Succession planning for inclusion

When members of your board are approaching the end of their terms, it provides an opportunity to consider their replacements carefully. Can you use the months and years ahead of this turnover to attract a range of different candidates?

Associate board members are a way to create a pipeline of diverse talent ready to hit the ground running at the end of the programme. Participants are often not experienced executives or previous board members, but have a wealth of experience and skills. With access to all board papers, training and meetings, although non-voting, participants are given intimate experience of the role of a board member.

Some programmes offer additional training in areas like governance, finance, regulation and the housing sector, which can be run in-house or by a consultancy. Most also include buddy and mentoring support to provide pastoral care and support.

We spoke with eight housing associations about the trainee or associate board member programmes they have run and what they have learnt.

This report compiles their experience: how they set about advertising the opportunity; whether they used recruiters or developed their own programme in-house; how best to prepare existing board members; and what challenges and benefits they found.

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