Before the pandemic, it was hard for pool governing body members to carve out time for training. Layer on pandemic-related travel restrictions and other hurdles, and it’s even more difficult for them to find space on their schedules for governance education — no matter how valuable or necessary it is.
Pools are facing serious challenges: COVID-19, societal shifts, a hard reinsurance market and more. Many pools are also experiencing higher-than-usual turnover on their governing bodies, so there’s increased demand for onboarding education.
No matter how you manage it, introductory training for a governing body member should include at a minimum:
- Information about fiduciary obligations, including any specific rules that apply within your state or province
- Pool-specific governance policies and practices, including a governing body code of conduct if one exists
- An introduction to the lines of coverage the pool offers, membership parameters, and how core operations are structured
- The pool’s legal status (public, private, nonprofit), tax status and any jurisdictional reporting requirements
- The pool’s net position policy and/or targets as well as investment policies, practices and targets
- Reinsurance or excess insurance structures and partners
- Annual budget information
- Any existing strategic plans or related pool goals
For more key introductory information every pool governing body member should know about pool activities, operations and environments, see this list.
In addition, to help pools train their governing body members, we’ve developed a webinar series for 2021 specifically tailored to governance needs:
- Current Trends in Public Entity Pooling (already broadcast; view here)
- The Role of Governing Bodies in Futuring (Tuesday, April 20, at 2 p.m. ET)
- Public Entity Pooling Succession Planning (Tuesday, June 22, at 2 p.m. ET)
- Demystifying Generative Governance (Tuesday, Aug. 3, at 2 p.m. ET)
- Challenging the Notion of “Efficient” Meetings (Tuesday, Sept. 21, at 2 p.m. ET)
- (Re)setting the Table for Generative Thinking (Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 2 p.m. ET)
Webinars are available on demand as soon as they’re ready, usually a week or two before the live broadcast date. Pools can use these on-demand recordings as in-service training for governing body members at already-scheduled meetings. Each presentation is short (around 25 minutes) and can serve as the foundation for pool-specific discussion afterward.
Alternatively, pool staff and governing body members can register for the live webinar broadcasts, each of which includes a live Q&A session with the presenter.
Keep in mind, too, that we anticipate the launch of Pooling Academy this year. Pooling Academy’s “Pooling Basics” track is designed to help those new to pooling get grounded in pool governance and operations.
By using these resources along with your own training efforts, your pool can ensure its governing body is ready to act — or react — no matter the circumstance.
April 12, 2021 Pooling Perspective - Stephanie Weiss is AGRiP’s director of education and events. During her career, she has served pools, local entities, universities and nonprofit organizations.
Access past webinars about pool governance via our website.