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Realboard self-directed learning™

An online interactive resource to help your board sustain its mastery of the Policy Governance model

Do you have one or more new board members who were appointed or elected since the last time your board had a Policy Governance refresher? While a face-to-face orientation session is still the most effective way to help new board members thoroughly understand Policy Governance, we realize that sometimes the “timing fates” conspire to make it very difficult to provide for new board members to attend a session early enough in their tenure.

REALBoard Self-Directed Learning™ was designed specifically to fill this gap. It allows your new members to learn Policy Governance principles right away. The introduction can then be more thoroughly fleshed out the next time you schedule an orientation or refresher session, or you can enroll the new board member in our virtual introduction to Policy Governance, which covers the material in a more in-depth way, with videos and readings as well as interactive questions. As you know, if a new board member does not understand the Policy Governance principles you are using to govern, it can prove frustrating to everyone, and more importantly, it can cause the board to lose momentum.

I found the overall presentation in the Modules excellent, and we have it in our policies to review them for current board members and a requirement that new board members to go through the modules within 6 months of joining the Board.  Thank you for this material.

Eric Kraehenbuehl – Board member and past board chair, Credit Union of New Jersey.

Convenient modular format

REALBoard Self-Directed Learning  consists of a series of modules which cover all of the principles of Policy Governance.  Each module takes only 15-20 minutes to complete.  Here are the topics:

  • Boards and Owners -– who are the owners? Where does the board fit? Why is it important to “connect” with owners?
  • The Policy Governance Model as a System – rather than isolated best practices, Policy Governance is a complete system.
  • Ends – what are Ends policies? Why is it important to focus on them?
  • Policy Sizes and Interpretation – are all policies the same?  Why or why not? What happens when the board has finished writing a policy and delegated it to the CEO?
  • Board Holism and Delegation – how does the board “speak” with authority?  What is needed for effective delegation?
  • Empowerment through Limitations – how can the board empower management to achieve Ends creatively by using boundaries?
  • Monitoring  – a systematic approach to ensuring accountability so that what is delegated actually gets done.
  • Board Means Policies – how does the board govern itself?
  • Board Self-Evaluation and Improvement – ways to evaluate the board’s own performance and continually improve.

Interactive reinforcement of learning

  • Interactive questions in each module to help learners assess whether they have grasped Policy Governance principles.
  • Many questions require application of Policy Governance principles.
  • Explanations of why an answer is correct or incorrect.
  • Learners can go back to areas they did not understand.

Appeal to differing learning styles

  • Graphics and diagrams for visual learners.
  • Brief audio clips to help audio learners further enhance their learning.
  • Hyperlinks between concepts and modules and additional references to keep kinetic learners engaged.

Timely and always available

  • Web-based so board members can access this Carver governance resource any time, at their convenience.
  • Useful for “refreshers” if a board member wishes to brush up on a particular Policy Governance principle.
  • Useful for boards to introduce prospective members to the Policy Governance model.
  • Accessible to individual board members or as an annual “board subscription.”

What's the cost?

There are two convenient options.


    A board subscription.  This allows all board members and whatever administrative staff you wish to access the modules as often as they wish for a year.  All we need is current email addresses to allow us to set up individual passwords.  An annual board subscription is $1500.
  1. An individual subscription.  This permits one person access to the modules for a year.  An individual subscription is $350.

How does it work?

For more information or to set up passwords for your subscribers, contact us.

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Policy Governance® Virtual Workshops

Stay tuned for Fall 2024 dates!

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