Better board packs: request for ideas

ICSA: The Governance Institute, with the support of Board Intelligence, is developing guidance on how to ensure that board packs are fit for purpose, providing the information that boards and governing bodies need in a clear, timely manner, while not taking too long to produce.

This follows research we conducted with Board Intelligence which found that organisations of all sizes and sectors were concerned that their board packs were too long, too operational too backward-looking, and took too long to produce.

The guidance will be issued in July with a cost calculator and an evaluation tool to help organisations assess their own board packs. It will cover all aspects of producing and preparing board packs, including:

  • Planning – agreeing the agenda and identifying the information the board needs
  • Commissioning – setting deadlines, specifying content and format and briefing authors
  • Writing – making sure the issues and decisions needed are set out clearly
  • Reviewing – agreeing appropriate sign-off procedures
  • Collating and distributing – timing, format and security

We hope the guidance will be useful to boards, management and governance professionals in all organisations. To make sure that happens, we want to draw on the experience of ICSA members and others involved in producing board packs.

In the guidance we want to include examples of innovation and changes that you have introduced that improved the content of the pack or the production process, along with any other ‘handy hints’ you might have.

If you are able to help, please contact us at betterboardpacks@icsa.org.uk by 30 April 2018 and let us know:

  • What you have done to improve the quality of your board papers
  • What you have done to make preparing and distributing the board pack more efficient
  • Who within the organisation helped implement these improvements.

Chris Hodge FCIS is policy advisor at ICSA: The Governance Institute

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