The ultimate guide to board evaluation

Board Portal Board evaluation

Your guide to board evaluation and how to carry out a board evaluation effectively

27.September 2023
Written by Admincontrol

What is a board evaluation?

In an era where economic unpredictability meets intensifying demands for ideal corporate governance, today's boards stand at the crossroads of challenge and opportunity. Navigating this terrain requires more than intuition; it demands a keen sense of self-awareness. Enter the realm of board evaluations—a compass for boards eager to sharpen their expertise and strengthen their governance and adapt seamlessly to the ever-evolving corporate landscape.
Dive into this guide and understand the reasons and details of Board evaluations. Plus, discover how to get more benefits using Admincontrol's specialised board evaluation tool.

Welcome to the next level of board excellence!

Understanding Board Evaluations

A board evaluation, at its core, is a diagnostic tool aimed at gauging the efficiency, capabilities, and potential of a board. While there's a myriad of ways to conduct these evaluations, the chosen method often depends on the organisation's size and ownership situation.

Internal evaluations, such as calls between the board chair, nomination committee, and individual board members, offer preliminary insights. However, to truly delve deep into a board's dynamics, a more structured and systematic approach is warranted. Digital evaluations, involving board members and essential executives like the CEO and CFO, are gaining traction. These digital methods culminate in a detailed presentation, pin-pointing actionable insights and paving the path for board improvement.

The Cruciality of Board Evaluations

McKinsey’s research shows that companies with strong governance practices outperform their peers by 10-15% in terms of equity returns. This underscores the importance of board evaluations in a rapidly changing corporate landscape.

  • Promoting Governance & Transparency: With ever-increasing scrutiny from both regulators and investors, maintaining high standards of governance and transparency is paramount. Board evaluations serve as a check and balance mechanism, ensuring companies meet these standards.
  • Gaining Valuable Insights: A well-executed evaluation pinpoints areas where the board excels and where it may fall short. This involves understanding the board's problem-solving abilities, strategy formulation, leadership, reporting, and much more.
  • Shaping the Future of the Board: With insights from evaluations, companies can adopt best practices, bridge competency gaps, and lay down a roadmap for future governance excellence. Furthermore, nomination committees can leverage these evaluations when considering the recruitment of new members.

The Regulatory Landscape

While the intrinsic value of board evaluations is evident, the regulatory stance varies across regions. In places like the Nordic countries, board evaluations, though highly recommended, are not legally mandated. Contrarily, in countries like the UK and India, these evaluations aren't just mandatory, but their findings often need public disclosure, as seen in the UK's annual report mandates.

Frequency of Evaluations

Most directives and governance codes advocate for annual board evaluations. However, the depth of these evaluations might differ. Many large corporations opt for internal assessments yearly, complemented by exhaustive external evaluations every three to four years.

Board evaluation embedded in Admincontrol's Board portal 

The Admincontrol board evaluation module is an easy to use and easy to access module in your Board portal. It all starts by deciding who's going to attend the survey and to send it out for their answers Thereafter, a ready- to- use presentation is generated to facilitate a discussion in the boardroom. 

The board survey covers five core areas addressing the key responsibilities of the Board as well as best practices in terms of processes and leadership. It consists of 5 chapters and about 50 quotes as well as areas to add comments and suggestions as the model below shows:

Board Survey Model

Chapter 1 is about looking forward: How well do the board contribute to the strategy process, setting priorities and financial targets?

Chapter 5 on the other side is about looking back: How well is the financial reporting done, the business follow-up and focus on compliance.

Chapter 2, 3 and 4 are all about how effective we work as a Board.

In these chapters both the meetings, the role of the chair and all board members are evaluated. 

The insights gained from the evaluation process help boards to identify strengths and weaknesses and develop a plan to improve the performance of the board.


In an era marked by volatility and increased corporate scrutiny, board evaluations are more than just a formality. They're the bedrock on which robust governance structures are built. McKinsey's data, together with real-world governance practices, underscores their indubitable importance. As corporate dynamics evolve, the need for periodic, comprehensive, and actionable board evaluations will only intensify. 

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