Board advisory and consulting

How can we help your board?

The Board Advisory service provides trusted board advice and benchmarking, focusing on best practice governance and board effectiveness.

Advice

We provide leading-edge advice on the key issues in governance that your board is facing.

Consultation

We partner with your organisation to implement best-practice governance.

Diagnostic

We use state of the art diagnostic tools to help evaluate your needs with a focus on enhancing board performance.

Benchmarking

We benchmark your organisation against others in your market to help enhance your performance.

Board Advisory

AICD’s advisory service focuses specifically on governance. We are independent. We do not provide legal or accounting advice or extend into areas within the arena of management consulting. Our interest is resolutely focused on providing the best quality governance advice to our clients, uncompromised by conflicted interests in other advisory service areas. We work with boards and executive teams to ensure that governance is aligned with the strategic objectives of the business and structured in a way that drives performance outcomes.

Guided Governance Self-Assessments

The AICD offers several different tools designed to assist boards in assessing attributes of their governance arrangements.

Board members are provided with a series of “good governance” statements designed by the AICD, which they are asked to assess in their board’s context.

A confidential report is prepared by the AICD which outlines the results of the review, including those areas perceived by board members as areas of governance strength, and those areas considered to present potential opportunities for improvement.

These tools provide:

  • a framework for guided self-assessment
  • an opportunity for board members to contribute their views and gain a deeper appreciation of others' views
  • a mechanism for the board to surface governance issues (in part due to the AICD's de-identification of responses in its report)
  • a grounding for board discussions focused on determining areas of improvement and action plans.

1. Governance Analysis Tool

Our proprietary Governance Analysis Tool (GAT) is designed to focus the board’s attention on a broad set of governance matters.

Based on Company Directors’ Corporate Governance Framework™, the GAT considers governance aspects relating to individual directors, the board, the organisation, and the organisation’s stakeholders.

Board members are provided with a series of approximately 155 “good governance” statements that go to the heart of the area to be examined. Statements are assessed on a maturity rating scale and are supported by guidance notes describing the area under review, how it is applied and what directors should be observing as leading practice, offering an educational element to the review process where this may be of benefit.

The GAT is likely to be most suitable for those boards seeking to:

  • consider a wide coverage of governance matters
  • provide an educational element for participants.

Find out more

Click here for a demo of the GAT.


2. Board Review

Our Board Review Tool is designed to focus on key drivers of board performance.

The Board Review covers areas such as:

  • the role of the chair
  • board membership
  • the board's approach to strategy, risk, CEO arrangements and organisational culture
  • board meetings and papers
  • board dynamics
  • the board’s interaction with management.

Board members are presented with approximately 75 to 80 good governance statements and asked to assess these in their board’s context. Statements are assessed on a maturity rating scale.

The Board Review is likely to be most suitable for those boards:

  • seeking to focus on matters impacting board performance
  • that have a relatively sound knowledge of governance, and prefer a series of relatively short, sharp governance statements for assessment (in other words, are not looking for a general educational component).

Click here for a demo of the Board Review. 


3. Not-For-Profit Diagnostic Tool

The AICD has published its Not-for-Profit Governance Principles (the Principles). To help support those NFP organisations seeking to follow the Principles, the AICD has developed the Not-For-Profit Diagnostic Tool.

Board members are presented with a series of statements (some in matrix format) that align to the Principles, and are asked to assess these statements in their board’s context (approximately 130 assessments in total). In addition, there are a small number of supplementary open-ended questions.

Statements are assessed on an agreement scale, and board members have access to the Principles while undertaking their assessments.

One of the benefits of using the NFP Diagnostic Tool, is that the AICD publishes a range of guides for use by its members to supplement the Principles.

The NFP Diagnostic Tool is likely to be most suitable for those NFP boards seeking to follow the Principles, and looking for a way to demonstrate their commitment to this end.

Find out more. 

Assessment of Director Performance and Skill Contribution

The AICD also offers two tools that facilitate peer assessments for each director, with respect to either:

  • their individual performance on the board (Peer-to-Peer Review) or
  • the degree to which they possess the desired collective skills and capabilities sought by the board (Skills and Capabilities Review).

Board members are asked to assess each director (including themselves) on a set of criteria using an online survey.

Two confidential reports are prepared by the AICD which outline the results of the review – one intended for the board (which includes aggregated results) and one for the board chair (which includes self and peer scores for each director for the attributes being assessed).

These tools can:

  • provide a framework for self-assessment
  • assist in understanding the contribution of each director to board
  • support succession planning discussions
  • highlight where there are potential opportunities for improvement (e.g. in terms of director contributions, or closing collective skills gaps).

1. Peer-to-Peer Review

Whether it is in the boardroom or another team setting, the performance of a group can be enhanced through feedback being provided on the contribution or performance of each team member. It is therefore not surprising that many leading boards routinely conduct director performance reviews as part of their regular program of governance reviews.

While the chair is often described as being the “first among equals”, all board members have equal standing and, as such, director performance reviews usually take the form of peer-to-peer assessments. Our Peer-to-Peer Review allows boards to adopt a structured approach to director reviews. The Peer-to-Peer tool enables directors to assess both themselves and other board members on a core set of attributes that AICD considers indicate the extent to which directors are contributing to board performance.

The tool is designed for boards that are looking to support a performance discussion between the chair and each board member, by providing a mechanism (free from interviewer bias) by which board members can provide confidential assessments of other directors’ contributions (based on criteria that have been developed by AICD), in addition to their own self-assessments.


2. Skills and Capabilities Review

Having the right composition of skills, experience and other attributes on the board, which reflect the demands on the board and the nature of the organisation, is one of the main factors that drives superior board performance.

Our Skills and Capabilities diagnostic tool focuses the board’s attention on the composition of the board and the extent to which it is optimised to add value. The tool aids the board in assessing which of the necessary skills and capabilities it has identified for itself are most important, and where gaps currently exist or are likely to arise. Such skills and capabilities might relate, for example, to relevant functional knowledge, breadth of expertise and perspectives, an appreciation of impacting technologies and/or previous experience driving financial performance. The tool also explores the extent to which board members exhibit desired behavioural traits such as being open-minded and active listeners.

The tool is designed for boards that have already developed a suitable skills matrix (with ideally 8 to 10 components), and are looking for a mechanism (free from interviewer bias) by which board members can provide confidential assessments of other directors’ skills and capabilities, in addition to their own self-assessments.

Board Evaluation

In addition to governance reviews that entail a guided self-assessment, the AICD also conducts independent board evaluations.

The AICD’s board evaluations typically include four stages.

  1. The AICD familiarising itself with the organisation’s governance arrangements through discussions and reading relevant documentation.
  2. Gathering of insights from review participants using an online survey, interviews, or both.
  3. Analysis and report writing, including recommendations by the AICD.
  4. A board workshop, facilitated by an AICD Board Advisor, where there is a discussion of the key findings of the AICD’s evaluation, and consideration by the board of actions that should follow.

Board evaluations include:

  • an opportunity for review participants to provide feedback to the AICD, which will only be reported by the AICD (where it considers pertinent) on an anonymised basis
  • an objective analysis by the AICD of feedback provided on the matters covered in the review, and
  • identification by the AICD of areas that may require attention and improvement.

Want to know more?

Book a consultation with our team to talk about how we can help your organisation