Performance appraisal

The management committee/board should regularly review and assess its own performance, that of individual management committee/board members and of sub-committees, standing groups and other bodies.

(Supporting principle to Principle 4 of The Code of Governance)

Performance appraisal of the management committee or of individual members may seem daunting or even offputting.  However, as volunteers, it is good practice for committee members to have this opportunity for review and to highlight support and development needs.  As the effective 'guardians' of the organisation, the management committee has a responsibilty to ensure that it is working effectively as a team and continues to be capable of meeting the demands of the role.

How can appraisal be carried out?

Each management committee needs to put in place appropriate mechanisms to facilitate regular performance appraisal.  The committee will need to agree:

  • how frequently will the appraisal take place?;
  • how will the management committee's collective performance be reviewed and assessed?;
  • how will the performance of sub-committees/advisory groups/standing groups be reviewed?;
  • who will be responsible for individual appraisal of committee members?;
  • who will be responsible for appraisal of honorary officers?; and
  • what mechanisms, procedures or approach will be used for individual performance appraisal?

Performance appraisal tools

Whether your Management Committee appears to be operating relatively smoothly or has already identified issues, it is still worthwhile taking time to review how effectively your Management Committee is able to carry out its role and responsibilities, ensuring that your organisation has clear direction and purpose.

There are a number of tools available to assist you in doing this:

1. Rate your effectiveness using a simple checklist

This helpful tool avoids much of the detail but can help you start to think about areas where you could improve how your committee operates. Handy enough to be used by the whole committee. Click here to download the checklist.  Want to go further? This action plan template helps you to document areas of concern and plan action to address areas for development.

2. Use existing quality standards as a benchmark

How do you measure up against the standards indicated in:

  • The Code of Good Governance - Developed specifically for voluntary and community organisations in Northern Ireland, the Code provides a benchmark for good practice.  Click here to access the text of the Code.  A short publication is free to download here.  Order a poster  of the standards for your management committee.
  • PQASSO (Practical Quality Assurance System for Small Organisations) – covers areas other than governance. Approach is based around self-assessment and gradual development and improvement. Accreditation available for those who meet the standard.
  • National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Trustees and Management Committee Members – These standards are designed to assist the growing number of individuals acting as the volunteers who have the ultimate responsibility for their organisation. They set out the competences that trustees and management committee members need to carry out their role effectively. Use the NOS for individual performance appraisal.