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.

Key Messages

  • The main role of the Management Advisory Board is to assist the body deliver its functions either on behalf of Ministers or as a Non-Ministerial body. Members of the Board offer strategic advice and constructive challenge to the Chief Executive; seek to improve performance and promote good governance; and hold officials to account for identifying and managing risk. Members of Audit Committees provide assurance to the Accountable Officer regarding risk, systems and performance.
  • Board members must adhere to the fundamental principles of Board life - confidentiality and the highest standards of conduct.
  • Individual Board members should contribute fully to Board deliberations and exercise a healthy challenge function. The Chief Executive or meeting Chair will ensure that all Board members have an opportunity to contribute to Board discussions.
  • Committees are established to deal with particular areas of interest outside main Management Advisory Board meetings and are required to submit substantive reports to summarise issues, debates and decisions.
  • The Chief Executive or meeting Chair (where someone other than the Chief Executive chairs the Board) has additional responsibilities to Board members, particularly leadership, directing a diverse team and harnessing the benefits of this, and the conduct of Board business.
  • The Chief Executive is entirely responsible for the overall organisation, management and staffing of the public body. The Chief Executive is normally designated as its Accountable Officer with responsibility for the proper management of public funds under the public body's control.
  • The Chief Executive is solely responsible for operational issues. The Board helps the Chief Executive and senior management team focus on strategy, performance, risk and behaviour.
  • The Framework Document sets out how the organisation will operate and its relationship with the Scottish Government. It describes the financial and wider accountabilities of the organisation and its approach to staffing and other organisational matters.


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