Board succession planning

Board succession planning is a way of ensuring a board remains effective by maintaining a steady supply of trustees with relevant skills and attributes.The rules governing the appointment of new trustees and their term of office (length of appointment) are usually set out in a charity’s governing document.  Rules vary from charity to charity. For example, some boards appoint new trustees with unlimited terms of office; some have regular changes in board membership and a charity membership that elects new trustees. A board might review its succession planning arrangements when, for example: Trustees are due to stand down and individuals with relevant skills are lost Trustees’ terms of office end and there is no plan in place to find new trusteesTrustees are never required to stand down and it becomes clearly beneficial for some trustees to move on – perhaps because the board needs different skills and attributes or because there is tension on the board or simply a need for fresh perspectives. A review of succession planning might, in practice, lead a board to review how it plans the recruitment of new trustees and whether the terms of office for trustees best meet the board’s needs. It might lead to changes in the governing document.Whatever approach is taken, the board must ensure that trustee appointments and changes to the governing document are made in accordance with the law and the provisions in the existing governing document.

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