About KeyStone

KeyStone is a management toolkit and information resource, developed and managed by SCVO, for organisations that manage buildings such as village halls, community centres, youth premises and sports facilities in Scotland. It will help you to make sense of legislation and regulation, put systems in place to keep things running smoothly and allow you to concentrate on providing the best facilities possible.

The KeyStone Toolkit

The toolkit is based on a series of checklists on a number of different topics supported by information and guidance and links to resources. You can download each checklist and work through them in your own time, or you can dip in for help with particular issues. 

Using the toolkit will help you to:

  • look after your building, staff, volunteers, trustees and users
  • comply with legislation and regulation
  • organise your files, documents and information to make life easier for you and future committees
  • understand  where to go for help

The KeyStone Award

The award is given to organisations who can show by assessment that they have completed all the checklists in the toolkit and have reached a required minimum standard of governance and management. The award can be used for promotion and publicity and as evidence of good practice. Organisations taking part in the award are usually supported and encouraged by a mentor.

SCVO no longer directly delivers the KeyStone Award but works with partner organisations who can support it locally. If you would like to take part in the KeyStone Award the award partners are:

  • Dumfries and Galloway – the hub can  offer Keystone support and issue awards in D & G for those who want to do more than a self-assessment toolkit. Contact Karen Lewis
  • Glasgow – In Glasgow the delivery of KeyStone is led by the Glasgow KeyStone Strategic Group which includes representation from Glasgow’s Third Sector Interface, Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council.  For further information contact Karen Latta on 0141 276 9906,

Self-assessment and getting started

KeyStone can be used as a resource to dip in and out of, or as a self-assessment tool. If you are using it as a self-assessment tool then it’s helpful to the commitment of your committee to undertake the process. It’s useful to identify someone to take the lead and a small KeyStone working group can be effective. You may need to involve different people for different sections. For instance it would make sense for the treasurer or bookkeeper to be involved with the Managing Money section.

You will need to decide where to start. You could start at the beginning and work through all the checklists or maybe start with a section you feel needs most urgent improvement. Alternatively you may want to start with a section you know you will be able to complete easily and move on to the ‘tougher’ sections later. Completing the self-assessment will help you make sure you have the right policies and procedures in place.

How long will it take?

The time it will take to complete a KeyStone self-assessment will be dependent on your starting point, the time you have available and how many actions you need to follow up. We hope that most organisations will be able to complete it within a year. You may also wish to set up a review procedure to make sure you stay up to date.

The KeyStone Sections

KeyStone is broken down into the following sections:

  1. Governance

Making sure your organisation is effectively and properly run

Supporting and valuing volunteers, staff and users and making sure that you meet your legal obligations to them.

Managing and controlling your money effectively and complying with regulations on accounting

Ensuring that you comply with building maintenance legislation and regulation, keeping appropriate records and safeguarding the facility for future generations

Putting the needs of users at the heart of your management and focusing on providing better facilities, services and activities

Understanding and complying with relevant legislation and regulation and helping to make sure your organisation is on the right side of the law

Using the toolkit

Each section has a list of statements that you need to achieve in order to complete the section.  If you can agree with a statement then you can tick the “we do it” box.

It is also useful to “prove it”. Examples of evidence are given for each statement. This may be policies or documents but could be a description of what happens in practice or something tangible like the presence of firefighting equipment. You can also use one piece of evidence for more than one statement or in more than one section.

Use the action box to record locations of evidence and any actions you need to take. You’re also encouraged to keep copies of the evidence within a KeyStone folder to develop an archive of policies and procedures and important documents.

Each statement has associated resource sections including “things to think about” and “where to go for help”.  This will enable you to easily find information on areas that you’re unsure of or need to develop.

  Statement Use this space to record any actions you need to take and/or the locations of your evidence We do it We can prove it
1.1 You know where your governing document is, make sure all Trustees have a copy and refer to it as necessary. Examples of evidence: Constitution, trust deed or memorandum and articles of association. Constitution posted on website. Signed copy kept in Secretary file in Mary’s house. Copy kept in KeyStone section 1 Y Y
Records of induction process or when copies given to trustee Action – New trustees still to receive a copy. Will be minuted when handed out at next meeting N N

If you find you can’t meet the requirements of any statement you should record it in the action/evidence location box.

We hope you find this resource helpful. Contact with any questions, feedback or comments. 

Page last modified on 27th January 2020