Why does the board need to review its performance? Evaluating its own performance is a way for the board to build capacity and to demonstrate its commitment to ongoing learning and improvement. Although not a requirement for this standard, good practice suggests that time should be allocated during each board meeting to conduct a brief evaluation of the meeting in order to enhance effectiveness in the future. In addition, the board should evaluate its performance annually along with the performance of the board chair.1 The board should engage an external facilitator if board members have difficult or contentious relationships that may hinder their ability to conduct meaningful evaluations of themselves or their peers. Annual evaluations may also contain input from members or stakeholders.1
Benefits of evaluating the board and its individual directors include:2
- Recognizing the significance of the board’s role and of the commitment made by its directors
- Ensuring that activities are accomplished and that board members receive enough support to fulfill their roles
- Encouraging accountability by evaluating how effective the board is at its work
- Providing recognition to board members, which may help with motivation and retention
- Helping the board and individual directors to improve their performance
- Creating a record of information that can be useful when recruiting new board members
- Giving board members an opportunity to self-identify if their role on the board is not a good fit3
From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section A: Board Governance," Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.
- “Primer for Directors of Not-for-Profit Corporations: Rights, Duties, and Practices,” Industry Canada, 2002.
- “Board Building - Recruiting and Developing Effective Board Members for Not-for-Profit Organizations, A Self-Guided Workbook,” The Muttart Foundation and Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, 2008.
- Lynn Chambers, Manager of the Standards Program at Imagine Canada, personal communication, September 2012.
Standards Reference Guide