Team ICVA spent a fair amount of last year thinking about transparency. Being able to share what we do and why is really important. Independent custody visiting is in place to shed a light on a hidden area of policing and so we should be visible and transparent ourselves.
The majority of our members are Police and Crime Commissioners, many of whom meet the CoPaCC transparency mark. Our Board of Directors sought to meet the same standards that these offices achieve and we set to work.
ICVA now proudly has an ‘openness’ section on our website. This page includes sections publishing documents on financial decisions, Board decisions, our Annual Report and Business Plan and progress against this. Finally, it includes our governance arrangements and key policies.
So, beyond a general ambition to be transparent, why did we do this? For a number of reasons:
The first is simply to communicate what we do. We do not have a communications team and, although we do communicate via social media, this webpage gives detail that we simply do not otherwise share. It’s there for our members and stakeholders who want to see it.
Secondly, ICVA manages its resources responsibly. Our documents clearly outline how we do so. We share our budget and our expenses, letting our members know where their money goes. Once again, the documents provide detail that stakeholders can access if they’d like to do so.
The documents also share our decisions. ICVA’s governance includes a National Expert Forum, with a representative for every region. We also have a Board of Directors. Together, these groups consult our members and make key decisions for the future of the organisation. As a member organisation, we need to be able to show that we make the right decisions for our members. Our openness page displays these.
Finally, we can share how both ICVA and our stakeholders are progressing. We share our quarterly progress against our business plan alongside a quarterly stakeholder update where we outline the state of custody and how ICVs make a difference. This short, quarterly document provides ongoing commentary of work in police custody and we are really proud to show how volunteers make a difference.
Our Chair, Martyn Underhill, and I were delighted to accept the CoPaCC award from Bernard Rix. We’ve worked hard on this and we are pleased to have this information out there. The award is the icing on the cake. Please do take a look at the website. We welcome your comments and we hope that it’s of use to you.