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Processes

The board should ensure that relevant company policies and procedures are in place and are being followed.  There should be clear processes for ensuring that the board agenda is focusing energy on the right issues at the right time, that the right questions are being asked, and the right decisions made.

In this section you will find information about policies and procedures you should ensure are in place, along with guidance on how to write and implement them.

Video: What Is the Leading Governance Model?

Joy Allen explains the innovative model of Leading Governance.

Video: Elements of the Leading Governance Model - Process

This video outlines the Process element of the Leading Governance model. Boards must ensure their organisation is complying with all legal and statutory requirements. Having processes that work to show compliance and provide checks and balances is an essential governance tool.

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A successful organisation uses the time of its board and staff wisely. Keeping meetings focussed on outcomes is an important way to ensure time is not wasted. This requires careful planning and management before, during and after meetings and this board briefing will help highlight how to go about this.

Good quality board members tend to be busy people who value efficiency. Therefore it is important that board meetings are well planned to get the most from the short time in which board members are together. The purpose of this board briefing is to help you plan your meetings so that the relevant decisions are taken based on sound information, and that these decisions are recorded and acted on.

Attending meetings takes a high percentage of the working life of a board. Ensuring the right people are sitting at the table takes a little planning, but if properly thought out, can ensure that board members are only at relevant meetings, to which they can contribute meaningfully.

This board briefing aims to present an overview of the various roles which are often present on any board.

Download form as Word document or PDF.

Download form as Word document or PDF.

Download form as Word document or PDF.

Your board may establish a range of committees to deal with specific issues. This allows for more detailed thinking and discussion at each committee, freeing up time during board meetings. The purpose of this board briefing is to outline the remit for the committees your board should consider establishing.

Board planning days are an opportunity for the board to show leadership by setting the strategic direction of the organisation and reviewing progress. They are an opportunity for productive debate and a different kind of thinking, without the constraints of a tight agenda. They are an opportunity for the board and staff to come together and learn from each other. They also provide an opportunity for team-building and for learning and development of board members.

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A board code of conduct is a set of rules, principles, values and standards which guide how an organisation conducts its business so that it both provides a return on investment, and respects the rights of all stakeholders in the business.

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Conflicts of interest are undergoing increasing scrutiny, both internally and externally by auditors and the media. The Companies Act 2006 states that directors have a duty to avoid conflicts of interest. Therefore it is important that all board members understand what constitutes a conflict of interest, and how it may be managed to ensure the probity and integrity of the board.

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It is important to ensure that no director or senior manager is involved in taking a decision or participates in a discussion on any matter where that person has a conflict of interest.

Every organisation carries risks. Traditionally, risk assessments have focussed on risks which might lead to employees or customers being hurt. These risks include things such as working with dangerous substances, working at heights or with machinery and slip and trip hazards. Increasingly, boards are recognising that the risk management methodology should also be applied to risks such as loss of key customers or suppliers, market downturn or bank failure. A risk assessment identifies risks and how these can be dealt with.

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This board briefing highlights some of the most common risks and hazards found in organisations. It is not exhaustive and your risk assessment must be tailored to your own organisation. Some common methods of minimising or avoiding the risks are also included.

Serious and unforeseen incidents can happen to any organisation, no matter what size. One of the responsibilities of a board is to ensure contingency plans are in place so that if the worst does happen, business can continue. A contingency plan is a process that prepares an organisation to respond effectively and coherently to an unplanned event. A contingency plan can be also used as an alternative action plan if the original plan fails to generate the desired result.

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