Not-for-Profit Diagnostic Tool

Review your board against the AICD’s NFP Governance Principles.  


Benchmark your board's performance.

Whether used as an initial ‘yardstick’ for the board, or as a base for a more detailed and comprehensive review, the NFP Diagnostic Tool covers various aspects of NFP board governance that impact on performance and are aligned to the AICD’s ten NFP Governance Principles.

Review findings can be used as an important input for the board’s prioritisation of actions and serve as a baseline for tracking board performance in future years against a standardised and consistent set of parameters.

The NFP Diagnostic Tool from Board Advance is designed specifically to help NFP boards looking to advance their performance and uses the AICD’s NFP Principles as a supporting frame of reference.

Review participants are given opportunities to share their perspectives, and the resultant feedback is impartially and rigorously analysed by the AICD.

The ten Principles are summarised below:

  1. Purpose and strategy: the organisation has a clear purpose and a strategy which aligns its activities to its purpose.
  2. Roles and responsibilities: there is clarity about the roles, responsibilities and relationships of the board.
  3. Board composition: the board’s structure and composition enable it to fulfil its role effectively.
  4. Board effectiveness: the board is run effectively and its performance is periodically evaluated.
  5. Risk management: board decision making is informed by an understanding of risk and how it is managed.
  6. Performance: the organisation uses its resources appropriately and evaluates its performance.
  7. Accountability and transparency: the board demonstrates accountability by providing information to stakeholders about the organisation and its performance.
  8. Stakeholder engagement: there is meaningful engagement of stakeholders and their interests are understood and considered by the board.
  9. Conduct and compliance: the expectations of behaviour for the people involved in the organisation are clear and understood.
  10. Culture: the board models and works to instil a culture that supports the organisation’s purpose and strategy.

The NFP Diagnostic Tool has been designed to:

  • Provide a method of assessing governance arrangements against a set of good governance statements developed by AICD for an NFP context.
  • Support reflections by review participants and help reinforce collective knowledge of the board regarding good governance practice.
  • Help to identify governance gaps and possible blind spots.
  • Provide a basis for the board to consider the prioritisation of actions aimed at strengthening governance.

By gaining a clear and reliable picture of how review participants assess your board’s governance against good practice statements, you will be able to work with confidence toward better leadership for your NFP.

In all, each participant is asked via an online survey to make approximately 130 assessments on a five-point agreement scale and respond to a small number of supplementary open-ended questions.

In addition, they are encouraged to provide comments, for instance, to facilitate insight into the specific circumstances of the governance area being assessed or reasons why a particular assessment rating is given.

It is possible to include your CEO or Company Secretary as part of the review or you can expand the review coverage to include your key executive group.

Individual results are collated, analysed and provided to the board in a report. The report highlights what participants consider are areas of strength and opportunities for improvement.

As an extended service, boards can then undertake an AICD-facilitated workshop to explore the findings in greater detail.

AICD members participating in the review attain 5 Director Professional Development (‘DPD’) units through undertaking the survey. A further 5 DPD units may be attained by participants attending the AICD-facilitated workshop (should your board opt for this extended service). 

How Board Advance will work for you.

An experienced member of the Board Advance Team will guide you through a fully consultative process, working with specialist AICD facilitators and subject matter experts.


Expert governance assessments and development programs tailored to suit your board.


Data-driven diagnostics and insights to evaluate your board performance, benchmarked against contemporary governance standards.


Deliver better outcomes with ongoing assessment, identify emerging governance issues and measure improvement.


Stay ahead of the curve on emerging governance topics to support your board in risk and opportunity management.



Your partner in performance improvement.

Board Advance specialises in equipping organisations with the understanding, insight and guidance required for boards to unlock their performance. Whether your board is well established or still in its infancy, we are the perfect partner for organisations seeking to improve in the key areas of governance, planning, insights, decision making and diversity of thought.

The AICD has amassed a wealth of mission-led research and is nationally renowned for its market leading efforts in both advocacy and governance education. When you partner with Board Advance, you are tapping into an unparalleled source of information, experience and governance knowledge.

Need help?

Contact us for any queries you have about AICD membership, services and advocacy work.


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