Canadian Dairy Commission
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Board Assessment Results



• The CDC board recently underwent its 8th annual assessment as recommended in the Treasury Board Secretariat Crown Corporation Guidance on Assessing Board Effectiveness.

• The CDC board consists of three members: a Chairperson, a Chief Executive Officer and a Commissioner.

• The CDC board is pleased with the results and will implement measures to enhance the board’s efficiency and effectiveness.


  • As per the Treasury Board Secretariat Crown Corporation Guidance on Assessing Board Effectiveness, Crown corporations are encouraged to ensure regular assessment of their boards and board members.
  • The CDC’s board assessment is crafted into a questionnaire which incorporates clearly defined areas of knowledge, competencies, accountabilities and accomplishments to be evaluated. In September 2016, board members and the senior management team anonymously completed the questionnaire by ranking each statement based on the following scale: strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, strongly disagree.
  • Board members carefully reviewed the summary of the combined results and openly discussed the findings at their meeting on October 27, 2016. Although the results pointed to an already efficient and effective board, a small working group was created to review the results more closely, determine the areas for improvement and recommend an action plan.
  • The following areas were assessed: Board organization and governance; Conduct of Meetings; The Strategic Planning Process, The Budget Process; Human Resources; Stewardship, Internal Controls and Risk; Financial and Corporate Issues; Communications; Policies and Procedures; and Corporate Culture.
  • The questionnaire ended with a few editorial questions on achievements, possible shortcomings, constructive comments and overall performance for the past year.
  • The working group identified four areas where improvements can be made: orientation of board members, meeting process and decision making, succession planning, and communications. An action plan has been developed and adopted by the board to help enhance these areas.
  • The board of directors is pleased with the results of the 2015-2016 assessment and will work to implement the recommendations identified in the action plan (Appendix A).
  • Recognizing that the CEO is a member of the board as prescribed in the Canadian Dairy Commission Act, the board will continue to monitor and ensure the proper distinction of leadership and responsibility between itself and management.
  • The next assessment is planned for late summer 2017.

Appendix A

Action Planfor improvements based on
2015-2016 board assessment results

Identified areas for improvement
A. Orientation of board members
B. Board meeting process and decision making
C. Succession Planning
D. Communications

A. Orientation of board members – Lead: Corporate Secretary

1. Continue to offer comprehensive orientation to new board members and senior management level employees
2. Continue to inform board members of possible courses to take through Canada School of Public Service and other sources as deemed appropriate throughout their term
3. Perform annual review of board by-laws

B. Board meeting process

1. Develop a board agenda to allow for more strategic thinking and discussion – Lead: Corporate Secretary/Board Chair
2. Mitigate overlap between SMT and Board by identifying at which level issues should be dealt with – Lead: SMT
3. Continue to hold pre-board meetings to prepare for board meetings – Lead: SMT
4. Create a one-pager briefing note on issues to be presented at board meetings and include in meeting kit; reduce verbal reports at meetings and only provide verbal updates further to the one-page report as needed – Lead: SMT
5. Prepare one-pager briefing note template (Report to Board - for information, for action, for discussion, for decision, etc.) – Lead: Communications
6. Continue to commit to being prepared for board meetings (read meeting kit) – Lead: Board members
7. Hold longer board meetings (1.5 -2 day meetings) or increase frequency of meetings (plan routine meetings, i.e.: conference call every second Wednesday) – Lead: Executive Assistant
8. Implement SAFETI – Lead: Chair/Board

C. Succession Planning

1. Update Succession Plan as required – Lead: Directors
2. Review Succession Plan annually – Lead: HR

D. Communications

1. Commit to meet the Minister at least twice a year to provide general updates on the CDC and the dairy industry – Lead: Board
2. Schedule regular CEO Updates to staff (3-4 times a year) – Lead: Executive Assistant
3. Communicate results of the Industry Survey to stakeholders; use results of the survey as information for the strategic planning session; use results of survey for visioning session in March or April 2017 – Lead: Board

Summary of the Canadian Dairy Commission 2015-2016 board assessment results (PDF 269 Kb)