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Council Induction, Professional Development and Performance Policy
The Voluntary Code of Best Practice for the Governance of Australian Universities recommends that a program of induction and professional development be made available to Council and committee members to ensure that members are aware of the nature of their duties and responsibilities and to build the expertise of the governing body. 
The purpose of this policy is to set out the professional development program for members of Council and its committees including:
  • induction;
  • professional development; and
  • performance review.
Welcome letter from the Chancellor
A welcome letter from the Chancellor will be provided to all new members of Council and Committees.

Electronic access to information
All members are provided with a University staff member ID and password which provides access to the UC intranet. Members also provided with a UC email address if required.
Members are remunerated quarterly (including contributions to superannuation) through the University’s payroll system.
Members are also provided with an iPad to allow access to electronic Council papers through the Board Effect app.

Information pack
The following documents are also provided to members:
  • an Induction Manual;
  • UC Strategic Risk Register;
  • UC Urban Plan;
  • a copy of the Directors and Officers Insurance Policy; and
  • a list of all members of Council and contact details.
All information will be made available electronically on Board Effect. 

Induction Briefing
The Secretary to Council will provide an induction briefing for all new members including:
  • a briefing on Council procedures, meeting management and use of the Council Governance Manual;
  • a briefing on legal obligations and legislative compliance;
  • a briefing for members on their rights and responsibilities as members of the governing body;
  • a briefing on the culture and community engagement by the University (such as White Ribbon, Recognise, Equal Opportunity);  and
  • a tour of the University campus.
The following briefings will also be organised with the following people (or nominees):
  • a meeting with the Chancellor about the role and function of Council;
  • a presentation from the Vice-Chancellor about the University: its organisation, location and size; its strategic plan; current issues; major projects, international students and engagement, and the University’s place in the higher education sector; 
  • a briefing from the Vice-President, Governance and Development on the University’s approach to risk management;
  • a meeting with the Deans and Research Centre Directors (depending on the Member’s preference); and
  • a presentation on the roles and functions of the Academic Board.
In addition, annual update sessions will be provided on legal obligations and legislative compliance;

The Chancellor will assign a mentor (from amongst the experienced members of Council) to each new member of Council.  The mentor will be available to provide informal advice and support during the first six months of sitting on Council.

Professional Development
It is expected that members will undertake professional development to maintain a current knowledge of the University, higher education section and contemporary governance practices by attending a professional development event at least once every two years. 
The following arrangements have been put in place  to assist members meet these requirements:
  • invites will be issued for attendance at relevant university and higher education conferences.  As a minimum this will include the annual Higher Education Conference held by Universities Australia and the annual Universities Governance Conference;
  • all members of Council will be offered an opportunity to attend an Australian Institute of Company Director’s (AICD) ‘Foundations of Directorship’ course during their first year on Council;
  • invites to events (as appropriate) and graduation ceremonies will be sent to members throughout the year; 
  • forwarding reports, research papers and other material of relevance to members for reading; and
  • all members of Council will be invited to attend a relevant learning opportunity during the year.
A budget will be set aside per annum for professional development purposes.  The University, with the exception of ongoing professional membership costs (i.e. AICD membership), will fund reasonable associated travel and professional development costs.
In addition, any member of Council may contact the Chancellor or the Secretary to Council at any time to discuss any particular needs they may have for professional development.

Council Performance
The performance of Council and its committees is assessed annually.  The Chancellor, supported by the Council Secretary, has the responsibility for organising this assessment process and drawing on external resources or an external assessment process as required.  The process will assist in considering the governance system as a whole (including its effectiveness and efficiency) and identifying areas of strengths and areas for improvement. 
The assessment process will be determined each year by the Chancellor but is likely to include:
  • a review of the attendance and contribution of each Council member to Council and the University more broadly;
  • a survey of each member, including independent committee members, as to his or her perception of the performance of Council and its committees; and
  • a survey of Council members knowledge and skills.
Results will be reported to Council at the first meeting following completion of the assessment.  
The Council Secretary will also report annually to Council on the conformance with the Voluntary Code of Best Practice for the Governance of Australian Universities.
Supporting Information:
The University Of Adelaide Council Induction, Professional Development and Performance Review Statement.
Terms Definitions