Welcome to the Good Governance Guide

The Commission is focused on promoting good governance in registered organisations. Instilling a culture of good governance empowers members of organisations, their officers, and the wider community, to have confidence in how organisations are managed. 


When organisations embrace good, contemporary governance, they develop into more mature, compliant, accountable, and transparent entities.

This guide has been designed to assist you to do that.


Frequently, discussions about good governance are about ideas and concepts. They are often conversations about good intentions but are sometimes difficult to translate into concrete policy. This guide has been designed to give you valuable and actionable steps to inform your internal discussions, inspire your own process changes and bring you closer to best practice.

The Commission encourages behaviours in registered organisations that focus on acting in the best interests of their members, ensuring members’ money is spent in a way that is transparent, properly authorised and which complies with their obligations under the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (the RO Act).

The RO Act outlines various standards that need to be met by organisations and branches, their officers and their staff. Good governance is about the best practices, systems and processes that ensure compliance with the technical requirements of the Act.

Why do organisations need to talk about good governance?

The Commission regularly sees non-compliance that could have been avoided if organisations had adopted an internal culture of good governance. Governance and culture are strongly linked and can either drive or discourage misconduct within an organisation.


How to use this guide?

This guide is a series of helpful chapters, broken down by topic and focused on Good Governance. We recommend that you proceed through each chapter from Introduction to the final topic – disclosing information for ORP statements – and then revise them individually as needed.

For information on the underlying obligations, please refer to the Digital Classroom and other tools.


This guide is an additional resource from the Commission on this topic.

It is not intended to be a comprehensive list of requirements, obligations and responsibilities. In fact, many of these chapters do not include specific legislative requirements at all – the aim is to discuss the good governance practices that surround those requirements. Organisations should ensure they review the RO Act, materials on this website and their organisation’s rules and policies.



The Good Governance in Practice podcasts

The podcast ROCpod includes a series of episodes that focus on practical good governance steps. You should be able to listen to these episodes and walk away with concrete, actionable steps to take to enhance your governance. Where there is a relevant episode it will be linked in this guide.



The Digital Classroom

This guide is a partner to our Digital Classroom. The Digital Classroom can guide you through many of the responsibilities of officers and organisations by topic, at your own pace, identifying useful resources and compliance templates.

Email questions to regorgs@fwc.gov.au or call 1300 341 665.

Click on each chapter to read through the Good Governance Guide

Chapter 1:
What is good governance?


Chapter 2:
Developing a ‘speak-up’ culture


Chapter 3: 
Officer induction 


Chapter 4:
Committees of management


Chapter 5:
Financial decision making


Chapter 6: 
Officer duties


Chapter 7:
Managing conflicts of interest


Chapter 8:
Record-keeping and decision making


Chapter 9: 
Disclosing information for ORP statements