The Role of the Director

The role, expectations, and responsibilities of a company director.

This post comes from a request from the Get on Board community to share an outline and position description for a company director or board member (if you have a request for a post, please feel free to comment below, tweet us, or contact us directly).

I’m a big advocate for board members having position descriptions and have put together a few for some of the boards I sit on – one which I have shared below for you to borrow. I find that when board members have a clear position description they understand their purpose, responsibilities, and the expectations placed upon them.

I have previously written about the overall role of the company director (here) and what to expect when you first join a board (here). This post is more about specific activities that a board member is expected to undertake, and standards they are expected to uphold.

The position description also includes expectations in addition to the legal duties and responsibilities that all company directors have. These are included in all director position descriptions, including the Chair’s, Treasurer, and Secretary, and focus on ensuring continued active board participation that is in the best interests of the company and its stakeholders at all times.

A director code of conduct – which is mirrored in the Board Charter – and director performance metrics round out the position description. Again, these elements are included in all directors’ – including the board’s executive – position descriptions.

Download: Sample Director Position Description (MS Word)

From my experience, all directors knowing and understanding their minimum requirements and what is expected of them works toward establishing and maintaining a highly functioning, highly effective board where everyone is contributing equally.

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