Board member – MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS AUCKLAND

Time commitment: 7 Board meetings per year, and additional Committee meetings as required. Approximately 4 – 10 hours per month.

Description

To be a Board member of a charitable society is an exciting and fulfilling role. The most effective Boards are ones which benefit from individuals with a diverse range of backgrounds, experiences and skill sets. The role of a Board member is to ensure that MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS AUCKLAND (the Society) fulfils its duty to its beneficiaries and delivers on our vision, mission and values.

The Board members are jointly and severally responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of the Society, its financial health, the probity of its activities and developing the Society’s aims, objectives and goals in accordance with the governing document, legal and regulatory guidelines.

All Board members, should also be aware of, and understand, their individual and collective responsibilities, and should not be overly reliant on one or more individual Board members in any particular aspect of the governance of the Society.

Meeting legal requirements

The board’s first duty is to the legal entity. In meeting this duty members must ensure that all legal requirements under the relevant Acts are met and that the entity is protected from harmful situations and circumstances in the interests of current and future stakeholders.

The board also has a responsibility to the Society’s members, the MS community and the wider Auckland community to ensure that the available resources are used to deliver the ‘right outcomes’ to the ‘right people’ in the ‘right way’ and at the “right time”.

Board responsibilities:

  • Setting and monitoring the Society’s mission, purpose, direction, priorities and strategies within the boundaries of the society’s constitution and legal obligations.
  • Actively involving key stakeholders and maintaining positive relationships with them.
  • Specifying key outcomes and priorities and ensuring there are adequate resources (people and finances) to achieve these.
  • Being accountable for the management of the Society’s finances and stewardship of their assets.
  • Appointing and supporting the General Manager.
  • Identifying and evaluating the Society’s risks and monitoring organisational risk management.
  • Developing and maintain policies that allow the Society to best serve its stakeholders.  
  • Ensuring the Society complies with statutory and contractual requirements.
  • Monitoring the Society’s services and delivery performance.
  • Regularly scanning the environment in which the Society operates to ensure that what it’s attempting to achieve remains relevant and achievable.
  • Reporting, at least annually, to stakeholders and contracting agencies.
  • Setting standards for and evaluating its own governance performance.
  • Maintaining a Board Member succession plan.

As well as the various statutory duties, any Board Member should make full use of any specific skills, knowledge or experience to help the Board make good decisions.

Person specification

Potential Board Members are sought who have a strong empathy with our mission. Experience, skills, and expertise in health governance, an interest in community-based services as well as chronic health or disability care, are particularly sought.

Experience:

  • Ideally, successful experience of operating within a board or committee in a charitable, public sector or commercial entity, particularly in the broader health sector. If limited experience, a good understanding of governance responsibilities will be considered.
  • Demonstrable experience of building and sustaining relationships with key stakeholders and colleagues to achieve objectives
  • A proven track record of sound judgement and effective decision making
  • A history of impartiality, fairness and the ability to respect confidences
  • A track record of commitment to promoting equality and diversity

Knowledge, skills and understanding:

  • Commitment to the Society and a willingness to devote the necessary time and effort
  • Preparedness to make unpopular recommendations to the Board, and a willingness to speak their mind, based on sound analysis
  • Understanding of requirement to put personal views aside to reach consensus in decisions which best meet the Society’s needs
  • Willingness to be available for subcommittee or portfolio responsibilities as required
  • Good, independent judgement and strategic vision
  • An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of Board membership
  • An ability to work effectively as a member of a team
  • An understanding of the respective roles of the Chair, Board Members, and Management

The requirements of the Board Secretary include taking minutes and distributing Board papers, and supporting the General Manager in Board compliance where appropriate.

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