Checklist: Board appraisals

By governance expert Judith Rich

Judith Rich
Judith Rich

It is almost universally believed that, following the practice of chairs appraising the chief executives, chairs themselves should be appraised.

But should this be done by another member of the board and, if so, how is that person selected?

Should it be done by a representative of the governance committee (if such exists) or by one of the other officers? Additionally, should the whole board be appraised individually or would some general assessment suffice?

Appraisal measurement techniques are widely available and do not need to vary widely from honed good HR practice.

The outline of the appraisal should be agreed in advance by the board and should be relevant to the vision, mission and objectives of the organisation, and the practical role that is being assessed.

This is a sensitive area and care should be taken to ensure personal views do not play a significant part in the reports that follow. This is important if the chief executive is playing any part in the process, for his or her own employment could be considered to be jeopardised if this were to be used in an incorrect manner. Forward thought must always be given to this and to the more practical aspects of the process.

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