On Board: A Guide for Members of Management Advisory Boards

This guidance is for all those appointed by the Chief Executive to be a member of management advisory boards.


Induction and Training

When a new board member joins a public body, they may not have had much direct experience of that body. Effective induction serves as a valuable source of information and should provide material on specific job requirements, roles, responsibilities, policies and purposes. This guidance provides the starting point of your induction into the public body that you have joined. You should also receive further induction guidance and training from your public body on a range of topics, including:

  • the structure, governing legislation and work of your public body and links with the sponsor Directorate (if appropriate), the Scottish Government, and the Scottish Parliament;
  • the Code of Conduct prepared by your public body for external non-executive members which will highlight the nine key principles that underpin public life in Scotland, and;
  • roles and responsibilities as a board member.

These non-executive board member roles are different to serving on other public bodies. Even for experienced board members, an induction discussion with an existing member of an Advisory Board may be helpful as part of the induction process.

Annex B provides a checklist of the types of induction guidance and training that may be available from your public body. You should refer to this checklist when discussing your induction requirements with the Chief Executive.

The Scottish Government provides further guidance on the Governance Hub. Board members can request access to this by emailing the Public Bodies Support Unit: PublicBodiesUnitMailbox@gov.scot

Scottish Ministers, the Scottish Government, and the Scottish Administration

Throughout this guidance you will see references to Scottish Ministers, the Scottish Administration or the Scottish Government. The diagram at Annex C explains the organisation of central government in Scotland.

Further Guidance

Key reference materials and contacts are listed under each of the main sections of this guidance. The main source of further information and guidance will be the public body that you have just joined, particularly the Chief Executive. They will be able to provide you with most of the advice and information that you are likely to need during your time as a member of a Management Advisory Board.

This guidance has been produced in an interactive format to allow users to view documents referenced through the use of hyperlinks. The guide will be kept under review to ensure that it continues to help promote best practice for board members. The guide will not be produced in hard copy by the Scottish Government.

Governance Hub


Email: PublicBodiesUnitMailbox@gov.scot

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