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The value of a governance documentation review

An external governance documentation review can provide a board with several advantages, including maintaining quality assurance for changes in policies, staying up to date with regulatory requirements and ensuring good practice governance is being reflected. If your organisation’s governance documentation hasn’t been reviewed in some time, it would be prudent to consider making this an annual, or at least biennial event.

An external governance documentation review can provide a board:

  • Independent assurance that its policies and other documentation are up to date with regulatory requirements and reflect good practice governance
  • An opportunity to question the relevance of why a particular document exists, what level of detail is included, who the audience is, what is being recorded or omitted, what the writer may be taking for granted and if the policy follows a standard template
  • Information on whether or not it is ‘unobtrusive’, as the only impact on the board will be a report on the outcomes of the review with improvement opportunities identified for both the board and organisation
  • An overall quality assurance’ for major changes, minor revisions or a new policies

Effective Governance’s approach involves reviewing the board’s complete suite of documents against our leading practice checklists to provide observations and any recommendations for enhancement.

The documentation requested as part of a comprehensive review includes:

  • Governing document, e.g., constitution 
  • Board meeting packs
  • Committee meeting packs
  • Board and committee charters or terms of reference
  • Governance policies, e.g., code of conduct, conflict of interest policy, delegations manual/register, whistleblower policy
  • Other documentation, e.g., CEO position description, company secretary or equivalent position description, director’s letter of appointment, board induction program.

For an external review, it must be made clear to the board that the documentation provided will be kept in strictest confidence and used only for the purpose of the evaluation ‒ confidentiality agreements can be entered into where the board or its legal advisers are concerned about the release of potentially sensitive documents to a third party.

For more information please contact our team

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