Case study

National Housing Federation – Board Effectiveness Review

National Housing Federation (NHF) is the trade body for housing associations in England. Its housing association members provide homes for around six million people and are driven by a social purpose: providing good quality housing that people can afford. The NHF supports its members to deliver that social purpose, with ambitious work that leads to positive change.


DTP was asked to undertake a review of board and governance effectiveness at the NHF, in line with the requirements of its chosen Code of Governance. We were asked to focus on both board and committees, the role of board members, meeting reports, the EDI agenda and governance culture, relationships between board and executive, and key governance documentation.

What we did

We undertook a high-level desktop review of a range of governance documentation to inform our review. We observed meetings of the NHF Board, Audit and Risk Management Committee and Remuneration and Governance Committee. Board and independent committee members completed a questionnaire to gain their views of governance effectiveness. This was followed up by one-to-one interviews with all members. We also undertook a collective discussion with the executive team. The aim of all of these discussions was to gain further insight into the operation and effectiveness of the NHF Board and governance, along with members’ skills, experience and knowledge. We used our findings and analysis to produce a report including 10 minor recommendations for strengthening and improving governance. We found no noncompliance with the Code. We presented our report to the Board in May 2022.

What we achieved

The review has given the NHF a firm platform to take forward its governance effectiveness in the knowledge that any changes it makes are simply about improving what is already a strong basis for governing the organisation.

Working with DTP was easy and a really positive experience, they were very responsive and helpful. The final report produced was valuable and has given the NHF some useful options to consider to enhance the efficiency of its governance going forward.

Paul Bayly, Head of Governance and Compliance

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