Board Self-Assessment

It is important to take a close look at the board as a whole. No one is responsible for directing a board. Board self-assessments are a vital element of governance practices for boards and can help ensure that boards can successfully fulfill their role as leaders in turbulent times.

Successful assessments pinpoint strengths in governance as well as areas which the board can improve its performance to better fulfill its governance responsibilities. They can provide valuable insights that will guide the board’s efforts and attention for the upcoming year. A board can conduct its own assessment with the help of a board development consultant or use a commercially available tool. The Board Self-Assessment Questionnaire is a ideal choice for many non-profit organizations. It was created by the Center in 2009 and has been used by thousands of members of boards across the US and overseas since then.

If you choose to conduct your own evaluation we suggest that you begin by determining the scope of the evaluation. Many boards decide to evaluate the entire board, the board’s members, or committees. Clarity about the objective and process of the assessment is critical to a positive outcome.

Once you have decided on the scope of the evaluation, you should consider hiring an independent third-party facilitator to help guide the process. A facilitator with experience will guide the discussion, making sure that all members of the board feel comfortable giving honest feedback.

Some boards compare their results with the results of other hospitals or health systems. However, due the vast differences in structure, size, and extent of authority, a lot corporate governance system of databases don’t offer apples-to -apples comparisons.