Standards for Canadian organizations

2020 Edition

Governance (CA-GOV) 6: Organization Leadership

The executive director effectively collaborates with the governing body to enunciate and achieve the organization’s mission and vision, promote a healthy organizational culture, and oversee and manage the organization’s operations.

Interpretation

There are varying titles for the head of an organization, such as President/CEO and Executive Director. Depending upon the type of organization or service, the individual fulfilling this role may have other designations, such as Operating Manager, Program Director, or Program Officer. The standard requires that there is a clearly identified person to whom the governing body delegates the day-to-day management of the organization and whom it holds accountable for the organization's performance.
 

Interpretation

 If the organization's Executive Director/CEO is an independent contractor the organization's governing body is responsible for meeting the standards in CA-GOV 6, by:
  1. including each of the responsibilities listed in the CA-GOV 6 standards in the Executive Director/CEO's contract;
  2. directly assuming those responsibilities as individual governing body members or as a governing body; or
  3. a combination of the above.
2020 Edition

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VIEW THE STANDARDS

Purpose

The organization's governing body guides and supports the planning, development, and achievement of the organization's mission and goals.
1
The organization's practices fully meet the standard, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the CA-GOV 6 Practice standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the CA-GOV 6 Practice standards.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the CA-GOV 6 Practice standards.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the CA-GOV 6 Practice standards.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • CEO job description
  • CEO resume
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include:
    1. CEO
    2. Governing body chair
    3. Governing body members

 

CA-GOV 6.01

The executive director’s primary responsibilities are:
  1. management of the organization;
  2. implementation of organization-wide, long-term strategic planning and periodic reviews;
  3. development of policies governing the organization’s program of services with the governing body;
  4. attendance at all meetings of the governing body; and
  5. provision of regular reports to the governing body on the organization’s operations, finances, and implementation of the long-term plan.
1
The organization's practices reflect full implementation of the standard.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g.,
  • The executive director does not attend, or have a representative at every board meeting; or
  • Minor communication problems exist; or
  • The executive director and governing body are actively working to improve their effectiveness as a team in response to a few identified issues; or
  • One of the elements is not fully addressed, e.g., executive director reports to the governing body sometimes lack depth.
3
Practice needs significant improvement; e.g.,
  • The executive director tightly controls information the board receives, so that the board frequently lacks the information needed to make informed decisions and effectively govern; or
  • The executive director does not attend or provide staff support for two or more governing body and/or committee meetings per year; or
  • The executive director often provides only verbal reports, or provides written reports that are cursory or otherwise do not provide timely or useful information; or
  • Two of the elements are not fully addressed; or
  • One element is not addressed at all.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all; e.g.,
  • The partnership between the executive director and governing body is completely ineffective or nonexistent; e.g.
  • The governing body is asked only to ratify decisions or is told of decisions after the fact; or
  • The executive is excluded by the governing body action from most committee activity; or
  • More than three of the elements of the standard are not fully addressed; or
  • Two or more elements are not addressed at all.

 

CA-GOV 6.02

The executive director is qualified by:
  1. an advanced degree from an accredited college or university in a field related to the organization’s mission and services;
  2. at least five years of related leadership experience;
  3. experience administering services to families, adults, youth and/or children;
  4. the skills to oversee human resources and financial management matters; and
  5. the ability to work effectively and proactively with other providers, and local, provincial/territorial, and federal entities.
FEC

Interpretation

In credit counselling organizations the executive director is qualified by a bachelor's degree and does not require competence in administering services to families, adults, youth and/or children (element c).

EAP

Interpretation

 In an EAP the executive director is qualified by experience in workplace programs, an understanding of the dual client relationship, and does not necessarily require competence in administering services to families, adults, youth and/or children (element c).
1
The organization's executive director is qualified as per the requirements of the standard.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g.,
  • The executive director does not meet element (a), however he/she is qualified as per elements (b) – (e); or
  • The executive director meets the advanced degree requirement but has less than five years of related leadership experience; or
  • The executive director has limited skills to oversee human resource and/or financial management matters but is receiving training to develop/enhance these skills or has consultants that provide support and advice.
3
Practice requires significant improvement; e.g.,
  • The executive director does not meet two of the standard's elements.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.