The Policy Governance model takes as its starting point the principle that a governing Board acts on behalf of an identifiable ownership and is accountable for ensuring the organization achieves what it should while avoiding what is unacceptable. The Board is a corporate body that speaks with one voice through policy and focuses on outcomes not process.
The model asserts that effective governance is governance through the creation and monitoring of policy—not just any kind of policy but policy specifically designed for the purpose of governing. The Board organizes all its thoughts, activities, structures and relationships in one policy manual. The only other governing documents are the constitution of the organization, the bylaws and the Minutes of the Board meetings.
Board meetings are held quarterly, with the Annual General Meeting in mid-November. Meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. (with dinner at 6:00 p.m.) and end promptly at 8:30 p.m. barring any unforeseen events.
Ad hoc committees may be struck as necessary only for the length of time required to deal with a particular issue or project.
An orientation meeting is held for newly elected Directors prior to the first regular meeting of the Board in January and following the November Annual General Meeting. During the orientation new Directors are provided with a Director’s Binder which includes all policies and also outlines the role and expectations of Directors.