Frequently asked questions
About boards and committees
What type of work do board and committee members do?
The roles of board members vary. Board members often provide leadership, strategic direction, independent scrutiny and, in some cases, specialist expertise.
Key responsibilities may include:
- providing advice to inform decision-making, based on relevant expertise or lived experience
- agreeing strategy and business plans
- overseeing performance targets
- making sure the organisation’s budget is spent appropriately, and
- making sure the organisation meets the needs of the public
- representing the views and work of the organisation to ministers, parliament, stakeholders, or the public.
Are board & committee positions paid?
Some positions are paid and others are unpaid. Advertisements for board or committee vacancies will state if the role is remunerated.
How much time does being on a board or committee involve?
Each role is different. Some roles only need 2 hours a month and others need 2 days a month, depending on how much work there is for the board or committee to complete.
You can look for roles that suit you and the time you have.
Board and committee membership is usually for a fixed term, and the length of the term will depend on the specific body.
Can I do the role remotely?
It depends on the role, but many positions can now be fulfilled, at least in-part, remotely. Check if this is an option when applying for any board or committee position.
How can I apply for a board position?
Each board and committee has its own application process. If you are interested in a position that has been advertised on this website (under ‘vacancies’), follow the instructions to apply.
If you have a profile on the Register, you can opt to receive regular email alerts of new opportunities relevant to your skills, experience and interests. Join the Register now.
Government agencies that are looking for board members can also search the register to find a suitable candidate for their board. If your profile matches the requirements for the role, you may be contacted directly to see if you are interested in the position.
What skills and experience do I need to join a board?
People with all different types and levels of skills and experience can be on boards. Each board needs people with various skills, abilities, and experiences as the tasks of a board are varied. For example, to be successful, a board may require a mix of members with HR experience, marketing experience, financial experience, administrative experience, community experience and policy experience. Many boards and committees also benefit from the diverse lived experiences of its members as the users of government services.
When joining the register, you can select the areas you have experience, qualifications, and interest in which you’d like to be considered for. For many roles, you do not need to have any board experience.
Who can become a board member?
The most successful boards have people with different skills, experiences, and interests; people who understand local issues as well as the bigger picture – those who reflect and connect with their local community.
There is a real need for more people from all backgrounds and experiences to take on board roles. We want a more diverse mix of people to join our boards and committees. Diversity helps NSW boards and committees make more meaningful decisions for our communities.
Government boards play an important role in NSW. They make decisions and deliver essential services to benefit local communities. That’s why a mix of people with different skills, experiences and backgrounds are needed to serve on boards.
How can I become ready to join a board?
Boards and committees are all different and members need specific skills or experience. However, there are some attributes, skills and experience that will help you become an effective member of any board or committee.
Visit the Women NSW, Women on Boards toolkit to help you become board ready.
How are boards and committees created?
NSW Government bodies are usually created by, or under, an Act of Parliament. They are managed by people who are appointed either by a minister or by the Governor.
Joining the register
What happens once I’ve joined the register?
Once you join the register, you can choose to receive email updates about advertised positions on government boards or committees. In your profile settings, you can opt to receive regular email alerts of new opportunities relevant to your skills, experience and interests.
Government agencies that are looking for board members can also search the register to find suitable candidates like you for their board. If you match the requirements of the role, they may contact you to check if you are interested in the position and tell you more about the role.
Whether you apply, or are nominated for a position, a recruitment process will still take place to select the most suitable candidate for the role.
Is the Register a jobs database?
No. The Register aims to find suitable people to serve on government boards, committees and advisory groups and is not linked to any job service.
Can I register someone else?
You can complete the registration form on behalf of someone if you have their permission.
Will my name be put forward for all board and committee positions?
NSW Government agencies will be able to access your registration details where your profile closely matches the requirements for their position. Your name will not be automatically forwarded for board and committee positions.
How long do my details stay on the register?
Your details will remain on the register until you tell us to remove them, or if you have not logged into your account in over 12 months.
We recommend you keep your profile up to date to ensure you are contacted about positions that you may be suitable for.
Joining a board or Committee
If I’m offered an appointment, can I turn it down?
Yes. You do not have to accept an appointment if it is offered to you, even if you have joined the register. You can choose to say yes or no.
How long must I serve on a board if I’m appointed?
The length of board and committee appointments can vary, but you will know these details when you apply for a position that you’re interested in.
If you are on a board or committee and you are unable to complete the term of your appointment, you can resign from your position at any time.
Can I be on a board if I work for a government department?
Yes, you can be on a board if you work for a NSW or federal government department. However, you may need to register it as a potential conflict of interest.
For NSW Government employees, remuneration for participating in boards or committee is not permitted unless an exemption is approved by the Public Service Commission on request of the Minister.
How many boards can I be on at one time?
There is no general limit to how many boards and committees you can be a member of at any one time, however some types of boards and committees have specific limits (e.g. you can only serve on 5 Audit and Risk Committees at a time – see TPP20-08).
You should consider what is involved in each role, and whether you are able to meet all the needs of the various roles at one time.