Corporate governance

Good corporate governance involves ensuring that an effective internal framework of systems and controls is in place which clearly defines authority and accountability and promotes success whilst permitting the management of risk to appropriate levels.

Chairman's introduction

The Board of the Company is committed to ensuring that it provides effective leadership and promotes a culture of uncompromising ethical standards based on honesty, integrity, openness and effective debate. As individuals, we believe that the highest standard of corporate governance is vitally important to the success of the business and will contribute to improve company performance as well as help the Board discharge its duties in the best interests of its stakeholders and for the long term success of the Company. The Board achieves this by requiring that good governance principles and practices are adhered to and are embedded throughout the Company. 

Good corporate governance is about helping to run the Company well. It involves ensuring that an effective internal framework of systems and controls is put in place which clearly defines authority and accountability and promotes success whilst permitting the management of risk to appropriate levels. It involves the exercise of judgment as to the definitions of success. The exercise of this judgment is the responsibility of the Board.

To enhance its performance and effectiveness the Board sets itself explicit objectives following the outcome of the Board appraisal process for the prior year. The Board has regularly monitored its performance against these and has found this process adds value.

Further information can be found in the Corporate Governance section of the latest full year Annual Report and Accounts.

Peter Long Chairman Royal Mail plc.

  • Board focus

    The Board's focus during the year included:

    • Group’s strategy, structure and viability
    • Group’s financial performance
    • Revenue growth in the core businesses as well as new areas
    • Productivity and efficiency of the operations
    • Future technology
    • The Board's composition
    • Key stakeholder relations
    • Compliance and regulation
    • Human resources updates
    • Group’s property portfolio
    • Health and safety
  • The role of the Board

    The Board is responsible for setting the objectives and strategy for the Group and for monitoring its performance and risk management. The Board has adopted matters reserved setting out its duties and obligations and has defined those matters that are reserved exclusively for its consideration. These include the approval of strategic plans, financial statements, acquisitions and disposals, major contracts, projects and capital expenditure.

    The biographies of each of the Directors, setting out their current roles, commitments and previous experience can be found in our Management & Committees section. 

    View or download the  Matters reserved to the Board. (PDF 73KB)


  • Performance evaluation of the Board

    Performance evaluation of the Board, its Committees and individual Directors takes place on an annual basis with the support of the Company Secretary. The 2015/16 financial year’s evaluation was conducted by an external consultancy, Independent Board Evaluation, who observed several Board and Committee meetings and conducted individual interviews with each Board member and other relevant stakeholders such as senior executives and managers. The 2016/17 evaluation was conducted internally and the observations are reported in the annual report and accounts.

  • Directors' support

    Directors may take independent professional advice in the furtherance of their duties, at the Group’s expense. All Directors have access to the advice and services of the Company Secretary, the appointment and removal of whom is a matter for the Board as a whole.

  • Director induction and training

    On appointment, all the Directors take part in an induction programme, in which they receive information about the Group, the role of the Board and matters reserved for its decision, the role of the principal Board Committees, the Group’s Corporate Governance arrangements and the latest financial information about the Group. This is supplemented by visits to key business locations and meeting key personnel.

  • Outside appointments

    The Board believes that there are significant benefits to both the Group and the individual from Executive Directors accepting non-executive directorships of companies outside of the Group. The Board’s approach is normally to limit Executive Directors to one non-executive directorship, for which the Director may retain the fees.

  • Management and Committees

    Chief Executive’s Committee and Board Committees

    These committees deal with specific aspects of the Group’s governance. Full details of the members of each committee are shown on the Management and Committees page.

  • Memorandum and Articles of Association