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Governance Standards Part A: Introduction and Governance Standards 1-3

The first of two, this course offers practical guidance on how your charity can meet Governance Standards 1-3.

2,506 enrolled on this course

Number 1, 2, 3 on a brown wooden background
  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    1 hour
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Digital upgrade


Learn how your charity can meet Governance Standards 1-3

The Governance Standards are a set of six core minimum standards that deal with how a charity is run.

This two-week course is the first of two courses that offer practical guidance on how your charity can meet the Governance Standards given the many variables that make each charity’s circumstances unique.

In this course, you’ll be studying an overview of the six Governance Standards then dive deep into Governance Standards 1-3.

The next course continues the learning by diving in deep to Governance Standards 4-6 and winding up a charity.

Develop your understanding of Governance Standards 1-3

At the start of this course, you will be introduced to the six Governance Standards and which charities must comply with them.

Then you’ll focus on Governance Standards 1-3, delving into each one to assess their nuances.

Explore case studies to test your knowledge

Once you’ve gained the basics of Governance Standards 1-3, you’ll look at case studies involving various charities, allowing you to assess and reflect on whether the Governance Standards have been applied in each scenario.

Learn how to apply Governance Standards 1-3 to your charity

As you explore Governance Standards 1-3, you’ll learn scalable ways of how to apply them to your charity.

By assessing your charity’s size, operating location(s), purposes, beneficiaries, and activities, you’ll be able to plan appropriate steps to take in order to comply with each Standard.


  • Week 1

    Introduction to Governance Standards and Governance Standard 1

    • Welcome and introduction to the Governance Standards

      The Governance Standards are a set of 6 core minimum standards that deal with how a charity is run - its governance. This section provides an overview of the 6 Governance Standards.

    • How can charities meet Governance Standard 1?

      Registered charities need to have charitable purposes and be not-for-profit in nature. They must also demonstrate their ability to inform the public of their charitable purpose.  

  • Week 2

    Governance Standards 2 and 3

    • How can charities meet Governance Standard 2?

      Charities need to be accountable to their members and allow their members adequate opportunities to raise concerns about how the charity is run.

    • How can charities meet Governance Standard 3?

      Charities must act in compliance with Australian laws. Acting lawfully helps protect a charity’s assets, reputation and the people it works with.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify the six Governance Standards and describe which charities they apply to.
  • Assess whether Governance Standards 1-3 have been correctly applied by charities through reflecting on case studies.
  • Apply Governance Standards 1-3 to their own charity.
  • Demonstrate that the steps they have taken to apply Governance Standards 1-3 to their charity are appropriate based on their charity’s size, operating location/s, purposes, beneficiaries and activities.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone looking to understand and apply the minimum legal requirements for a charity.

The course is professional development, leadership training, and personal development and will be particularly useful to existing and aspiring charity board members, or anyone that provides advice to the charity sector.

Who will you learn with?

Rachel Gear is the ACNC's Instructional Designer and Lead Educator for the eLearning Program. She's committed to designing and teaching accessible and relevant professional development for adults.

Rachel Smith is the Director of Advice Services, Education and Public Affairs, and is the Director behind the ACNC’s eLearning program. She’s been with the ACNC since it started.

Who developed the course?

Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) is the national regulator of charities. We register and regulate Australia’s many charities. We help charities understand and meet their obligations through information, advice and guidance. We help the public understand the work of the charity sector and provide a free searchable register of Australian registered charities.

  • Established

  • Location

    Melbourne, Victoria

What's included?

Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible
  • Learning on FutureLearn

    Your learning, your rules

    • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
    • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
    • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

    Join a global classroom

    • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
    • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
    • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

    Map your progress

    • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
    • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
    • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

    Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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