The Board of Directors is accountable to the Society’s members and is responsible for the long-term success of the business. The Board is responsible for determining the Society’s strategy, in consultation with the Chief Executive and the Management Executive. The Board oversees the work of the Chief Executive and the Executive Management team in the day-to-day management of the business.
The Board is also responsible for ensuring that the Society’s affairs are conducted in an effective assurance framework, in accordance with the Society’s purpose and in line with Co-operative Values and Principles.
Directors have important legal duties, including the duty to act in the best interests of the Society and its members. Being a director involves serious obligations, including important legal responsibilities, as set out in the Society's Rules, corporate governance best practice and in legislation.
To be an effective member of the Board does not demand formal qualifications or first-hand experience of business management. It does however require a capability to comprehend and decide upon sometimes complicated business and strategic issues. Directors are expected to acquire a level of understanding sufficient to enable informed judgements about matters which come to the Board, and a willingness to contribute to discussion and debate in the boardroom.
Being a Director also involves a significant time commitment. This includes preparing for and attending Board and committee meetings, together with strategy, long-term planning and budget review meetings which are held each year. Directors will also be expected to participate in working groups set up by the Board and Director training sessions. Directors are required to represent the Society both within and beyond the business at meetings, conferences and events.
Whilst the amount of time a Director contributes to their duties will vary considerably according to factors such as what committees they serve on and other Board roles they may have, in all cases it extends well beyond simply preparing for and attending Board meetings and the commitment involved should not be underestimated.