Onboarding should involve:

  • notifying the candidate that they have been successful, both verbally and through a letter of appointment
  • conducting a structured induction process
  • partnering the new Board Director with a more experienced Board Director
  • meeting with the Chair and Board Directors prior to the first Board meeting
  • obtaining feedback from new Board Directors after a specified period of time.

As soon as the appointment decision has been made, the public entity and the Chair should be formally notified of the appointment decision. This ensures they are aware of the composition of the Board and can plan accordingly.

If a Director’s term has expired and they have not re-applied or been re-appointed, a letter should be sent to the individual thanking them for their services.

9.1 Letter of Appointment

A formal letter of appointment should be sent to all successful candidates to notify them of their appointment to the Board. This letter can also be provided by the responsible governance officer(s) or the public entity as part of their induction process. The content of the letter will vary according to the type and size of the public entity but the following should be considered when developing the letter of appointment:

  • existing Directors being re-appointed should be sent a similar letter though the level of detail required would be less
  • letters sent regarding the appointment of a new Chair would be expected to contain additional and more specific information about that particular role.
Table 37: Letter of appointment
A letter of appointment should include:

  • the term of appointment, including commencement date and expiry date
  • an outline of the time commitment envisaged per month and schedule of meetings for the year
  • an outline of the powers and duties of the Director
  • an outline of expectations regarding involvement with committee work
  • an outline of the requirement to disclose Directors’ interests and any matters which will affect the Director’s independence
  • an outline of the remuneration and expenses
  • an outline of the indemnity and insurance arrangements
  • an outline of the induction training (if applicable)
  • an outline of the expectations of the Board, i.e. that the Director will comply with all statutory, constitutional, internal policies and regulatory requirements applicable to the public entity
  • a copy of any establishing legislation
  • a copy of the VPSC’s Welcome to the Board and Director’s Code of Conduct
  • an organisational chart of the management structure
  • an outline of any special duties attached to the position, specifically those that relate to the Director’s qualifications and experience.

9.2 Induction

Induction is an initiating activity which occurs between the appointment of a new Board Director and their attendance at the first Board meeting or meetings. Induction is often the first contact a Board Director has with their Board, and in some cases, it is their first experience of public entity governance and of being a public entity Director.

Induction procedures should be in place to allow new Directors to participate fully and actively in Board decision-making at the earliest opportunity. To be effective, new Directors need to have appropriate knowledge of the public entity and the industry within which it operates. Some new appointees will have extensive Board experience, however, induction is still required in order to familiarise the Director with the specific purpose and function of that particular Board.

Induction can be conducted by the department or the public entity.

Table 38: Induction pack
An induction pack should include:

  • the relevant establishing legislation
  • provide an understanding of the public entity’s financial, strategic, operational and risk management position
  • provide an understanding of the rights, duties and responsibilities of the Directors
  • provide an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of senior executives
  • provide an understanding of the role of Board committees
  • provide an understanding of the role of the Minister and department in relation to the public entity.