Board director induction

A guide and checklist on the minimum requirements for inducting new board directors.

Induction programs for board directors may be managed or coordinated by:

  • departments, who sometimes manage an induction program for all board directors within their portfolio
  • the board’s secretary
  • public entity management or staff.

Induction checklist

New board directors should take part in a well-structured induction program. The program should relate specifically to their public entity and the sector in which their entity operates.

Entities and departments can use this checklist to make sure their new board directors have what they need in their induction.

A board director’s induction should help them understand:

  • their role, duties and obligations as a board director
  • the laws and policies that apply to them
  • their entity’s functions, powers and context.

They should get:

  • a briefing from the chair, such as a one-on-one meeting
  • an induction program, such as a series of presentations
  • an information kit, such as a slide deck or PDF
  • information relating to their access to ongoing professional development programs.

New chairs

If your board has an incoming chair, they should get:

  • a briefing about the board
  • support from their department with the board’s induction process for new board directors.

Changes that affect the board after their induction

When laws, policies or practices change during the board’s term, the CEO should update the board.

If your board directors have accessibility needs

Ask your board directors if they need any reasonable adjustments for their induction.

This may include things like:

  • accessible formats of documents
  • more time to review documents
  • transcriptions of videos.

For people with disability, it’s against the law to:

  • directly and indirectly discriminate against them
  • not provide reasonable adjustments for them.

You can only refuse to put reasonable adjustments in place if you give evidence of unjustifiable hardship(opens in a new window) to your entity or department.

It’s also your duty to uphold the 7 public sector values(opens in a new window) and the code of conduct, which includes promoting human rights.

Find out more about disability and the workplace(opens in a new window).

Document checklist

Victorian Public Sector Commission documents

Public sector governance documents

Code of conduct

Code of Conduct for Directors of Victorian Public Entities(opens in a new window)

Public Administration

Sections of the Public Administration Act 2004(opens in a new window) relevant to the board, such as:

  • public sector values (section 7)
  • public sector employment principles (section 8)
  • relationship to the department (section 13A)
  • where applicable, Divisions 2 and 3 of Part 5 of the Act (sections 77 to 90)

Financial management

An overview of their entity’s financial management and reporting obligations.

This outline should explain if their entity is subject to:

Whole of government

An overview or excerpts of relevant government legislation. For example, the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006(opens in a new window).

Your organisation’s documents

Establishing documents and related obligations

Give new board directors:

  • the entity’s establishing legislation or constituting terms of reference
  • Order-in-Council instruments
  • relevant Ministerial directions, guidelines, statements of obligations or expectations
  • government policies setting a strategic direction relevant to their entity.

Strategic direction

Give new board directors:

  • their board’s strategic and business plans
  • their entity’s current annual report.

Roles and responsibilities

Give new board directors:

  • board policies (each board director should have their own)
  • the board Charter or equivalent
  • terms of reference for committees of the board
  • their entity’s organisation chart
  • an outline of the roles and relationships between the entity, department and Minister
  • an outline of the roles and responsibilities of senior executives.

Performance assessment of the board

Give new board directors:

  • board assessment guide
  • board skills matrix.

Risk mitigation

Give new board directors:

  • their entity’s risk management framework
  • their board’s delegations of authority
  • their board’s financial authorisations
  • an overview of the controls their entity uses against fraud, corruption and other losses
  • a summary of any outsourced or shared service arrangements
  • a copy of their entity’s most recent financial audit.

Operating environment

Give new board directors an overview of their entity’s current:

  • operating environment
  • financial, operational and strategic position
  • issues, challenges and opportunities facing the board.

Oversight organisations

Give new board directors an overview of the Victorian government’s public sector integrity agencies, such as: