Training and development for the board

Given the level of responsibility the board holds, it is vital that every member has the skills and abilities they need to carry out their role.

Management committees/boards should have or ensure that all their members receive the necessary induction, training and ongoing support needed to discharge their duties effectively.

To maximise the benefits of training and support, management committees need to take the time to plan how to ensure they are equipped to carry out their responsibilities.  The dynamics of the role may mean that members find it challenging to commit additional time and management committees may be reluctant to prioritise resources for training.  It is therefore important to be flexible and creative in how and when training and support is provided.

Help in planning training and support

This website provides flexible access to tools, resources and information that can be used within your own committee to help you plan and implement your training strategy.  Outlined below are five areas which you should consider with links to help you access relevant resources.

1.  Develop induction for all committee members

Induction is one of the most practical ways of ensuring new Management Committee members understand their role, the workings of the organisation and their relationship with others in and outside the organisation. All organisations, regardless of their size and purpose, should provide an induction programme for new Committee members. The better your induction, the more effective new members will be!  Create a standard induction process for new members and reduce your ongoing training requirements.

Just setting this up?  Here's some ideas for how to ensure that existing members have the same information:

  • involve the full committee in agreeing what the induction should cover and in discussing and approving any documentation provided at induction;

  • provide all members with an induction pack for reference; and

  • set aside part of a meeting to go through the planned induction with existing members and get their feedback on what was covered or items missing.

Checklist: Induction of new members

2.  Develop mechanisms for support

What support is available for management committee members?  Review how you provide support or mentoring to individual members and particularly to new members.  Will this be provided by the Chair or specific members? How frequently?  What form will this take?  This can help to highlight training or development needs on an individual basis and ensure they are able to carry out their role effectively.

Look at good practice guidance on managing volunteers for advice on providing support and supervision.

As Good As They Give

3.  Identify training needs

Make the most of the time and resources you have available by ensuring any training provided meets the specific needs of your committee and its members at that time.  Use our skills audit to both identify and prioritise training needs for the committee.

Worksheet:  Carrying out a skills diversity audit

4. How will training/development/support needs be addressed?

There are a number of options for addressing your identified skills needs.  Consider what is most appropriate for each area and which best suits the dynamic and resources of your management committee.  You can use this website to:

  • access further information, advice and resources on specific topics - this can be useful to enable committee members to learn and development independently in their own time;
  • identify organisations that can provide tailored support and advice; and
  • develop your own in-house training sessions - much of the documentation and resources on this site can be downloaded and used to develop your own mini training sessions (please refer to copyright notes).

5. Monitor, evaluate and review

Don't forget!  Make sure that your needs are being adequately addressed by monitoring what training or support is being accessed, evaluating the quality of what was provided and regularly reviewing your training and support needs in light of a changing environment.

Monitoring and evaluation

Quick Reference