Principle Three: Leadership and Role of the Board

The resources within Principle Three have been provided to help boards effectively manage and understand the roles and responsibilities of the board, along with the impact this has both individually and within the wider organisation.

The role the board plays in the management and decision-making structure of an organisation must be clearly outlined and well publicised to promote understanding of how the organisation functions among staff and stakeholders.

Board directors must understand their role and have the information to fulfil the role effectively. As a starting point, this should include knowledge of the organisation’s governing documents, its structure, the roles and responsibilities of the board and their own individual legal responsibilities. Directors are also responsible for scrutinising the organisation’s performance. To do this, directors need to ensure they have access to accurate and detailed information from the executive, without receiving so much information that they become engaged in the operational minutiae. The board should also evaluate its own performance to ensure it is fit for purpose and delivering effectively.

The board must have a role in the appointment of new board members and senior staff in accordance with the structures and rules in place, and in doing so must have assessed the needs of the organisation in terms of skills, diversity and experience that will enable it to fulfil its objectives. As well as appointing to the organisation and monitoring performance, the board is responsible for establishing the structure within which the executive team operates, including paid staff and volunteers. The board should ensure provision is made for management and staff development for both paid staff and volunteers.

The resources below will assist in implementing this principle.