Governance: The Board
ARB is governed by a Board that is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organisation and overseeing the organisation’s performance.
The Board consists of 15 members, eight are appointed lay members and seven are architects elected by their peers. Board members are eligible to serve two consecutive terms of four years under the provisions of the Act.
In 2017, Peter Coe stepped down as Chair of the Board and Nabila Zulfiqar was elected to replace him. Richard Parnaby acted as Vice-Chair throughout the year and acted as Chair between 16 February and 16 March 2017 while the election process to find a new Chair from within the Board took place.
The Department of Communities and Local Government (now known as the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) launched a recruitment process in late 2016, and appointed three new lay members to the positions which became vacant on 1 April 2017 when Peter Coe, Alan Jago and Neil Watts completed their tenures. These three new lay members were Caroline Corby, James Grierson and Alice Hynes. All new Board members underwent a thorough induction process during the first six months of their tenure.
Board Effectiveness Review
Opportunities to reflect on and improve its performance are central to the Board. The Board now has an established process of reviewing its performance on an annual basis and 2017 was no exception. The Board commenced its annual effectiveness review in late 2017, with Board and Committee effectiveness questionnaires circulated to the Board, the Board’s individual committees and the Operational Management Group for completion. Responses to the survey will be collated in 2018 and reflected upon by the Board in order to identify areas for improvement.
The previous 2016 review identified four areas for improvement for 2017:
- our Board members’ knowledge of their roles
- our Board members’ knowledge about the architectural profession
- our Board’s engagement with key stakeholder groups
- benchmarking information
Some of the actions taken in response included revisiting the Board’s functions as well as Good Governance Principles at a Development Day. Speakers were also invited to talk to the Board about their perspectives and areas of expertise including the President of RIBA, Ben Derbyshire. The Board also considered it was an appropriate time to undertake a significant piece of research into how ARB is viewed by its various stakeholders. This information will be invaluable in ensuring our functions are efficient and effective by enabling us to benchmark our current impact, assess our future performance and strengthen key stakeholder relationships.