Every board vacancy creates an opportunity to assess the needs of the board and the entity. While particular expertise is a likely requirement for a specific position, candidates should also be aware of generic eligibility criteria for the majority of boards the Treasury provides advice on, as well as the basic competencies that the Treasury expects candidates to have.
Applications are welcomed from people who consider that they have the appropriate skills and experience to become a director.
Everyone is eligible to be considered for appointment to a Crown board, barring any disqualifications that may apply. The nature of such disqualifications are stated in section 151(2) of the Companies Act 1993 and, for statutory Crown entity boards, in section 30 of the Crown Entities Act 2004.
Public servants from core government departments are generally not eligible for appointment to Crown boards. Likewise, the staff of an entity cannot generally be appointed to the board of their own organisation, although they may be appointed to subsidiary boards.
What We Look For in Director Candidates
Board directors are selected and appointed based on their skills and the needs of a particular entity’s board.
It is important that the board comprises a balance of skills and experience that matches the strategic direction and needs of the entity. The emphasis is on appointing the most qualified person for each position. A best-qualified Crown director is generally defined as the candidate whose skills and experience best meet the Ministers' assessment of the skill profile for the director vacancy.
There are, however, some basic competencies that all directors must have:
- governance, senior executive or similar experience
- an ability to communicate clearly, both orally and in writing
- the ability to take a broad perspective on issues
- common sense, integrity and a strong sense of ethics
- organisational and strategic awareness
- an appreciation of the role of the Crown as a shareholder
- knowledge of the responsibilities of a director and an ability to distinguish corporate governance from management
- strong financial literacy
- a well-developed critical faculty
- the confidence to ask questions
- an ability to work in a team
- sector knowledge relevant to the specific board opportunity being considered