Board Effectiveness Model

We base our work on a few essential principles, particularly

  • A board exists to help lead a business better for the long-term benefit of its stakeholders, particularly but not only its shareholders
  • Governance structures and processes need to be recognisable to shareholders, but that isn’t where to start – the primary objective is good outcomes
  • The foundation of any board’s effectiveness is in having a commonly understood idea of what the role of the board is, and of the individual directors within it
  • Behaviour is what matters most in achieving good outcomes. Structures and processes can help or hinder, but rarely determine, how well the board works towards good outcomes
  • A good board should work in a way that increases the chances of good decisions being made
  • A board which demonstrates ethical behaviour in its own work will stand a better chance of finding good behaviour in the organisation

In order to help us look systematically at how firms exercise good governance through an effective board, we have developed a model which covers the main elements, under the two headings of What The Board Does and How It Does It.

The Board Effectiveness Model

What the Board Does


Management Team

People & Culture


Risk Management

Financial Oversight

How the Board Does It



Information & Support




What is the Independent Audit Board Effectiveness Model?

Our Model provides a framework for looking at the effectiveness of the Board and its committees.
It has 12 parts.  These are split between: “What The Board Does” and “How The Board Does It”.
There are many different influences on effectiveness.  So we find it helpful to look at these factors in a structured way – and the Independent Audit Board Effectiveness Model provides a comprehensive view.
Underlying these categories are many other influences, with thinking needed about issues such as how people interact, how the Board’s activity brings value, and how the Board’s work actually helps achieve your governance objectives.
But the Model provides that simple framework you need to organise that thinking.
And it provides signposts to help you find your way to our Guidance.  It’s all colour coded to map to the most relevant part of the Board Effectiveness Model.

Explore Our Guidance

Click the link below to explore and read our guidance articles.