Board Performance Review

Board Performance Reviews, also known as board evaluations, are an important tool to support boards. Board Performance Reviews are a critical tool for organisations to ensure continuous improvement in governance and board-level decision making. If performed effectively, they foster accountability, enhance decision making and help organisations align strategic objectives.

The Governance Professional, Board and Board Reviewer all have important roles to play in performing an effective board review. The Institute has developed a programme of good practice, accreditation and training designed to raise and maintain the standard of Board Performance Reviews by both accrediting reviewers and supporting organisations to conduct effective reviews.

With the support of an independent working group including the FRC, we reviewed the documentation published in January 2021 in response to a request from the (then) Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. In July 2023, we published an updated Code of Practice, supported by additional guidance notes.

Principles of Good Practice for listed companies using external board reviewers

Reporting on board performance reviews: Guidance for listed companies

We have also developed specific guidance for charitable, educational and sports organisations, in consultation with representatives and regulators from these areas. These two documents address the specific needs and context of not-for-profit organisations.

Code of Practice for board reviewers: Not-for-profit organisations

Principles of Good Practice for not-for-profit organisations undergoing board performance reviews

How do I build my skills and capability?

The Institute has developed two training programmes to support those conducting, procuring and facilitating Board Performance Reviews:

Introduction to Board Performance Reviews: This course supports governance professionals with no prior experience of Board Performance Reviews who are planning to procure or facilitate a review. Through practical and interactive sessions using real-life case studies, the course will provide the know-how and tools to achieve buy-in from key stakeholders, plan and scope a board review, procure a suitable board reviewer, facilitate the board review and to use the recommendations to foster continuous improvement.

Learn More

Advanced Board Performance Reviews: This course supports professionals with experience as a board reviewer and who are either looking to conduct an internal board review or to begin conducting external reviews as a consultant. It will use practical examples and peer-to-peer learning to help delegates maximise the strategic value of board reviews. It assumes experience of working with a board and an understanding of the principles of an effective board.

Learn More

Accredited board performance review services

The Institute has created a directory of board performance review services that have achieved CGIUKI accreditation to enable you to find the right supplier for your organisation. Our rigorous standards are designed to provide reassurance to your organisation as to the quality of the listed suppliers.

Visit Directory

How do I become an accredited board performance reviewer?

To meet the need for accredited board performance reviewers, the Institute has created routes to accreditation for individuals or for companies.

CGIUKI accreditation reassures potential clients of you or your team’s ability to perform a board performance review to perform a valuable and effective board performance review. If you are currently operating a board performance review service, you can apply for accreditation from the Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland. To achieve accreditation, you will need to provide evidence of your review processes and procedures. Once approved by us, you will be added to the Accredited Board Performance Review Directory on our website.

Apply for Accreditation

What is a board performance review?

A board performance review is a method of measuring the effectiveness of a board. In the UK, all listed companies must undertake a review by an independent expert every three years, supplemented by an annual review. Meanwhile, even if it is not legally required it has become standard practice for all organisations to assess the quality of their boards, whether they are a non-profit, sporting body, health trust or other. Board performance reviews have led to increased investor and public confidence in the effectiveness of boards and better decision-making.

Generally, board performance reviews will examine the culture of the board, its structure, strategy and reporting functions. They are often facilitated by an independent adviser or service provider who will tailor the review depending on the size and sector of the organisation in question.

In the past, there has been little, if any, quality control over the providers of reviews, leading to some scepticism in the market that they are all good value for money. The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland has created a suite of resources, alongside training courses and a directory of accredited suppliers to bring more assurance to the board performance review process, without being prescriptive about how reviews are conducted.

Search CGI