Steering groups

There is no one right way to organise a steering group as management structures and cultures will vary between and within different sectors of employment, It is however, important to have a representative group to steer and drive your action forward. It is also possible to utilise an existing working group or groups to carry out the functions of a steering group as described here,

Some users of the Management Standards approach have set up multiple sub- groups of the main steering group that reflect their specific organisational structure. For example, an organisation may have specific directorates or I departments that have semi-autonomous management structures in such cases the use of sub-groups to steer the process is appropriate.

Who should be part of a steering group?

Typical members of a steering group are:

  • senior management;
  • employee representative;
  • trade union representative;
  • health and safety manager;
  • human resources representative;
  • occupational health person;
  • line manager.

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What are the key activities of a steering group?

Their main function is to oversee and facilitate the Management Standards project, acting as a project management group or board. Key activities include:

  • project naming;
  • project management;
  • planning;
  • securing and managing resources;
  • marketing;
  • managing communications;
  • monitoring progress;
  • approving action plans;
  • generating and approving management reports.

Top tips from users:

  • Have people with the capacity to do actions that result from steering group meetings
  • Have someone on the group with project management experience
  • The Unions need to be involved
  • The 'steering group' is key; it should have individuals who are keen to make a contribution and make the project work
  • You need a team who can be mutually supportive

"If a structured steering group is used to drive the project, resources can be kept to a reasonable level."
Wrexham Borough Council

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Key roles within the steering group

There are normally two key roles within a steering group:

The 'Project Champion':

  • represents the project at board level;
  • updates the board on progress;
  • ensures the project is adequately resourced;
  • is typically an HR director or Facilities director, depending on the organisational structure. These positions normally have responsibility for sickness absence and/or health and safety.

The 'Day-to-Day Champion':

  • takes the role of project manager;
  • organises and facilitates meetings;
  • documents decisions, to provide an audit trail;
  • keeps the project on schedule and on budget;
  • is typically a health and safety manager or, in some cases, an occupational health or HR professional.

After you have set up a steering group, the project should be planned, resources allocated and communications strategies set out with details of how you will engage with staff.

There is a more detailed guide to setting up and running steering groups here.

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Updated 2021-05-11Date -->