Shaping your board for success 

An effective board of an organisation defines its purpose and sets a strategy to deliver it, underpinned by the values and behaviours that shape its culture and the way it conducts its business.  

12 December 2022 - Paul Goddard

One way of enhancing the impact of a board is commission an independent board effectiveness review. This will provide independent feedback to you, reviewing the performance of your board, evaluating what works well and highlighting areas for development.  

What are the benefits of an independent board effectiveness review?

A regular board evaluation from an independent body help boards to improve both their own performance and the performance of the wider organisation. Having an independent reviewer can bring greater objectivity and fresh insights to the board’s processes and can help the board identify any issues that it might need to address. It can also provide some reassurance to stakeholders that the board takes its responsibilities seriously. 

Who needs to have an independent board effectiveness review?  

In a number of sectors this assessment has become a requirement, and in others, there is now a clear expectation that an independent governance review should form part of your organisation’s quality cycle. It is an increasingly popular practice that supports your board that underpins the continuing need to develop good governance practice. It is highly recommended for charities and not for profit organisations and is looked on favourably by grant awarding bodies and regulatory authorities.  

What will an independent reviewer be looking for? 

Our reviews are tailored to each client and would usually include an evaluation of the board’s: – 

  • Culture and behaviour – how the board takes the lead for setting the organisations structure 
  • Purpose and leadership – how the strategic direction is set, and progress monitored, aligning strategic decisions with the agreed strategy 
  • Structures and business flow – how well the board structure is working, the delegation to supporting committees, and clarity over the annual cycle of business. Do managers regularly report on key outcomes and targets, and does the board receive early warnings of problems that may adversely affect these? 
  • Skills and capacity – how board member skills and capacity is reviewed, induction delivered and appointments to the board made 
  • Risk and agility – the level to which the risk framework has been developed as an enabler for the organisation 
  • Responsibilities, approval, and standards – how the board formally accepts its legal duties on appointment and ensures that all statutory responsibilities are approved by the board.  
  • Engagement and voice – how board engagement with internal and external stakeholders is achieved. Are relations with key stakeholders productive and supported by open and regular communication? 
  • Impact and reach – how the board measures their collective and individual contributions 

Our specialist team can draw on a wealth of experience in both the public and private sectors to review board effectiveness review. We can help your board to make sure your organisation is operating most effectively and are proactive in suggesting meaningful improvements.  

For more information on evaluating and developing your board’s effectiveness, please get in touch with our Risk and Assurance team on 0330 058 6559 or email  



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