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Collaborative knowledge by the Charity Labs members.

Welcoming a new board member

A welcome letter and an induction plan are among the first items a director receives upon his appointment to the board.

New directors should be inducted on to the board using a well-structured director induction program specific to the organisation and the sector in which the organisation operates.

Director Welcome Letter

Once a new director has been formally appointed, the chair should send a letter of welcome as part of the induction process covering director’s:

  • rights, duties and responsibilities
  • expected work and time commitment
  • obligation to act in the best interests of the public entity
  • need to avoid, declare and deal with any conflicts of interest
  • arrangements for the induction program.


Director Induction Program and Package

A director induction program should include a formal meeting with the chair, chief executive officer and any other relevant staff, such as the board secretary.

The meeting with the chair should cover issues such as the term of appointment, duties, rights and responsibilities, meeting dates and access to papers and training programs.

The induction package should contain the relevant governance documents, including:

  • a brief history of the organisation
  • an organisational chart
  • the corporate governance handbook, board charter and Directors’ Code of Conduct
  • current corporate and business plans
  • financial statements and the most recent financial report to the board
  • the most recent risk management plan
  • business operating guidelines and procedures
  • annual report for the previous year
  • committee structure and terms of reference
  • board delegations
  • dates and times for upcoming board meetings and major events
  • list of carried forward items from the last board meeting
  • arrangements for declarations of conflicts of interest
  • arrangements for payment of remuneration, if applicable, and reimbursement of expenses.

The induction program should include:

  • connecting the new director with an experienced mentor on the board and a management representative
  • training on topics, such as understanding financial reports and the activities of the organisation
  • a tour of the public entity’s premises and operations and an opportunity to meet with staff
  • copies of other relevant legislation, policy and procedure documents
  • information about stakeholders
  • a list of major funding sources
  • selected press clippings, reviews and publications
  • contact details for all directors, the board secretary and senior management.