To help the Panel assess the state of independence in the voluntary sector, it has drawn up a new Barometer of Independence, which includes a checklist of questions.
The Panel recommends that voluntary organisations should routinely reflect on the pressures facing their organisation and ensure that protection of independence, and of their mission and purpose, are built into their self-audits adn risk registers. There are a number of tools that can assist with this. In 2008, the NCVO produced a set of questions about how well organisations think they are upholding their purpose and values, managing relationships and challenging others. The National Coalition for Independent Action has produced an audit tool which looks at a wide range of issues and practices and their role in independence. The Barometer itself can be used as a self-diagnostic too.