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Essentials for a good board pack

16 July 2022 – Vanessa Galhardo-Galhetas

According to Alexander Graham Bell, before anything else, preparation is the key to success. When it comes to preparing a meeting of a Board of Directors, this is not any different, on the contrary. An important preparation before the taking place of a Board meeting is the preparation and timely transmission of a so-called board pack. This article gives insight in some essentials for a good board pack.


What  is a board pack?

Before we discuss the essentials for a good board pack, lets start with a definition of a board pack.

The board pack is the documentation prepared before the meeting of the Board of Directors. It  serves as guidance for discussions during the meeting and  provides the necessary information for members of the Board of Directors to take informed decisions.


What are the essentials for a board pack or what should the board pack contain?

There is no once size fits all for board packs, as organisations differ. However, it is clear that a good board pack is part of a sound corporate governance and we can safely say that at a minimum, these topics need to be included.

  1. An agenda
  2. Review and approval of previous board minutes
  3. Review of action points of previous meetings
  4. A CEO Update on business and key developments since the last board meeting by the 
  5. Financial reporting 
  6. Operations review
  7. Business development review
  8. Report by the chairs of Committees of the Board of Directors
  9. Strategic discussions
  10. Any Other Business


Moreover, be sure to check local Corporate Law and more specifically the local Companies Code for any mandatory items or formalities for your board meeting. 

From an efficiency perspective, adding an item for a discussion on points for a next meeting of the Board of Directors can be an efficient way to ensure that relevant agenda items are decided and known well in advance.


The longer the boardpack is not necessarily the better the board pack

A good board pack is not a novel with thousands of pages, but a succinct and accurate set of documents that are send well in advance to Board members to prepare for the meeting.

Including short executive memo’s to the pack, highlighting the important messages for the meeting and clarifying what is expected or requested from the Board of Directors will improve the efficiency of decision making.


Company Secretary as an important partner for the Board of Directors

Finally, the Company Secretary has a crucial role in helping to identify items for the agenda of the Board of Directors. Furthermore, the Company Secretary can challenge the authors of papers for the board pack to provide timely, succint and accurate documents to be included in the board pack.