Chair Person Specification & Additional Duties

Skills, knowledge and experience

Each Board Member, including anyone in a position of office, is expected to contribute strengths in at least one or more of the blocks of skills, knowledge and experience required by the Board and its committees as appropriate and as set out in the Board Skills, Performance & Development Policy and Skills matrix.

Core qualities - commitment, capacity, capability and competency

Having demonstrable commitment to organisational purpose and ethos:

  • Developing a diverse range of new homes to meet local needs
  • Working with customers to provide great homes and value for money services
  • Investing in communities where it supports our customers and protects our business
  • Supporting organisational culture built around the Association’s values
  • Reducing costs and driving efficiency
  • Ensuring investments generate optimum social and financial value
  • Ensuring operational performance is maintained at a high level
  • Acting at all times within the organisation’s rules, policies, procedures, standing orders, financial regulations and Code of Conduct

Having sufficient capacity for:

  • Attending a comprehensive induction training programme and further familiarisation with the business Attending all formal Board meetings (including the AGM) and committees of which they are a member
  • Being available to attend other meetings including 1-1s with the Chief Executive, working panels, special meetings, customer events, publicity events, partnership meetings etc. that may occur from time to time
  • Preparing, attending and managing performance review meetings for Board Members, the Chief Executive; and being prepared for and attending their own
  • Being fully prepared for all meetings and where necessary chairing them and speaking in public if needed
  • Observing all committees from time to time to demonstrate support and judge effectiveness
  • Taking all the above into account an estimate of the average number of days per annum is 45 - 50 days excluding the induction.

Capability and competencies

Leadership and inspiration:

  • Projects themselves as open and approachable; acts as a role model, leading by example, setting and maintaining high standards
  • Visionary - sets out a compelling view of the future; secures buy in to strategy and policy through persuasive presentation of the issues
  • An understanding of the current position of the Board combined with a willingness to be open to opportunities around the future
  • Leads the Association through periods of change, instilling confidence in the governance of the Association and providing clarity of strategic direction
  • Resolves conflict and delivers solutions through negotiation and mediation
  • Delegates to others where necessary to make best use of time and resources, as well as the skills and experience available amongst all Board and Committee Members

Strategic thinking and direction:

  • Plays an active part in the development of the Mission, Corporate Plan and Strategic Objectives and ensures that these are priorities when making decisions
  • Understands the difference between strategy and operations and the role of Executive and Non-Executive Directors; ensuring responsibility is delegated effectively to the EMT and other employees
  • Is sensitive to the political, economic, social and technological external impacts upon the business
  • Anticipates and understands risks and consequences for the Association at a strategic level and understands taking measured risks
  • Identifies opportunities and brings forward new ideas for business strategy and organisational effectiveness
  • Encourages creativity, is open to new ways of working, brings an original perspective to discussions and an ability to adapt flexibly to change

Analysis and understanding:

  • Demonstrates clear analytical intellect; assimilates and makes sense of complex data and different perspectives
  • Focuses on the key issues, and makes them clear to others
  • Satisfies themselves on the integrity of financial information and risk appraisal
  • Asks questions with a high degree of confidence, provides effective challenge and raises relevant questions ensuring assurances are gained rather than focussing on detail
  • Demonstrates proficiency in the use of information technology

Decision making:

  • Encourages and signs up to the collective ownership of decisions once agreed irrespective of position taken in debate
  • Guides the decision making ensuring objective analysis, reasoned and rational judgement of the issues in hand
  • Prepared to take difficult decisions
  • Respects and is open to the views of others in discussions on key issues
  • Understands what needs to be achieved and agrees clear responsibilities for the implementation of decisions and monitoring outcomes

Communication and Interpersonal skills:

  • Ability to raise the profile of Wellingborough Homes in the sector, make beneficial connections and play a strong ambassadorial role
  • Builds and maintains good and effective relationships based on personal credibility and integrity; respects and maintains confidentiality
  • Communicates clearly and persuasively; expresses opinions, listens and takes account of the views of others
  • Challenges without appearing aggressive; prepared to say what people may not want to hear
  • Expects constructive feedback; is aware of own strengths, weaknesses and motivations
  • Gets to know individuals, their strengths and their aspirations

Team working and development:

  • Brings people together to generate a strong team spirit; able to work collaboratively and build consensus
  • Works with the Chief Executive and other members of the EMT in productive working relationships built on mutual respect
  • Effective performance management and leadership skills, combined with ability to manage and lead and challenge poor performance or behaviours when needed
  • Open to learning and development, for self, employees, and the Board; fosters a learning culture across the Association

Additional duties

In addition to their role as a Board Member, the Chair is responsible for ensuring good governance through the Board and its committees; and providing support, guidance and challenge to the Chief Executive and other members of the Executive Management Team (EMT). The Chair’s additional duties conferred on them through their position of office are set out below:

General:

  • Ensure the efficient and proper conduct of the Board’s business
  • Establish, with the Chief Executive, the agenda for meetings of the Board and ensure that its structure and content is consistent with the Board terms of reference
  • Ensure that the quality of report writing, information and options presented, and recommendations are at a standard which enable the Board to carry out proper scrutiny and make effective decisions in discharging its responsibilities
  • Ensure that presentations are short and focused unless presenting new information additional to that already contained within the report
  • Satisfy themselves that every meeting has been properly convened by notice and properly constituted by the attendance of a quorum
  • Ensure the minutes of the meetings are an accurate and complete record and to sign the same
  • Give immediate rulings on complaints or queries relating to the procedure and conduct of the meeting; and to adjourn any meeting for the purposes of restoring order or where required to do so by a majority of Board Members.
  • Exercise a second vote in the case of equality of voting
  • Oversee the use of policies and procedures to deal with urgent matters to enable business to be carried on effectively between meetings and also to ensure that the Board notes and monitors the use of such actions at each subsequent meeting
  • Establish a constructive working relationship with the Chief Executive (providing them with support, guidance and challenge) and to lead and participate in their annual appraisal
  • Meet regularly with the Chief Executive to receive briefings on issues of strategy, policy and other significance; to plan the workload of the Board; and to consider the activities and workloads of the committees
  • Ensure that the Board receives professional advice when it is needed either through the Chief Executive, other staff, or through the use of consultants and advisers as necessary
  • Ensure that there is a clear division of responsibilities between the Board and the EMT and other employees
  • Maintain good working relationships with all Board Members, in particular with the Vice Chair and the Chairs of the committees.
  • Work with the Chief Executive to ensure compliance with the Code of Conduct; ensuring that cases are resolved in order to provide confidence in the probity of the Association as a whole.

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