Board Performance Reviews
Most boards want to know whether they are providing top quality governance to agree changes that would enhance board performance.
Over the last ten years we have developed two approaches to assessing governance performance and getting agreement to improvement plans:
- Structured in-depth interviews
- Self assessment questionnaires
Both have been designed specifically for civil society organisations. They can be used separately or in combination.
Structured in-depth interviews
Some organisations, and particularly those with small boards, prefer that information on governance performance is gathered by interviews of board members and senior managers who regularly attend board meetings. We tailor our structured interview format to suit your organisation, conduct either face to face or telephone interviews with board members (and often some senior managers as well) and summarise the findings into a succinct report.
We present the findings to the board in a facilitated workshop and agree a prioritised action plan for making improvements.
Self assessment questionnaires
This approach requires board members to complete a performance questionnaire. It can also be completed by members of the Senior Management Team as they can provide a semi-independent perspective on performance.
The service we offer comes in three levels:
- A Standard Assessment — using our standard performance questionnaire.
- A Tailored Assessment — where the questions are tailored to suit your organisation's circumstances and, if required, members can provide each other with un-attributed individual performance feedback.
- A Tailored Assessment and Board Workshop — where we also facilitate a workshop with the board (and senior management) to review the findings and agree actions to enhance performance.
The questions are aligned with the Principles of the Code of Governance for the voluntary sector and cover all aspects of board performance including:
- Understanding the board's role
- Ensuring delivery of organisational purpose
- Working effectively
- Skills and experience
- Performance of the board as a team
- Decision making
- The Board and the Chief Executive
- Control and risk
- Performance of board committees
In the Tailored Assessment our questionnaire can be used to elicit feedback on board members own and their colleagues' performance. This is given without attribution to the Chair to provide validated information for him/her to use in individual 360° feedback sessions with board members.
Observation of boards and committees
We can ‘observe’ meetings to corroborate findings from interviews and questionnaires and pinpoint governance processes and behaviours that may require attention.
Review of Governance Documentation
We can review governance documents such as role descriptions for members, officers and committee chairs, committee terms of reference, delegations to the chief executive, conflict of interest policy to ensure they are up to date and meet best practice standards.
All the performance reviews we have done have a core of common questions, so we are able to make comparisons between your self assessment and the consolidated results from similar organisations that have used our service.