Governance Hints
Governance Hints are designed for the time-poor board member who needs some simple, clear and practical advice to deal with a range of governance issues.

How to Carry Out An Individual Board Member Assessment

Use this list as your own personal self-assessment. You could also use it as a peer review exercise by asking another board member (whom you trust) to complete it as well and then share your answers. You could then suggest ways in which each of you can improve your performance.

Knowledge of the organisation and the environment

  •  I understand the organisation’s strategic plan, including mission, vision and values statements, and take these into account when making decisions.
  • I am comfortable with my level of knowledge about the organisation’s programs and role within the local environment.
  • While not necessarily an expert, I have a good understanding of the organisation’s:
    ⁃ Financial performance and condition
    ⁃ Quality performance and measures
    ⁃ Key areas of risk and associated risk mitigation strategies.
  • I understand and take into account the organisation’s accountability to funders and key stakeholders.
  • I keep current on sector issues and trends that may have an impact on the organisation or the needs of the community.
  • I effectively apply my knowledge, experience and expertise to matters before the board.
  • I ask questions or request information to help me make informed decisions.
  • I exercise sound and balanced judgment considering all sides of issues before the board.
  • I bring a strategic focus in assessing situations and reaching conclusions.
  • I am satisfied with my level of contribution as a director.

Effective behaviour and relationships

  • I read materials in advance and come prepared for meetings.
  • I listen well and respect others’ ideas and perspectives.
  • I communicate effectively with my fellow directors at board and committee meetings.
  • I am comfortable and constructive when expressing a minority opinion.
  • I develop and maintain sound relationships as a team player with fellow directors.
  • I respect the contributions of board committees, being careful at board meetings to build on, not re-do, the work already done by committees.
  • While maintaining my independence as a director, I interact respectfully, cooperatively and appropriately with the CEO and senior staff.
  • I take advantage of board education opportunities to increase my effectiveness as a director.