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Board effectiveness quiz

How well is your board performing?

Try this self-assessment quiz. You can use the results to assess your board's strengths and weaknesses, or as a basis for a more formal board evaluation process. Try taking the quiz as individual board members and then come together as a group to compare your results.

Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree
  1. The size of the board is optimal for the role it fulfills
  1. Board members are neither too busy nor bored.
  1. Each board member has their own unique skills and experience.
  1. Board members complement each other well.
  1. Board members are loosely representative of the stakeholders the board serves, taking into account gender, ages, cultures, etc. A diversity policy and/or strategy are in place to address any gaps.
  1. Policies are well-articulated.
  1. Policies are clearly understood and strictly adhered to.
  1. Board members are conversant with and strongly committed to the organisation's mission and vision. The mission and vision are thoughtfully reviewed from time to time.
  1. Meeting papers are relevant and logically presented and distributed well before meetings.
  1. Board members are diligent about preparing for meetings and reviewing meeting minutes for inaccuracies.
  1. Meetings are held on schedule and all business is dealt with thoroughly without the need to regularly run over time.
  1. All board members are regular attendees at ordinary, committee and annual general meetings.
  1. All board members are thoughtful participants in debates and respectful of each other's opinions.
  1. Meeting rules are widely understood and strictly adhered to.
  1. Committees and sub-committees are well-focused and provide a useful adjunct to the full board.
  1. Board members are fully informed of all relevant information relating to the community group they serve.
  1. The board has in place both short-term and long-term goals and strategies to provide direction.
  1. There are clear expectations of the contribution and commitment required of board members, articulated in a formal written job description.
  1. All new board members are subject to a thorough induction process.
  1. Board members are fully aware of the division of roles between the board and the staff and do not stray into operational territory.
  1. The board is led by a competent, efficient and inspiring chair.
  1. The board has given professional, thoughtful consideration to the recruitment of the CEO and is diligent in monitoring his/her performance, providing feedback where necessary.
  1. Strict procedures are in place to ensure the organisation's financial status is reported in full to the board at regular intervals.
  1. The board keeps a vigilant eye on the organisation's finances, requesting information when required and taking swift steps to remedy any potential or real problems that arise. An audit is undertaken annually.
  1. Procedures are in place to ensure that all board members are aware of their ethical, legal and financial responsibilities. Updates are provided when appropriate.
  1. Board members and the board as a whole adhere to all state/territory and federal laws.
  1. Ongoing training of board members is a priority.
  1. The board is a willing and effective participant in the organisation's fundraising strategy.
  1. Board members happily and competently lend to their board role their range of skills and experience.
  1. The board has good standing in the wider community.
  1. The board works to educate the community about the role and mission of the organisation. It brings the views of the wider community back to the board table.
  1. Risk management is a high priority for the board.
  1. The board is aware of its responsibilities to its stakeholders and conducts its business, where possible, openly and transparently.
  1. The board is marked by a culture of self-improvement, regularly carrying out board building and assessment activities.
  1. The board has an effective succession plan in place to ensure institutional knowledge is preserved.
  1. An ongoing and effective recruitment strategy is in place to identify and nurture potential new board members. Board rejuvenation takes place periodically and painlessly.
  1. The board is not spooked by internal or external changes but is able to respond quickly and effectively.
  1. A culture of honesty and disclosure is encouraged among the board and throughout the organisation.
  1. The board is well led but not dominated by one person or a group of people. All views are treated equally.
  1. Decisions are made in a timely manner and publicly supported by all board members – including those whose views may have been overridden.
  1. Board members are aware of their duty to the organisation and put this duty before obligations to any other interests. Conflicts of interest are disclosed and dealt with swiftly and appropriately.
  1. The board works well as a team, with personal differences set aside for the sake of the community group.
  1. The board has an entrepreneurial culture and members actively search for new opportunities for their community group.

What now?

Use the results of this quiz to work out what areas of your board could use a boost. Look for other help sheets that might assist you in tackling these problems.

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