Upcoming events

    • 8 Sep 2021
    • 15 Dec 2021
    • 8 sessions

    This innovative programme will enable senior/middle tier leaders from the third and public sectors to develop their leadership skills, building and strengthening relationships to address the complex shared challenges they face. 

    Leaders in the public sector and the third sector have been working to build relationships and establish trust, to create understanding of how much more they can achieve by combining forces, and to better appreciate the barriers to collaboration and how to deal with them. The CEF/CO3 Leadership Exchange programme has provided a space for leaders in each sector to step into each other’s world, illustrating the benefits of building relationships, understanding each other’s perspectives and expanding cross sectoral networks. It is important that the ethos of collaborative working is established in staff throughout both sectors, particularly for the leaders of the future. On behalf of CEF and CO3, Grant Thornton, building on the Leadership Exchange programme and successful delivery of the High Potentials pilot programme in early 2021, are now offering another programme for Autumn 2021 for staff who are currently operating at middle/senior management levels in the public sector and third sector. Excellent feedback from the pilot recognised the aims of enabling connection and understanding of one another’s experiences, aspirations and pressures, as one of the key benefits of the programme.

    Beginning - 8 September 2021. 

    • 9 Sep 2021
    • 26 Nov 2021
    • 12 sessions

    A programme for Third Sector Leaders Online & self-directed study Starting September 2021| 6 days

    Coaching Leadership is characterised by collaboration and support. Coaching Leaders are focused on bringing out the best in their teams and embedding a coaching mindset throughout their organisation.

    However, adopting a coaching approach and growing and developing others can be a challenge in the current climate.

    This programme supports leaders to build their coaching approach so they can help to develop talent and create an empowering environment while still practicing self-care.

    The programme will include the development of peer coaching groups to offer support and practice their coaching techniques on one another as part of the programme.

    Cost: This programme is supported by The Halifax Foundation and places are available at the highly subsidised rate of:

    £300 for CO3 members (inclusive of £225 ILM Accreditation on successful application)

    £500 for non-CO3 members (inclusive of £225 ILM Accreditation on successful application)

    Delivery method: This programme will be delivered online. Each day of the programme will be a combination of live, facilitated sessions with some self-directed learning and reflection activities.

    This programme is an opportunity to pause and reflect on your leadership. It will help you to strengthen your coaching approach, gaining greater personal insight, different perspectives and increased self-awareness so you can lead and develop others even more effectively. It is also an opportunity to identify how you can build your resilience and practice self care as busy leaders. Delivered with an interactive approach, you will work with and learn from peers to explore a range of practical concepts and approaches. This programme relies on the group supporting each other to learn and develop and build a community of established leaders.

    • 23 Sep 2021
    • 11:45 AM - 4:30 PM
    • Online

    • 23 Sep 2021
    • 24 Sep 2021
    • 2 sessions

    • 23 Sep 2021
    • 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    • Online

    The Emergency Leadership Group (ELG) was established by the Minister for Communities to lead and co-ordinate the voluntary and community sector response to the Covid19 pandemic.   Group members came from the voluntary, and community sector, government departments and agencies and from local government.   Working in close proximity on new projects during very uncertain times,  ELG members forged partnerships and ways of working that crossed sectoral and departmental boundaries and delivered impressive and impactful results.

    This workshop will explore what worked, what didn’t work and how do we ensure the learning from this time allows us to build back fairer.


    Moira Doherty, DfC

    Kate Clifford, RCN

    Lisa McElherron, Inspire

    Jim Girvan, Upper Andersontown Community Forum

    • 23 Sep 2021
    • 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    • Remo

    Charity income is meant to be spent on the charity’s objects to benefit the charity’s beneficiaries. The current rule of thumb is charities should not hoard reserves in order for the charity to continue in perpetuity or to allow trustees to sleep better. In fact, there is a strong argument that high levels of reserves can lead to complacency and poor financial practices, such as allowing long credit terms to those who owe the charity money. Yet for many charities, their high reserves have offered a much needed safety blanket when the pandemic blindsided the sector in March 2020. 
    How many of us feel we have a strong reserves policy?
    Do we have a sufficient level of reserves?
    Do funders need to change their approach to charity reserves?
    How can charities make their reserves work harder?
    In this workshop, we will seek the views of a range of leaders on what needs to change when considering charity reserves.

    Chris O’Neill, Smith and Williamson

    Frances McCandless, CCNI

    Kate Beggs, National Lottery Community Fund 

    Declan Cunnane, Chest Heart Stroke

    You will be sent a separate link to the workshop prior to the day. 

    If you still need to register for a workshop please contact Nichola -

    Workshops are only available to those who have booked a place at the Conference.

    • 24 Sep 2021
    • 11:45 AM - 4:30 PM
    • Online

    • 24 Sep 2021
    • 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    • Remo

    The 3AM challenge for many charity CEO’s and boards is on raising and managing income. To do this well there are essential steps and processes every board and CEO should be following. How confident are you in your financial management reporting? Do you know your day to day costs and are achieving value for money? Are you on top of your debtors and creditors? Do you have a clear reserves policy? How do you manage your financial risks?

    In this short session, we will look at good practice in regards to reporting to your trustees, distinguishing the difference between strategic and operational. Focusing on dashboard and cashflow reporting and maintenance.

    This inclusive session will provide invaluable insight, tips, and support to CEOs, SMT and Trustees alike.

    You will be sent a separate link to the workshop prior to the day.

    If you still need to register for a workshop please contact Nichola -

    Workshops are only available to those who have booked a place at the Conference.

    • 24 Sep 2021
    • 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    • Remo

    With the introduction of 'Health and Safety Sentencing Guidelines' in 2016 and the recent UK prosecutions of charities for health and safety breaches, charities must be aware of the risks to avoid when trying to be 'health and safety compliant' to avoid significant fines or possible imprisonment.

    The Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 (HSWO) imposes a number of obligations on organisations and "duty holders" (who are usually employers or owners of an organisation or those in control of premises) and sets out the general duties owed to all employees and non-employees, including members of the public, volunteers and visitors. HSWO imposes the same duties on a charity as any other employer both towards employees (if they have them) and non-employees. It is not uncommon for charitable organisations to be operated entirely by unpaid volunteers, but that does not mean they should ignore health and safety. Relevant guidance suggests that it is good practice to give volunteers the same level of protection as employees, just in the same way a duty of care is owed to volunteers as well as employees under the civil law.

    The role of a trustee of a charity is to ultimately direct and manage the charity as a whole. They are responsible for the operation of the charity and must show they understand their legal obligations. Due to the nature of their role, they are considered duty holders under the HSWO.

    This workshop explores the things you can do to protect yourself and the charity from criminal liability by being compliant with health and safety regulations.

    You will be sent a separate link to the workshop prior to the day.

    If you still need to register for a workshop please contact Nichola -

    Workshops are only available to those who have booked a place at the Conference.

    • 24 Sep 2021
    • 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    • Online

    Join Peter Smyth, Client Executive for Northern Ireland and Anne Graham, Client Executive for Donegal and Connacht as they discuss how Community Finance Ireland stepped up to support their client base during the pandemic and in response has developed a new £10 Million All island Recovery Loan Fund to assist those organisations who require support to recover or to build on new opportunities as we look towards a new ‘normal’.

    • 27 Sep 2021
    • 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM
    • Online

    What does the best in Government Policy Masterclass look like?  Sharing successes, failures and lessons learnt

    Suppose we all pledge to share our successes, failures, and lessons across countries to examine how Governments across the world are leading the way in deciding policy priorities and reviewing policy goals and effectiveness.

    In that case, we might support better decision making and make a difference to people's lives, wherever they live.  This Workshop provides us with the opportunity to take an instructive look at what is happening in other countries and, in turn, what learning we can bring to Northern Ireland.  In New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tabled a Wellbeing Budget in 2019; a year prior, Ardern's government formed the Wellbeing Governments (WEGo) initiative with Iceland and Scotland, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas on improving the lives of citizens and the success of their countries.

    The Workshop provides us with the space to engage with a wide range of leaders to look at who is best in class at designing and delivering policy with a greater focus on health and wellbeing and measuring what really matters to people.

    • 7 Oct 2021
    • 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
    • TBC

    Most third sector organisations have a strategic plan these days, but the evidence suggests that in most cases the plans are of little use in guiding the development of the organisation, or helping to make difficult decisions. The process of drawing up the plan, also often leaves many people who will be delivering it less than enthusiastic. This workshop will ensure that your strategic and operational planning processes enable your organisation to achieve its potential. It will be led by Dr Roger Courtney one of the UK’s leading writer’s on strategy in the third sector.

    The aim of the workshop on strategic planning is to improve the strategic and operational planning processes of third sector organisations.

    Participants will be encouraged to bring existing or previous strategic plans to get feedback.

    Cost: £99 CO3 Member £130 Non Member

    • 8 Oct 2021
    • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Online

    The New Decade, New Approach agreement of January 2020 contained an Executive commitment to tackle climate change head on with a strategy to address the immediate and longer-term impacts of Climate Change.  Specifically, the five Parties committed, as an Executive, to introduce legislation and targets for reducing carbon emissions in line with the Paris Climate Change Accord.  At the time of writing, the Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister has been given approval by the Executive to bring forward a Climate Change Bill to the NI Assembly.  A separate Climate Change Private Members Bill is at Committee Stage.  The UK Government’s Climate Change Committee (CCC) has recently published its assessment of the climate risks and opportunities in Northern Ireland.  This has sparked debate about how quickly Northern Ireland can, and should reach “Net Zero”.  There are also questions around whether reaching “Net Zero” will be sufficient to mitigate the climate crisis.

    This workshop provides an opportunity to discuss these issues and gain a better understanding of the risks and opportunities we face and the steps which we will need to take to mitigate and exploit these.  The session will be informed by a number of speakers:


    John Gilliland, Devenish

    Annika Clements, Ulster Wildlife Trust

    Terry A’Hearn, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA)

    Kirsty McManus, IOD NI

    Colin Breen, DARD

    Chair: David Sterling, Chief Executives Forum

    • 3 Nov 2021
    • 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
    • TBC

    This year’s AGM will include a panel discussion under the theme of 'Building Back Stronger'.

    It will include a range of contributions from public, third and private sector leaders on their reflections on lessons learnt from the pandemic and what is needed to build a stronger society moving forward. 

    More information will follow in due now, for now, please save the date in your diary.

    • 11 Nov 2021
    • 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • Online

    Many organisations have inherited financial systems and management reporting tools that have not been reviewed in years, leaving the CEO, SMT and Board of Trustees with financial reports that they may not understand or are not fit for purpose in helping them to lead the organisation to meet its strategic objectives.

    This course will provide participants with a refresher on how to read a set of financial accounts and generally examines what information should be included in a financial management report.  The course will also cover areas such as:

    • What information should I be asking from my finance officer/director?

    • What questions should I expect from my board in relation to our accounts?

    The workshop will take place remotely which will be followed by a separate one to one virtual session (on a date to suit you) which will allow delegates to review their own financial reporting systems in confidence and to consider ways that these may be improved to provide them with better financial information to support decision making.

    Date:     11 November 2021, 10am - 1pm
    Venue:   Remotely
    Cost:      £130 Members £180 Non Members

    • 8 Dec 2021
    • 12:30 PM - 4:30 PM

    CO3 is delighted to partner with the Carnegie UK Trust to lead on a series of virtual fireside conversations leading up to a conference on 8 December 2021 themed under:- 

    “What Kind of Northern Ireland (NI) do we want”? 

    The Carnegie UK Trust (CUKT) was set up to improve the wellbeing of the people of the UK and Ireland. Over the past five years we have been working with partners in Northern Ireland on embedding a wellbeing approach in government.

    We know that COVID-19 will have major long-term impacts for Northern Ireland communities, economy, and the delivery of essential public services. We are therefore hosting this event to explore key questions for improving wellbeing in Northern Ireland and share practical ideas for tackling the challenges ahead through a series of online discussions. Attendees will include civil society, government, business and academic leaders and practitioners. The discussions will be designed to be as inclusive as possible to support a range of experiences and views to be heard.

    Using online workshops and roundtable discussions the project will identify and explore key questions, test assumptions and expectations about the post-COVID-19 future and start developing ideas and sharing practical plans for the challenges ahead

Past events

17 Sep 2021 Wellbeing & the Menopause
7 Sep 2021 Disability Inclusion in the workplace - What it is and why it matters?
3 Sep 2021 Managing Difficult Conversations
2 Sep 2021 Winning Over the Boardroom: The Unique Relationship Between CEO and the Board
1 Sep 2021 What does a better early years education and childcare infrastructure look like in NI?
24 Aug 2021 24 August 3pm – 4pm
19 Aug 2021 Catching up through Coronavirus
17 Aug 2021 17 August 3pm – 4pm
3 Aug 2021 3 August 3pm – 4pm
27 Jul 2021 27 July 3pm – 4pm
23 Jun 2021 Being a New to Post Trustee
23 Jun 2021 Digital Marketing Strategy
22 Jun 2021 Coronavirus - 15 months on
3 Jun 2021 Crisis management and Serious Incident Reporting…What would you do?
27 May 2021 Health SIG
6 May 2021 How the World of Work May Change Forever
28 Apr 2021 Dealing with Challenging Conversations Virtually
22 Apr 2021 Fully Booked Covid, Charities and 2021 Audits
20 Apr 2021 Full Cost Recovery Roundtable
15 Apr 2021 CO3 Leading Edge Programme
9 Apr 2021 How To Build Empowering Teams Remotely
18 Mar 2021 Good Governance Awards - Virtual Launch
5 Mar 2021 Fraud, Scams & Cyber Crime
12 Feb 2021 Mental Wealth -Practices to Enhance Your Leadership Resilience
28 Jan 2021 New to Post Forum - Virtual
27 Jan 2021 Virtual Information Sessions for Mentees - Financial Resilience Leadership Programme
27 Jan 2021 Virtual Information Sessions for Mentors - Financial Resilience Leadership Programme
20 Jan 2021 Increase Productivity, Improve Performance - Maximise CRM Systems
13 Jan 2021 Pressing the reset button for Charities in 2021
16 Dec 2020 Chairs' Forum
11 Dec 2020 CO3 Regional Meet up
10 Dec 2020 Long Term Conditions Alliance Meeting
9 Dec 2020 Attracting the Top Housing Talent with ARK Engage
8 Dec 2020 Virtual meet-up: Communicating through the Coronavirus
3 Dec 2020 CO3 Leadership Awards
3 Dec 2020 Christmas Drinks Reception
13 Nov 2020 CO3 Regional Meet up
12 Nov 2020 Harnessing the lessons of the pandemic to strengthen public and third sector collaboration
5 Nov 2020 Save the date! CO3 AGM 2020
29 Oct 2020 Strategic Planning with Roger Courtney
27 Oct 2020 Health & Social Care SIG
27 Oct 2020 Understanding Financial Accounts and Confidence on Reporting to your Board
21 Oct 2020 Everything you need to know to be a Trustee
15 Oct 2020 Coronavirus Guidance Members News Job Support Scheme - What Does it Mean for Employers?
9 Oct 2020 CO3 Regional Meet up
8 Oct 2020 New to Post Forum - Virtual
25 Sep 2020 Smith & Williamson | Friday Workshop | Leadership Conference 2020 | The Rising Tide of ESG Investing– Are you ready for the next wave?
25 Sep 2020 Ecclesiastical Insurance | Friday Workshop | Leadership Conference 2020 | Roadmap to Resilience
24 Sep 2020 Engage Executive Talent | Thursday Workshop | Leadership Conference 2020 | No Time To Diversify
24 Sep 2020 Baker Tilly Mooney Moore | Thursday Workshop | Leadership Conference 2020 | The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be - Looking Beyond COVID To A New Normal
24 Sep 2020 CO3 Virtual Global Leadership Conference 2020
16 Sep 2020 Chairs' Forum
10 Sep 2020 Everything you need to know to be a Trustee
4 Sep 2020 CO3 Regional Meet up
4 Sep 2020 CO3 Regional Meet up
3 Sep 2020 Brexit - for better or worse panel discussion
27 Aug 2020 Returning to the office v Working from Home
26 Aug 2020 Communicating through the Coronavirus - virtual meet-ups 2.30pm
23 Jul 2020 Communicating through the Coronavirus - virtual meet-ups 2.30pm
3 Jul 2020 Stress levels up IQ levels down – Self Care for leaders
26 Jun 2020 CO3 Regional Meet up
25 Jun 2020 Communicating through the Coronavirus - virtual meet-ups 3pm
25 Jun 2020 Understanding Financial Accounts and Confidence on Reporting to your Board
18 Jun 2020 Everything you need to know to be a Trustee
16 Jun 2020 Workplace Preparedness
11 Jun 2020 The Mindful Leader
10 Jun 2020 HR Management Network
4 Jun 2020 New to Post Forum - Virtual
28 May 2020 Communicating through the Coronavirus - virtual meet-ups 3pm
20 May 2020 Steering Through Chaos
15 May 2020 Cashflow and Insolvency – key considerations for charity trustees and CEOs caused by coronavirus
14 May 2020 CO3 Regional Meet up
6 May 2020 ACEs and trauma informed practice
6 May 2020 (copy) Steering Through Chaos
5 May 2020 Communicating through the Coronavirus - virtual meet-ups 3.30pm
4 May 2020 Board Effectiveness Seminar
1 May 2020 CO3’s Introduction To Mentoring
23 Apr 2020 Register of Charities and Failed Compliance Checks - Lessons Learnt
21 Apr 2020 How to build empowering teams remotely
16 Apr 2020 Communicating through the Coronavirus - virtual meet-ups 3pm
8 Apr 2020 Chairs' Forum
7 Apr 2020 Managing Sickness Absence
3 Apr 2020 CO3 Regional Meet up
2 Apr 2020 New to Post Forum
1 Apr 2020 Everything you need to know to be a Trustee
1 Apr 2020 Communicating through the Coronavirus - virtual meet-ups 3pm
1 Apr 2020 Communicating through the Coronavirus - virtual meet-ups 3pm
26 Mar 2020 CO3 Leadership Conference and Awards 2020
24 Mar 2020 Chairs' Training | Strategic Direction and financial oversight of the Chair - getting the right information
24 Mar 2020 Communicating through the Coronavirus - virtual meet-ups 12pm
20 Mar 2020 Communicating through the Coronavirus - virtual meet-ups 12.30pm
11 Mar 2020 Chairs' Training | Building an Effective Board
11 Mar 2020 HR Management Network
28 Feb 2020 CO3 Regional Meet up
26 Feb 2020 Chairs' Training | Effective Relations between the Chair and CEO
26 Feb 2020 Leaders on Leadership Breakfast
25 Feb 2020 CO3 Leading Edge Programme
13 Feb 2020 New Member Lunch - Willis' Offices
12 Feb 2020 Chairs' Training | Annual Performance Appraisal – the case for appraising, the Chair, CEO, Board and individual Trustees
5 Feb 2020 Everything you need to know to be a Trustee
5 Feb 2020 Steering Through Chaos
31 Jan 2020 New to Post CEO Forum
31 Jan 2020 CEO Brunch Meet-Ups
31 Jan 2020 Information Session: CO3’s Reverse Mentoring Programme
29 Jan 2020 The Effective Third Sector Chair (all five sessions)
29 Jan 2020 Chairs' Training | The role of a Chair in ensuring an Effective Board
28 Jan 2020 Performance Management
24 Jan 2020 Mood Matters Workplace Programme In Association with AWARE
22 Jan 2020 The pros and cons of buying and leasing property
15 Jan 2020 Chairs' Forum
18 Dec 2019 Share & Connect CEO Series
12 Dec 2019 HR Management Network
5 Dec 2019 Christmas Drinks Reception
5 Dec 2019 Health and Social Care Special Interest Group meeting
4 Dec 2019 Dormant Accounts Consultation
21 Nov 2019 Treasurers' Forum
20 Nov 2019 Chairs' Forum
19 Nov 2019 The Light at the End of the Tunnel?
14 Nov 2019 Create a Winning Tender
13 Nov 2019 The evolving role of the Charity Commission and its interaction with other regulators
12 Nov 2019 Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace
7 Nov 2019 Webinar: Navigating the new code of fundraising practice and learning from complaints
24 Oct 2019 CO3 Annual General Meeting
15 Oct 2019 How to be a CO3 Award Winner
9 Oct 2019 Chairs' Forum
8 Oct 2019 Excelling in Leadership Programme
1 Oct 2019 Lessons learnt from statutory inquiries carried out by the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland. Date
1 Oct 2019 Digital Transformation Seminar
26 Sep 2019 CO3 – Office Move
26 Sep 2019 Strategic Planning with Roger Courtney
19 Sep 2019 CO3 Annual Member Lunch : Attitude, Mindset and Resilience
17 Sep 2019 Health and Social Care Special Interest Group meeting
12 Sep 2019 Treasurers' Forum
4 Sep 2019 Understanding Financial Accounts
3 Sep 2019 The Renaissance Forum: Character Under Pressure
27 Jun 2019 Share & Connect Session 2
20 Jun 2019 Financial Management SMT Group
19 Jun 2019 SEO & PPC Techniques for NFP Organisations
18 Jun 2019 Collaborations and Mergers
13 Jun 2019 Treasuers' Forum
13 Jun 2019 Health and Social Care Special Interest Group meeting
6 Jun 2019 Executive Transitions and Leadership Succession
5 Jun 2019 New Member Lunch - Grand Central Hotel
29 May 2019 Employment Law Update with Legal Island
21 May 2019 Charity Law : an update for the sector
14 May 2019 George Mitchell Dinner
9 May 2019 Tax breakfast event - tax efficient structures and reliefs for charities
16 Apr 2019 Campaigning & Digital PR with Sarah Hughes
10 Apr 2019 New Member Lunch at GMcG
9 Apr 2019 The Art of Good Board Minutes
3 Apr 2019 Interim Executive Training
27 Mar 2019 3rd Middle Manager Session : Middle Managers’ Toolkit: Harnessing the power of influence and persuasion.
26 Mar 2019 Dignity at Work
25 Mar 2019 Health and Social Care Special Interest Group meeting
14 Mar 2019 The Pros and Cons of Audit and Independent Examination
13 Mar 2019 HR Management Network
7 Mar 2019 CO3 Leadership Conference and Awards 2019
28 Feb 2019 Treasuers' Forum
28 Feb 2019 Share & Connect Session 1
20 Feb 2019 Chairs' Forum
19 Feb 2019 Best Practice in Managing Performance and Expectations
12 Feb 2019 Mentoring Information Session
7 Feb 2019 How to Run Effective Boards
7 Feb 2019 New Member Lunch at Grant Thornton
25 Jan 2019 New to Post CEO Forum
24 Jan 2019 Shortlisting Drinks Reception
17 Jan 2019 From Resolution to Reality
17 Jan 2019 Reporting a Serious Incident to CCNI
5 Dec 2018 In Praise of Middle Managers: Leading from the Middle: Courage and Encouragement
18 Oct 2018 In Praise of Middle Managers: Leading Transformational Change From the Middle

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