Board Policy CA-210: Orientation for New Members of the Board of Directors

Effective date: 2019-06-18

Purpose

  1. The orientation for new members of the Board of Directors (the “Board”) is to help them to acquire the necessary knowledge and gain an understanding that is essential to any member of an effective board.
  2. The orientation for new members is also to strengthen the bonds between new and current members, allowing them to help one another and agree on how they will perform their duties.

Policy

  1. The orientation manual for new members and the mentor’s activity board are approved by the Governance and Nomination Committee.
  2. The orientation of new members is planned and organized by the Chairman of the Board and President and CEO. The latter will use expertise within the Network, and outside of the Network, if required, based on the specific needs and interests of the new members.
  3. During a new member’s first year on the Board, current members are asked to serve as mentors to that new member.

Each new member (including a new chief of staff or a new chairperson of the Professional Advisory Committee) receives complete orientation based on the following:

  1. Orientation prior to the first meeting of the Board following their appointment.
    1. Receives the orientation manual.
    2. Takes part in orientation with the Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, and designated mentor.
    3. Meets the designated mentor.
    4. Reviews the Board policies and good governance rules.
    5. Reviews the roles and responsibilities of Board members and the responsibilities of the staff.
    6. Receives an overview of the Network’s history, characteristics, challenges, and opportunities as well as the files and trends that appear to emerge.
    7. Reviews the terms of reference of the various Board committees and discusses interests and skills to serve on some of these committees.
    8. Reviews the minutes of the last meetings.
    9. Signs and returns the following documents:
      1. Statement of conflict of interest;
      2. Pledge of confidentiality;
      3. Code of ethics;
      4. Interest to serve on some committees;
      5. Mentor’s activity board.
  2. Orientation and continuous education during the first year
    1. Orientation on the role and responsibilities of effective governance
    2. Orientation to the world of healthcare and hospitals
    3. Orientation to Vitalité Health Network as an organization
  3. Activities that can take place during the first year on the Board. The mentor is responsible for making the initial contact with the new member. Then, the mentor and the new member together determine a plan to meet, the frequency at which meetings will be held, etc. based on the following parameters:
    1. Phase 1 – During the first 6 months, the new member:
      • Sits at least once on each committee, as required;
      • Continues to meet with his or her mentor regularly before each meeting of the Board and performs the activities deemed necessary in the mentorship activities table;
      • Reads references, articles and newspapers on governance;
      • Attends continuous education sessions offered by the Board.
      • Continues to meet with his or her mentor regularly and performs the activities deemed necessary in the mentorship activities table;
      • Continues to read newspapers and articles on governance;
      • Attends continuous education sessions;
      • Attends the general annual meeting.

Framework for the Mentor and New Board Member

The framework includes examples of activities that the mentor and new Board member can do together to create a rewarding and structured mentorship experience. These activities can be used for evaluation purposes between the mentor and the new member at any time. The table is used to indicate which activities are done and whether other learning opportunities should be explored.

Mentorship Activities Table Date Done
A mentor is assigned to each new Board member. The mentor and new Board member are introduced at a common initial meeting with the Chairman of the Board and President and CEO.  
The mentor and new member share their mutual professional experience, expertise, and health care experience.  
The mentor arranges an initial call or meeting with the new member.  
The mentor and new member discuss together and agree on how they will work together.  
The mentor and new member attend the orientation session for new Board members.  
The mentor attracts attention on elements in the orientation manual dealing with the greatest challenges of the organization and the Board.  
The mentor works with the committee chairs to ensure that the new member has the opportunity to attend meetings of the Board committees at least once.  
The mentor ensures that the new member has completed all training programs required.  
The mentor meets with the leadership team to review current issues and challenges if needed.  
The mentor meets with the Regional Chief of Staff and physicians who serve on the Board if needed.  
The mentor and new member meet with the President and CEO and Chairman of the Board for a general discussion.  
The mentor works with the new member to identify additional learning needs.  
The new member attends a meeting of the Board committee chairs to have an overview of the scope of each committee.  
The mentor and new member provide follow-up on the integration of the new member at each meeting of the Board in person or via teleconference.  
The mentor and new member read educational articles on governance or health care and discuss how they apply to the work of the Board.  
After the first year, the mentor and new member determine whether ongoing interaction would be beneficial.  
After the first year, the Chairman of the Board and President and CEO arrange an interview with the mentor and new member.