West Riding FA shall recruit and engage people with appropriate diversity, independence, skills, experience, and knowledge to enable effective decisions that further the Association’s goals. 

Creating decision-making structures that's got a mix of diverse people, various skills, and independent voices is crucial for a whole host of reasons. It's all about getting different perspectives in the mix so we see the big picture and don't miss anything important. Having a range of skills and experiences helps us think outside the box, be creative with problem-solving, and stay resilient when things get challenging.

Encouraging independence in our decision-making forums and structures protects against groupthink – it helps us look at things objectively and minimises biases (actual and perceived). By harnessing collective experience in dealing with all sorts of situations, we are adaptable and can forecast and prepare accordingly. Plus, having diversity in our decision-making means we're better at representing what our stakeholders want, building trust and positive relationships. 

In a nutshell, we strive to cultivate a culture of inclusivity, fairness, and representation. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it also makes sure that we become, and remain, an organisation run by the people for the people. 

We are committed to ensuing our leadership, namely our senior executive leadership and Board, represents and reflects diversity of our communities. 

By December 2024, the Board have committed to:

1. Gender Diversity: 30% of each gender on the Board. Non-binary identification is also considered when applying this action.  

2. Ethnic Diversity: Adoption of further Board diversity targets to include, but not be limited, to culturally diverse backgrounds, historically underrepresented groups, and disability. The targets shall reflect the diversity of the county as evidenced through CENCUS data.

3. Representation: Appointing a member of the Inclusion Advisory Group to the Board, as a minimum in an observer capacity. 

The term ‘diversity’ is referring to not only to the protected characterises of the Equality Act 2010 but also diversity of socio-economic backgrounds, upbringings, education, wealth, social status, professional experience, and diversity of thought.

The targets are explicitly targets and not fixed quotas. We will demonstrate commitment towards achieving them and take all appropriate actions in doing so. 

For succession planning purposes, we strive to increase diversity on all focus groups, working groups and committees. 

Board Recruitment 

As with all appointments, our ai is to get the best person for the role and do so in a formal and transparent way. This process is documented in the Selection and Recruitment Policy – Directors. All appointments are made on merit in line with the skills required of the Board and our ambitions and plan to achieve greater diversity in all its forms. 

The Selection and Recruitment Policy – Directors covers the following:

1. The Board: Composition and Tenure
2. The Board: Skills, knowledge, experience, and representation
3. Appointments
4. The Recruitment and Interview Process
5. Reasonable Adjustments
6. Selection and appointment – includes Declaration of Good Character and Conflict of Interest
7. Induction and Training – includes a written statement of responsibilities. 

The Board maintains an up-to-date matrix detailing the skills, experience, background, thought, and knowledge required of the Directors. This skills matrix enables the Board to prepare the role description and person specification for Director vacancies. Our Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) and Succession Plan also informs this process. 

The Board may Co-opt a Director (temporarily appointed as such by the Board outside of the customary appointment process). In such circumstances the Board determine why and if a Co-opted Director is required and the length of time the Co-opted Director remains on the Board. This period is limited and ordinarily is no longer than a year. The Co-opted Director’s voting rights is decided by the Board at the time of appointment. 

Operating with integrity and transparency is a key element of the Code. All applicants and sitting Directors complete a declaration of good character providing the Board with additional information concerning the individual’s conduct which enables them to determine if the candidate would be a suitable appointment/re-appointment. 

The Nominations and Appointment Committee leads the process for Board appointments. 

All Directors receive an induction to ensure they have the information they need to become as effective as possible, as soon as possible. The induction process helps build an understanding of the company and its main relationships and establish links with the key people within the company. 

All Director positions are voluntary. Only out of pocket expenses are paid. The Board constitute a HR and Remuneration Committee and Finance, Audit and Risk Committee and delegate responsibility to them agree the remuneration of Directors and senior management. 

FA Representative 

The FA representative is the representation of the West Riding FA within the main Football Association Council, and by virtue of being on that Council will also be appointed onto various FA committees, helping to shape football in England. Given the importance of FA Representatives contributing effectively in these areas, FA representatives are chosen who are able to contribute. 

The process by which West Riding FA appoint the FA Representative is detailed in the Board Standing Orders. 

Welfare and Safety 

The Directors have a duty towards the welfare and safety of the organisation’s employees, members, and any other people for whom it is responsible. The Board maintains a clear oversight of all aspects of welfare and safety, including but not limited, to safeguarding (adults and children), mental health and wellbeing (including psychological safety), and integrity issues. Welfare and Safety is paramount and central to all our operations. 

The lead Director for Safeguarding (Board Safeguarding Champion) is responsible for checking and challenging the Board on decisions that affect welfare and safety across the organisation and supports the executive staff for issues in this regard. The Director also works closely with all staff to ensure that Safeguarding 365 is embedded in all business operations.