Board Member Induction

Board Member Induction

On appointment to the Board and to Board committees, all Directors will receive a comprehensive induction on their individual requirements (where applicable) in order to become as effective as possible in their role within the shortest practicable time.

These skills and knowledge shall be updated at regular intervals. The induction will be designed by the Company Secretary in consultation with the Chairperson and will include meetings with Directors.

New board members will want to contribute to the organisation as quickly as possible. A well thought out induction programme will help them ‘hit the ground running’. The purpose of this board briefing is to help you consider what needs to be included in your induction programme.

The purpose of the induction program

An induction programme is a structured way of providing new board members with all the information and support they need to be confident and productive in their role. The aim is to help new members to understand the organisation, the environment in which it operates, and their role in making the organisation a success.

What is involved?

An induction programme can last for between a few months and a year, depending on scale and complexity of the organisation.  It will involve:

  • Welcoming the new board member and introducing them to the board team and other key personnel, including the CEO and executive directors of each functional area of the company
  • An introduction to the strategic plan and financial position of the organisation
  • An introduction to the governance arrangements which are in place
  • Meeting with key stakeholders where relevant
  • Regular reviews with the chair to check understanding, identify issues and encourage development

The steps involved in developing an induction program for board members

It is important that the induction plan is in place before the new board member begins. Doing so presents a professional image of the organisation, and is very reassuring for the new board member. An induction pack, which contains all the key documents required by board members, should be produced. For more details on the content of the induction pack, please see the board induction checklist board briefing. It is the responsibility of the chair to work through the induction pack with all new board members.

In addition to familiarising the new board member with the documents, the induction should be used to introduce them to the culture of the organisation and their role and responsibilities as a board member.

It may also involve identifying training and development needs to ensure the board member can contribute effectively to the organisation.

Board Member Induction Checklist

The purpose of a Board briefing is to help consider what needs to be included in the induction programme. The checklist presented here is not exhaustive and should be varied with your own organisation-specific elements.

The following table summarises what you might include in your induction programme for new board members.

IssueActivityWith WhomWhen
WelcomeWelcome and introduction to the boardChairAt appointment
GovernanceExplanation of function and services:
– History of organisation
– Vision and mission
– Ethics, values, and philosophy
– Board and committee structure
– Departmental structure and hierarchy
– Tour of site
– Terminology, jargon and glossary of company-specific terms
Chair and CEOAt appointment
Governance– Initial discussion re: contribution
– Outline of appraisal / review process
– Training needs analysis
ChairAt appointment
Internal relationshipsIntroduction to senior staff and outline of each functional area of the companyChair and CEOAt appointment
Strategic planning– Give copy of strategic plan
– Discuss strategic plan and progress
Chair and CEOAt appointment
GovernanceProvide policies and procedures:
– Expenses
– Conflict of interest
– Risk policy
– Code of conduct
– Whistleblowing
– Finance and audit
Chair and CEOAt appointment
GovernanceGive copies of relevant meeting notes:
– Schedule of dates of board meetings
– Give copy of last year’s board minutes
– Give copy of board manual, including:
– Constitution document
– Pen portraits, photos and contact details of board and committee members
Chair and CEOAt appointment
Finance– Give copy of annual report and accounts
– Give copy of most recent budget report
Chair of Audit and Risk
Committee and Finance Officer
At appointment

 

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