Principles & Guidelines
Principles & Guidelines for Microboards
All Microboards that we facilitate use the following principles and guidelines as their building blocks for development:
1. Microboard members must establish and maintain a personal relationship with the person for whom the board is created.
2. All people are assumed to have the capacity for self-determination. This capacity will be acknowledged, respected, and demonstrated in all of the dealings of the Microboard.
3. All planning and decisions made by a Microboard will demonstrate regard for the person’s safety, comfort, and dignity, with consistent respect for their needs, wishes, interests, and strengths. This is called person-centered planning.
4. Microboard members will act as sponsors to the community, ensuring the person participates in community activities with Microboard members (e.g. family functions, social events). This is done in ways that are natural for everyone involved.
5. Ensure the person has the opportunity to both receive from and give to their community, as well as with other individuals in their network.
6. All Microboard members will conduct their board business in the spirit of mutual respect, cooperation, and collaboration.
The values and beliefs that guide Microboards are found in your constitution and Vela Canada’s Guiding Principles. Both documents stress the importance of:
- Personal relationships
- Person-centered planning
- Community participation
- Opportunities to give and receive
- Respect for each other
The following guidelines will help you focus on your role as a Board Member:
- Read your constitution and bylaws.
- Understand your Microboard’s goals and objectives.
- Get to know other members by attending board and committee meetings on a regular basis, so everyone learns to work together. This will prepare you for difficult decisions should an issue arise later. When new members join an already established Microboard make a special effort to welcome them by sharing background information to help them feel comfortable asking questions.
- Read the minutes of board and committee meetings. Ensure important decisions and who is doing what, are clearly recorded.
- Know what kind of paid and unpaid supports are provided to the individual you care about. Get to know their staff and/or caregivers, even if your Microboard is not providing those supports.
- Hold in confidence the private and often sensitive information you will discuss as a Board Member. Remember, Society information can only be shared on a “need to know” basis.
- Complete all aspects of your Microboard’s non-profit status (i.e. annual general meeting, director’s report, financial statement, register of members).
- Inquire if there is something you do not understand or if something comes to your attention, which causes you to question a policy or a practice.
- Ask for help if you feel you and/or the Microboard is in need of advice and assistance. If your society needs to deal with a complex matter in which directors lack expertise, consider the services of an outside professional (e.g. a Vela Mentor, a lawyer, a financial advisor, human resources consultant or a risk management specialist).
- Read the Conflict of Interest Guidelines (found below).
- Learn to identify your liability risk by reading our Liability – How to Manage Your Risk (found below).
If your Microboard receives funding:
- Have a sound understanding of your society’s financial condition by reviewing regular financial statements and comparing them to your approved budget. Know who is authorized to sign cheques for the society and for what amounts.
- Follow your funding agency’s standards and comply with all other employer rules and regulations that apply, such as, Employment Standards, WorkSafe BC and the Canada Revenue Agency.
Please reivew the recommended conduct policy statement for society participants by clicking here.
When you form a Microboard it is important to understand the risks involved. This document offers Microboards some suggestions for lowering these risks, whether you are doing advocacy or providing a service (hiring staff or contracting for respite or a home share provider) to support your loved one.
View the full Liability – How to Manage Your Risk document here.