One of the most important steps to take before joining any board is to carry out due diligence – gathering vital business information about the organisation with the vacant board role.

It may help if you ask some questions – both of the board and of yourself – before deciding whether to accept a board position. Make a list of the questions you want answered to inform your decision.

This list is a guide only. You may want to add more questions specific to your own circumstances.

Questions for the board to answer:

  • What are the organisation’s roles, mission, and direction? 
  • Why do you want me on the board?
  • What skills or experience are needed for the role? 
  • Who else is on the board and what are their backgrounds? 
  • What is the reputation and track record of the organisation’s Chief Executive? 
  • What phase is the board in? 
  • What will my responsibilities be? 
  • Do you have a job description for the board members? 
  • How much time is required of a board member? 
  • What information or support will be available to assist me as a board member? 
  • May I review some recent meeting minutes?  
  • How financially viable is the organisation? 
  • Has there been any litigation or complaints involving the organisation and the board? 
  • Do the board have goals? Are those goals achievable? 

Questions for yourself:

  • What do I want out of this experience? 
  • Can I add value to this board? 
  • Do I consider this to be a supportive organisation? 
  • Can I hold this position with integrity and without unmanageable conflicts of interest? 
  • Can I commit the time and energy the position deserves? 

Join our nominations database

Do you have the skills for a board position, or is this something you aspire to? Find out about building your governance career.

If you‘re ready to take on a governance role on a public sector board, please join our Nominations Service database.

Join our professional network: Connect on LinkedIn

Follow The Ministry’s LinkedIn page to see our latest resources and opportunities to further your governance career.

Leadership Learning Hub

The Leadership Learning Hub shows a range of courses and resources to grow your leadership and governance skills in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Search through the Hub to find information on available courses and resources, and links to each provider’s website where you can find out more. 

New opportunities will be added to the Hub regularly.