For a downloadable version of this template click here.
Agenda Item: [Item Number]
Agenda Item: [Title of paper]
Sponsor: [The sponsor(s) name and title(s)]
Presenter: [The presenter(s) name and title(s)]
Insert the exact wording of the proposed resolution the board is being asked to pass. If approved without amendment, this is what will appear in the meeting minutes. The draft resolution must be clear and concise. However, in doing so, the resolution when combined with the paper must contain sufficient detail that will allow the people responsible for any action to know the extent of their authority and responsibilities. Of course, the final resolution acts as a historical and legal record should the matter ever be disputed.
Purpose and Context:
In this section, explain in no more than  lines what the paper is about and what it is endeavouring to achieve. The paragraph should be clear and concise and should state why the paper is being submitted to the board.
Outline in no more than  page the background to what is being proposed to the board providing the information necessary for a proposal to be understood by a non-executive director, who does not have the background knowledge of an executive managing the particular matter on a day-to-day basis. As such, any unfamiliar terminology or acronyms should be explained.
Summarise any previous board consideration of the specific proposal.
If it is not possible to explain the background to a proposal in the space of  page, include an attachment(s) and provide further details. The use of graphs and tables can often convey the message more effectively and in less time than narrative.
Identify any external advice/consultants/information involved in the preparation of the proposal.
Outline the recommendation in no more than  page. Do not repeat the statements made in the sections above. Most recommendations should be sufficiently detailed to stand alone, that is, to make sense without accompanying text.
Mention the options that were considered by management and explain why the preferred option was chosen. Identify the key decision-making criteria and note how each option performs against that criteria. Use a table and/or chart, if this helps communicate the point.
Also detail the outcomes that management is seeking to achieve from the proposal. If the implications of the proposal are complex, include an attachment(s) and provide further details.
Explain in no more than  lines how this proposal is aligned to the agreed strategic and business plans.
Explain in no more than  lines the financial implications of the proposal. Once again, this should take the form of an executive summary approach. If the financial implications are complex, such as a detailed capital expenditure proposal for a large project, include an attachment and provide further details.
This section might include comments on whether the expenditure is budgeted or unbudgeted, the proposed timing of the expenditure and cash flow implications. If a detailed business case has been prepared for a proposal, the major financial points of the case should be summarised here.
Analyse in no more than  lines the major risks associated with the proposal and explain how these risks will be managed. This information may be presented using the following table format.
Impact of risk†
Strategy to manage risk
* For example, likelihood ratings: 1 (Rare); 2 (Unlikely); 3 (Possible); 4 (Likely); 5 (Almost Certain)
† For example, impact ratings: 1(Insignificant); 2 (Minor); 3 (Moderate); 4 (Major); 5 (Catastrophic)
Legal and Compliance
Outline in no more than  lines any legal implications of the proposal. The adoption of appropriate internal risk management and compliance processes will be a condition precedent to the Board considering and approving a proposal.
Outline what KPIs and/or reporting to the Board will occur during and after implementation.
Identify the manager who will have responsibility for the proposal as well as the executive who will deal with the matter on a day-to-day basis.
Signing of Board Paper
Chief Executive Officer Sponsor
The following people have been involved in the preparation of this Board paper:
List the names and titles of the people involved in the preparation of the Board paper.
Attachments need to be clearly labelled so the reader knows what the document is without having to trace it back through the text. Where there are multiple attachments, an index should be included either at the bottom of the paper or as a coversheet to the attachments.