Board Member Self Assessment Tool

How is your association performing?

A management tool to assess your Association

The not-for-profit sector employs 8% of the Australian workforce and contributes $15 billion per annum to the Australian economy (Third Sector, Lyons, 2008). With over 4,000 incorporated associations very little is understood about the characteristics of best practice associations. Association Executive Services developed this association self-assessment tool as a means to assisting management to understand their current performance against best practice associations.

Why do I need to do this?

As a person who has an interest, employed or a leader of the association, there are limited opportunities to review and assess the total management systems within the organisation. By completing this self - assessment you will be able to compare your perception of the association with others within the same organisation who have completed the same assessment. You will also have the opportunity to compare your association with others from associations who have completed the same assessment.

How to use this check list

The results of this assessment will be used to better understand the areas of excellence and improvement in your organisation. On some occasions, general results may be shared with stakeholders within the association however, all results are presented anonymously. Councilors, directors, senior management and all are asked to rate the association against the criteria.

Answer all the questions from your perspective or knowledge of the organisation.

  • If you do not know what the question is referring to just select “I don’t know”
  • If you know what the question is referring to and you, and you are not sure if it is in place or not just select “Not in Place”
  • If you are aware the management system or process is in place just select “In Place”
  • If you know the system is in place and working properly, and you can provide evidence then select this box.

Please note if you tick the last box and indicate you have evidence it is working then you must be prepared to present how the system is working and the results.

Step 1: Member's Information

First Name
Last Name
Email Address
Phone Number
What is your position in the organisation?
How long have you been in this position (or similar)?
How long have you been involved in the organisation?
Is the organisation?
Is the Organisation?

Step 2: Governance

Assess your Board / Executive Committee governance
Don't Know
Not in Place
In place
In place and working; can provide evidence
1. A Constitution that reflects the present and future direction of the association is in place
2. Clear documented board policies or by-laws supporting the constitution are in place
3. A formal induction process on the duties and responsibilities for all directors and appointed office bearers are in place
4. Tools to demonstrate that Board members understand their governance roles and responsibilities is used after induction
5. Mechanisms/systems for the Board to develop and review board policies are operating
6. Mechanisms to ensure the Board focuses on planning strategic outcomes by referring to the strategic plan during board meetings
7. The board is able to assess the performance of the organisation using defined key performance indicators
8. A succession plan for board members is in place
9. Reports to the Board on progress against key performance indicators (as identified in the strategic plan) are in place
10. Processes and mechanisms that identify the performance and achievements of the CEO/ Executive/ Board Members including a regular performance review process are in place
Assess your strategic planning
Don't Know
Not in Place
In place
In place and working; can provide evidence
11. An organisation strategic (and/or business plan) is in place
12. Accurate and reliable data and information (member surveys, etc) to inform strategic planning is in place
13. Within the strategic plan, clearly documented goals and measurable objectives (either in the strategic or business plan) are in place
14. Within the strategic plan defined vision and mission statements with core values (documented and measurable) are in place
15. Within the strategic plan key performance indicators (both qualitative and quantitative measures ) are in place
16. Measures of the effectiveness of the strategic plan using key performance measures (eg membership growth) are in place

Step 3: Leadership

Assess your association leadership
Don't Know
Not in Place
In place
In place and working; can provide evidence
17. Strategies to empower leadership of the association are in place
18. Clear levels of responsibilities and accountabilities between the board and operational staff are in place
19. Measures of effectiveness and mechanisms to measure the effectiveness of the leadership of the organisation are in place
20. Professional development plans for the leader/s managers/volunteers of the association are in place
21. A strong culture of professionalism among the operational leaders of the association where they identify themselves as association professionals and actively develop their skills and knowledge through formal and informal learning is in place
Assess your management systems and processes
Don't Know
Not in Place
In place
In place and working; can provide evidence
22. Documentation of all key operational processes is in place
23. Documentation of all actual work procedures within the association is in place
24. Training for operational staff and volunteers in the processes and procedures is in place
25. Formal review mechanisms to assess if the processes and procedures are followed are in place
26. A culture of continual improvement of all processes and procedures is in place

Step 4: People

Asses your people (for associations with paid staff)
Do you have any paid staff?
Assess your Committees and Volunteers
Don't Know
Not in Place
In place
In place and working; can provide evidence
35. An Induction process for all committees and volunteers outlining their roles and responsibilities is in place
36. A strong understanding by all committee members and volunteers about their work expectations and outcomes is in place
37. A strong understanding by all committee members and volunteers of the reporting structure within the association is in place
38. A process of reward and recognition for committee members and volunteers is in place

Step 5: Finance

Assess your Finance performance
Don't Know
Not in Place
In place
In place and working; can provide evidence
39. A budget that supports the strategic plan is in place
40. Standard accounting procedures to track income and expenditure are in place
41. Arrangements for an annual internal or external audit of financials is in place
42. Regular financial reports including items such as budget to actual, annual and YTD and variations are in place
43. Sufficient surpluses to support ongoing development activities are in place
44. Financial reports that enable management to give the board a good understanding of the financial performance are in place
Assess your Risk Management Systems
Don't Know
Not in Place
In place
In place and working; can provide evidence
45. An independent risk management committee that reports to the board is in place
46. Risk assessment reports on all major contracts entered into by the association are in place
47. Documentation of discussion of risk assessment reports (as board minutes, resolutions) is in place
48. Adequate insurance policies eg association insurance, event insurance, professional indemnity, volunteers etc) are in place
49. Systems to prevent internal theft of monies or incidents of forgery or embezzlement are in place
50. Systems for disaster recovery including recovery of data due to fire, flood, theft or hacking are in place

Step 6: Relationship

Assessment of members/stakeholders/clients/customer relationships
Don't Know
Not in Place
In place
In place and working; can provide evidence
51. Evidence that our members/stakeholders actively use our products and services is in place
52. Evidence that our membership/stakeholder engagement is growing is in place
53. Evidence that our membership/stakeholders attrition levels are below 5% is in place
54. A mechanism to survey our members/stakeholders on an annual basis is in place
55. Evidence that indicates our members/stakeholders are satisfied with our services is in place
56. A process to welcome and engage new members/stakeholders to our association is in place
57. An exit interview process for non-renewing members/stakeholders is in place
Assess your information technology
Don't Know
Not in Place
In place
In place and working; can provide evidence
58. A reliable membership database is in place
59. A database that can generate updated member reports is in place
60. Reliable and easy to understand member reports and data are in place
61. Facilities for members to update their details online is in place
62. Facilities for members and stakeholders to register for events online is in place
63. Checks to ensure membership data is accurate and valid are in place
64. A current user manual for the database is in place
65. Data analytics are in place
66. Processes and procedures to ensure the Association website is current and meets the needs of our members/stakeholders is in place