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.

Fundamental Principles of Board Life

There are two fundamental principles of Board life to which all Advisory Board members must adhere:

Principle 1 - Confidentiality

All Board members must respect the confidentiality of how decisions are made and sensitive information held by the public body. This includes commercially sensitive information, personal information and information received in confidence by the organisation. It is also essential that discussion of a confidential nature inside the Boardroom is not reported outside it. Board members should not publicly criticise the organisation's decisions.

Principle 2 - Conduct

All Board members should set an example by demonstrating the highest standards of behaviour. It is important that nothing you do or say when you are acting in your capacity as a Board member tarnishes in any way the reputation of the public body or the Board. If you have specific concerns about the manner in which the public body is being run, or about how your critical challenge role is being taken into account, these should be raised with the Chief Executive in the first instance. If you fail to achieve resolution with the Chief Executive, it is open to you to take them to the relevant senior civil servant in the Scottish Government (usually a Director or Director-General) - but you should appreciate this is a significant step. Your Framework Document should set out the lines of accountability for your public body.

The principle of Corporate Responsibility which applies to Statutory Boards does not apply to members of Advisory Boards as the Board has no formal decision-making responsibilities.


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