Applying King III

The King III code on governance, which is controversial in the NGO sector for unilaterally declaring itself applicable to 'all entities' and thus opening the door for donors to ask whether applicants are 'King III compliant', is a voluntary code and is not law.  It is however, the 'gold standard' for governance and, while many parts of it may not be appropriate for NGOs, its 'apply or explain' modus allows NGOs which wish to make use of it, the option of considering its principles and implementing those which are useful.

Because the implementation of each part of the code is a choice to be made, 'King III compliance' is the state of having been through the process of determining which principles to put into practice and which are not appropriate or possible. The Institute of Directors has issued a practice note for NGOs on King III.

There are other governance codes available to NGOs- one is a sector-generated general statement of the broad principles of good governance. Another more detailed and practical code is in the process of being finalised by the Department of Welfare and Social Development. 

For those organisations which wish to use the King III code, I offer a service (together with Mags Shapiro) of evaluating and advising on compliance and producing a report which shows that the organisation has 'applied or explained'  the relevant principles.