Local induction for new Chairs and Non-executive Directors

Sets out considerations for running an effective local induction programme to support the success of new chairs and non-executive directors. Individual providers can determine how they deliver the programme depending on local circumstances.


Meeting key people

It is important that your new Chairs and Non-executive Directors meet key people at the trust as soon as possible. You should arrange for Non-executive Directors and Chairs to meet each other and have one-to-one meetings with the Executive Directors. They should also meet the rest of the Non-executive team and key members of your senior team.

You should also consider arranging for the new Chair and Non-executive Director to meet:

  • NHS partners and stakeholders including commissioners and other service providers
  • representatives from staff and patient groups, HealthWatch, volunteers and hospital charities
  • MPs, councillors, press and other local influencers
  • community leaders including those representing the diverse social, economic, ethnic demographics

If you can’t arrange a meeting or you don’t believe it is is necessary for your all non-executive directors, you should provide a full briefing on the key people and organisations, and their relationship with the trust instead.

Key activities

It will be important for new Chairs and Non-executive Directors to understand the range and complexity of your Trust. You should consider arranging for them to do the following:

  • undertake a tour of the major sites of the trust and meeting frontline staff and patients
  • engage in established local networking opportunities with colleagues from other NHS organisations
  • work with the board secretary to gain a thorough understanding of the trust’s internal governance structures as well as the trust’s strategic and business plans
  • be briefed on the trust’s internal policies and procedures, including dignity and respect at work, whistleblowing, equality and diversity, risk management and disciplinary procedures
  • take advantage of any statutory and relevant training offered by your trust or partner organisations

Considerations for new Chairs and Non-executive Directors

When you are in your post, you should start by asking the following questions:

  • What are the key challenges facing the trust?
  • What barriers need to be removed to meet these challenges?
  • What are the key opportunities for the trust and what’s being done to maximise those opportunities?
  • How is the organisation implementing the recommendations from both the Bruce Keogh and Mid Staffordshire reports?
  • Does the organisation have an open and inclusive culture? What role are the board and its members playing in making sure they engage with staff, patients and local community?

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