Preparing for a board role?

Interested in moving into a governance role? Here are some things to consider:

  • Find out what skills are required for a board role and what is expected of board members.
  • Address any gaps in your skills and experience so you will be ready to serve on a board. You may wish to take on a project, secondment, a committee role, a senior management role, have experience in a profit-and-loss organisation, undertake a course of study, or complete formal governance training.
  • Use this Cross-sector Governance Map to explore the range of different boards, their size, and their sector. Identify those which you are interested in. Finding a good match for your skills, experiences and interests is very important and will have an impact on the quality of your board experience.
  • Be clear about what you want from a board role and what you expect in return. Taking on a board role can mean that you expand existing skills or add new ones, broaden existing interests, fix problems, make new connections and expand your networks.
  • Develop a road map for your governance career. This may include taking a stepping stone approach starting with not-for-profit boards through sports, arts or community-based positions, working with a start-up or emerging business. Or you could take the executive approach  - use your management experience and skills to join a board and then build your governance experience.
  • Consider the approach you are most comfortable with. This may be the direct or indirect approach; finding a board internship, a sponsor or mentor; and taking a leadership role in your professional association or a role on the registration/disciplinary bodies for your profession (such as the Medical Council) as another way into governance. These boards can serve as an entry point, for example, an engineer with little to no governance experience may be able to serve on the Chartered Professional Engineers Council.
  • Talk to people who have secured board positions for information on prospective boards.

Once you have gained some board experience you may consider joining our database.