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Public Sector Boards
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Public Sector Boards

2-Day Training Course: Leading government organisations through the appointment of independent boards. Leading government organisations through the appointment of independent boards. A 2 day training course that focuses on public sector boards & examines their structures, purposes & differences & looks at how to select support & evaluate public sector boards

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Key Learning Objectives

  • Key trends in governance in Australia and around the world
  • Exploring the status and power of executive boards and committees
  • Examining the operating frameworks of government and other boards
  • Roles of parties in the governance equation
  • Linking strategy, objectives and results
  • Criteria for selection to boards and committees
  • Measuring and monitoring board performance
  • Measuring and managing risk
  • Governance templates; executive and board models
  • Board composition and performance review
  • Getting the most from your board – successful and innovative case studies

About the Course

Why do government entities have boards? Most exist for very different reasons to those of their private sector ‘counterparts’ – if indeed, any exist.

Why are some boards attractive to ‘outsiders’ and others turnover new directors regularly?

This 2 day course will examine developments in Australian (public sector) boards, compare public and private sectors, look at different approaches to boards across Australia.

There will be opportunities to reflect on your experience with boards; hear about others in Australia and around the world; identify ways of improving output and outcomes from boards; learn about best and
worst practices in government governance; and develop tools and techniques to assist and improve performance.

The course gives a comprehensive grounding in all the basic aspects of modern governance as they relate to the public sector in Australia, including the development of principles for sound governance and ideas about best practice.

Who Will Benefit

  • Non executive directors who are new to the government sector
  • Public servants with responsibilities for supporting boards
  • Departmental and ministerial staff who interact with boards
  • Any senior executive with an interest in the roles and responsibilities of the various forms of ‘board’ in the Australian public sector


Knowledgeable, interesting presenters encouraged an interactive response
Corporate Counsel, ANSTO

Course Outline

What are the roles and responsibilities of boards?

  • Key elements of corporate governance
  • Definitions of governance and suitability for different situations
  • Why good (or bad) governance can help (or hinder) organisations
  • Background to current governance initiatives

Recent developments in corporate governance

  • ASX Guidelines and their implementation
  • Commonwealth and State initiatives
  • The Uhrig Review and GAAG guide
  • Initiatives in the Australian public sectors
  • Differences in public and private sector approaches to governance

Elements of an effective system of governance

  • The people: Ministers, shareholders, board members, public servants and ‘stakeholders’
  • The type of board, objectives of the organisation, responsibilities and reporting
  • Relationship with government
  • How the governance framework affects different bodies in the Australian Government

Practical session: Case study on structures and principles for effective governance

Roles in the governance equation

  • The Chairman – authority; actions in and out of the boardroom; liaison with government
  • The Board – governing and advisory boards, responsibilities and limitations; boundary lines with management
  • Board Committees – use of committees; authority and reporting of committees, structures and composition
  • The CEO and management team; board support and liaison
  • The use of Charters

Responsibilities of directors on government boards

  • Types of directors
  • Board composition – guidelines
  • Responsibilities of executive and non-executive directors
  • Advantages and disadvantages of different board structures
  • Determining the composition of the board

Practical session: Case study on roles and responsibilities in governance – selection of public-sector boards and committees

  • Defining responsibilities of the Minister, the board, the Chair and the Agency/Department Head
  • Best practice regarding board composition and duties
  • Criteria for selection to public-sector boards and committees

Matching skills and experience with board functions

  • Methods of filling board seats
  • Options for the recruitment of directors
  • Particular skills for the public sector
  • The importance of induction

Monitoring board performance

  • Board accountabilities
  • Criteria for board performance reviews
  • Measuring board performance
  • Models of board review in use today
  • Selecting a suitable model for your board
  • Aligning a Board Review with other board accountabilities
  • Common problems exposed in board assessments

Practical session: Case study on roles and responsibilities in governance – selection of public-sector boards and committees

  • Exploring the status and power of public-sector executive boards and committees
  • What constitutes good performance?

Board operations


  • Setting the strategy – Statements of Corporate Intent
  • Matching up financial imperatives and Community Service obligations
  • Setting performance indicators:
    • Useful measures for the public sector
    • Financial and other indicators
    • Benchmarks and their development

Managing risk:

  • Understanding risks associated with public-sector processes
  • The Matrix Approach
  • Avoiding and minimising risks
  • Risk optimisation
  • Integrating risk management into business processes, culture and the corporate governance framework

Reporting to and by the board:

  • Key information required by the Board
  • Setting up internal controls
  • Establishing the right level and quantity of information
  • The risk of ‘single source’ information
  • Information required by owners and stakeholders
  • Record keeping for specific activities

Managing relationships:

  • CEO and management
  • Shareholder and stakeholder relationships
  • Special circumstances in government

Committees and how they can assist:

  • Roles and functions of committees
  • Ideas about best practice

Practical session: Case study/workshop on board operations

Final wrap up and summary

  • International Standards of Best Practice
  • Useful references for Australian Government Boards
  • Other outstanding issues

On-site & in-house training

Deliver this course how you want, where you want, when you want – and save up to 40%! 8+ employees seeking training on the same topic?

Talk to us about an on-site/in-house & customised solution.


Still have a question?

Sushil Kunwar
Training Consultant
+61 (0)2 9080 4395

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