisions; undertake responsible financial strategic planning; and have appropriate controls and risk management procedures.Why is this important?Understanding the legal environment, factoring in socio-environmental considerations when making decisions, and having in place appropriate financial and other controls help mitigate risk and enhance stakeholder trust and organisational reputation.