The Board comprises four executive Directors and four non-executive Directors. Its role is to determine the strategic direction of the Group within a framework of best practice corporate governance and prudent and effective controls which enables risks to be assessed and managed. It sets the Group's values and standards, including matters relating to corporate social responsibility and ensures that its obligations to its shareholders and others are understood and met.
The mix of skills and business experience of the non-executive Directors is a major contribution to the proper functioning of the Board, ensuring matters are debated and that no individual or group dominates the Board decision-making process. Specific responsibilities reserved to the Board include:
• The acquisition or disposal of a business or of shares in a company;
• The establishment of a new business or closure of an existing business;
• The annual budget and strategic plan;
• Significant capital expenditure, IT equipment and leasing arrangements;
• Proposed contracts satisfying specific criteria;
• Changes to the organisational structure or management structure;
• Dividend policy.
The Company Secretary supports the Chairman in ensuring Directors receive appropriate training, particularly in the areas of legal, regulatory and accounting developments. An induction pack detailing Board procedures, Directors' responsibilities and various governance related issues is produced for all new Directors. Further training is provided as and when necessary and may be identified as part of the annual evaluation process.