Principle Four: Board Structure

The resources within Principle Four have been provided to help boards further understand the appropriate mechanisms which can be implemented to ensure a balanced, inclusive and skilled board.

There are three elements contributing to effectiveness of the board and workforce: The board must be the right size; big enough to allow for constructive debate but not so big that decision making becomes difficult.

Directors need term limits, enabling the board to refresh and to introduce independent perspectives and prevent stagnation. The board must stick to strategic discussion and set a structure for the management of staff and volunteers to deliver on operational matters. The board and the workforce must be recruited for the skills their organisation needs. Once people are in place, organisations should commit to their further development.

Board roles are jobs, not honours, so people must be recruited for the right reasons. Finally, diversity is crucial to effective decision making. A good balance of skills, experience, backgrounds, ethnicity and gender creates better circumstances for decision making than in more homogeneous groups. By being more representative of stakeholders and the public at large, diversity also improves the perceived accountability and legitimacy of the organisation.

The resources below will assist in implementing this principle.

Board Recruitment

Board Structure

Organisational Structure

Sample Board member Eligibility declaration

Board member recruitment for sports organisations

Chairperson Job Description template

Board Skills Matrix template

Welcoming your new board member

Swim Wales Board Description

Guidance on Board Structure

How to write an advert