Training your Board Members

September 2017

Your Board of Directors is the cornerstone of your condo corporation.

A board comprised of good directors will protect property values and maintain common areas.  They will facilitate social and recreational planning for your community.  Doing all of this requires individuals who understand their role and responsibility.

Some directors will have experience.  They may be business owners, accountants, lawyers or managers.  Others simply want to provide a service to their community.

The director role is voluntary.  The task entrusted to this body is significant.  Few individuals can effectively serve as a condo director without some level of instruction, education and training.  Condo directors should understand their obligation to act in the best interest of condo owners and that this requires they put aside personal interests and opinions.  Mistakes made by inexperienced or self-serving condo directors, and which can reasonably be avoided, are an unnecessary cost to condo owners.

Self-Education

A number of documents should be reviewed by all elected directors.  These include the Condo Act along with your corporation’s declaration, bylaws and rules.

Directors should be encouraged to attend annual condo community events, such as Springfest, where free educational seminars are available to them.  Condo Archives, by Toronto Condo News, provides easy access to information on virtually all matters relating to condo living and management.

Formal Education

Industry organizations offer workshops and courses for condo directors.

Succession Planning

Look within your community for future board position candidates.  Invite these individuals to observe the board by sitting in on a meeting.  Ask that they join or chair condo committees that advise the board.  Should the individual be elected or asked to serve on the board they will be more qualified and capable.

Resource Guide for New Board Members

Create and maintain a document to be provided to all new board members.  Have the property or condominium manager maintain the document.  For self-managed condo corporations, employ an individual to update the document each year.

Include in this document:

  • General and fiduciary responsibilities of condo directors
  • Explain the responsibility of each position on the board e.g. Ensure the Secretary understands their role includes taking minutes for board meetings and the Treasurer understands they are expected to chair the finance committee
  • Financial statements and budgets for the current and prior years
  • Summary of current and upcoming projects
  • Current goals
  • Recent accomplishments
  • Current service contracts
  • Provide a list of condo community resources including Toronto Condo News, Condo Resource Guide and  Condo Archives

The bottom line is that no training for condo directors should be unacceptable for any condo corporation.  Allowing inexperienced and untrained individuals to manage million dollar annual budgets rarely leads to desirable outcomes.