Board Policy Manuals

Board policies do various things. Some describe how important processes, such as board self evaluation and CEO evaluation, are carried out. Other policies address standards of conduct such as a conflict of interest policy. Still others clarify delegations of authority such as the levels of authority granted to subsidiary boards, board committees and the CEO.

A Board Policy Manual organizes all current board policy statements in a convenient place for ready reference and regular updating. Some organizations have made their board policies available online through an intranet. This list is intended as starting point for developing a Board Policy Manual: It isn’t all inclusive nor does every board need all the policies below.

Policies about Board Responsibilities and Conduct

1. Position description for a board member, including the performance expectations for a board member (attendance, participation, etc.)

2. Position description for the board chairperson

3. Conflict of interest policy

4. Confidentiality policy or a board conduct policy

5. Chain of command (how board members should respond when approached about problems or issues by employees, physicians or community members)

Policies about Board Governance Processes

6. Board self-evaluation

7. Board education

8. CEO goal-setting and evaluation

9. Executive compensation

10. Strategic planning

11. Operating and capital budgets

12. Internal and external audit review

13. Medical staff credentialing policy (for hospital boards) plus policies on related issues, such as credentialing for cross-specialty procedures

Other Common Policies

14. Position description for the chief executive officer

15. Delegation of spending and decision making authority

16. Investment policy

17. Board composition and diversity

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