The board understands its role and responsibilities.
The board understands and debates the vision, mission and business model.
The board is representative of its sector and has a good range of skills, experience and diversity.
Those skills and experience are used.
Meetings are effectively run and that decisions are taken and minuted.
Succession planning is in place for chair, board and CEO/director/artistic director.
The board reviews itself and its performance on an annual basis, as well as the CEO/director/artistic director.
There is no legal definition of a chair’s role, other than any duty to chair meetings set out in an organisation’s constitution. Some organisations also appoint one or more deputy or vice-chairs to assist, or to train board members in preparation of becoming chair. In all cases a written role description can help clarify each person’s role.
The chair/CEO relationship is central to good governance, with clear understanding of their respective responsibilities and regular, supportive communication. They need to maintain a good but discerning relationship based on respect, trust and mutual dependence.
The chair acts as additional spokesperson for the organisation, letting the artistic head of the organisation take the lead except on formal occasions where the chair’s input would be appropriate.
In some constitutions, a chair is given a casting vote. This means that if there is a deadlock, and a vote for a resolution is tied, then the chair is awarded a second vote to make sure that the resolution is passed or rejected. In new commercial companies, it is not possible for the chair of a members’ meeting to have a casting vote.
Download Sample job description template for:
For more about the Chair's role in improving Board dynamics read this guide from the Association of Chairs.
The success (or otherwise) of your charity owes much to the performance of your Chief Executive. Chairs have a key role in holding the Chief Executive to account and creating the conditions for the Chief Executive to succeed. This guide explores how to ensure you have a good appraisal process that supports and motivates your CEO to do even better.
Stephen Dunlop, Chairman of Open House Festival, was keynote speaker at the Arts & Business NI Conference 2018. This is a transcript of Stephen's keynote address - the story behind Open House Festival's governance development and journey towards a new building and sustainable future. Published: 2018.
The guide will prove relevant to CEOs and their chairs but is also recommended reading for all those involved in the governance of third sector organisations. Published: November 2013.
In response to evidence suggesting an increase in concern regarding governance-related issues in the voluntary sector, the ACEVO Governance Commission set out to produce a practically-focused piece of work, focused on supporting voluntary organisations to understand and address the issues and challenges that can affect their governance. Guided by the concerns raised by respondents to the Commission’s consultation exercises, the report focuses on three main areas: appraisal and accountability; understanding roles and responsibilities; and board management. Published: 2013.
Helps Chairs explore and strengthen the relationship they have with their CEO. Published: 2016.
A Chair’s Compass – a guide for Chairs of charities and non-profit organisations focuses entirely on the Chair’s perspective and the particular challenges and opportunities of the role. Whether you are a new Chair, or highly experienced, this guide provokes both thought and action.