Risk management and ensuring there is a process in the event of an unexpected loss of the Executive Principal. The rationale is based on how ECA operates when their EP is away.
To outline the process Eastern College Australia (ECA) will adopt in the event of an unexpected absence (an emergency succession) or planned departure (departure defined succession) of the Executive Principal (EP).
This policy applies to ECA.
This document describes an Emergency Succession Plan and a Departure Defined Succession Plan.
The Emergency Succession Plan facilitates the transition to both interim and longer-term leadership, if the organisation is faced with the event of an untimely vacancy of the EP. If it becomes evident during the temporary, unplanned absence that the existing EP is unable to resume normal duties by twelve months following such a leave of absence, the Governing Board (the Board) will undertake a search for a new EP, given the likely detrimental effect on the ongoing operations of ECA under a protracted interim EP leadership period beyond twelve months.
The Departure Defined Succession Plan is implemented when the departure date is agreed with the Board and is known well in advance. For instance, when the EP retires, or the ministry has reached a new phase and faces challenges and opportunities that require a new leader to continue to fulfil the ministry’s vision and objectives.
This succession plan is undergirded by ECA’s values as the Board seeks the Lord for wisdom and acknowledges that God will lead and direct the Board in implementing this plan when needed.
This succession plan is divided into 4 sections:
- Emergency Succession Plan for a temporary, unplanned, short-term absence
- Emergency Succession Plan for a temporary, unplanned, longer-term absence
- Emergency Succession Plan for a permanent, unplanned vacancy
- Departure Defined Succession Plan - Permanent Change in Executive Principal
1. Temporary, Unplanned, Short-Term Absence
A temporary absence is one of up to three months in which it is expected that the EP will return to their position once the events precipitating the absence are resolved. An unplanned absence is one that arises unexpectedly, in contrast to a planned leave, such as a holiday or a sabbatical. The ECA Board is authourised to implement the terms of this emergency plan in the event of an unplanned absence of the EP.
As soon as it is feasible, the Chair should convene a meeting of the Board to affirm the procedures prescribed in this plan or to make modifications as deemed appropriate.
There will be the immediate appointment of the stand-in appointee as Acting EP, and this shall be the Vice-Principal ECA. Should the Vice-Principal ECA be unable to serve, the back-up appointee for the position of Acting EP will be appointed by the Board.
Pastoral and Relational Support
The Board will ensure that the EP will receive pastoral and relational support during their short-term emergency absence and for as long as is required upon their return.
The Board will provide Pastoral and Relational Support to assist the Acting EP.
Pastoral and Relational Support will be provided by the Board Executive in the first instance.
The person appointed as Acting EP shall have in principle the full authority for decision-making and ministry oversight as the regular EP in accordance with approved budgets, plans and the Schedule of Delegations, but cannot make any material change to the nature of ECA, nor enter into any material agreements or contracts without first receiving approval from the Board.
The Board Executive will be responsible for monitoring and supporting the work of the Acting Executive Principal.
The Board may also decide to engage another Not-for-Profit CEO or executive coach to support the Acting EP. The support structures as determined in this plan are considered adequate and the risks are manageable.
The Board Executive is:
- authorised to discuss with the Acting Executive Principal what financial compensation may be appropriate in the circumstances; and
- to propose the outcome of their discussion to the Board for comment and approval.
Key Objectives for the Acting Executive Principal
The key objectives for the Acting EP during the period will be:
- Maintaining momentum in current and developing relationships
- Financial responsibility for ECA and associated entities
- Project management of major project/s the EP was working on
- Maintain core business operations
- Oversee delegation of existing duties where feasible
- Maintain good relationships with all supporters and stakeholders
The principal spokesperson for external and internal communications will be the Board Chair in consultation with the Board Executive and the Acting EP. If appropriate, the Board Chair may also engage a Public Relations (PR) firm to assist with communications.
Immediately upon transferring the responsibilities to the Acting EP, the Board Chair will inform, in consultation with the Board Executive and the Acting EP, faculty, staff members.
Pastoral and Relational Support will be on stand-by to provide support to faculty, staff members and key volunteers as required.
As soon as possible after faculty, staff and key volunteers have been informed, the Board Chair in consultation with the Board Executive and the Acting EP will communicate the temporary leadership structure to relevant external supporters and stakeholders of ECA.
Immediately following this communication with the key stakeholders, the wider community of ECA supporters will be notified of the temporary leadership structure.
Completion of Short-Term Emergency Succession Period
The decision about when the absent EP returns to lead ECA should be determined by the Board Executive in consultation with the Board and the Acting EP. They will decide upon a mutually agreed upon schedule and start date.
2. Temporary, unplanned, longer-term absence
A longer-term absence is one that is expected to last more than three months, and no longer than twelve months, with the expectation of the return of the EP to full duties after this period of time. The procedures and conditions to be followed should be the same as for a short-term absence with one addition.
Completion of Longer-Term Emergency Succession Period
The decision about when the absent EP returns to lead ECA should be determined by the Board Executive in consultation with the Board and the Acting EP.
3. Emergency Succession Plan for a permanent, unplanned vacancy
The Board will:
- Appoint an interim EP, see Section 1 above, until a new permanent EP is appointed;
- Appoint a Succession Planning Committee, see Section 4 below for the Committee Terms of Reference, to search for and to plan the transition to a new permanent EP;
- Undertake an appropriate Communications Strategy as outlined in Section 1 above.
4. Departure Defined Succession Plan - Permanent Change in Executive Principal
A permanent change is one in which it is firmly determined that the EP will either be resigning at a planned future time or will not be returning to the position (in the case of a time of absence).
The overall strategy for the recruitment of a new EP will follow the principles of prayerful discernment process as described in the ECA Recruitment & Selection Policy.
The Board will appoint a Succession Planning Committee to search for and to plan the transition to a new permanent EP.
The EP Succession Planning Committee: Terms of Reference
The purpose of the Succession Planning Committee is to assist the Board in fulfilling its corporate governance responsibilities.
- The Committee Chair shall be the Board Chair
- The Committee shall comprise the Board Executive
- The Committee may co-opt Board members and/or appropriate Faculty, and/or external specialist eg from a professional recruitment agency in an advisory capacity
Responsibilities and Accountabilities:
The Succession Planning Committee is a sub-committee of the Board. The Chair of the Succession Planning Committee shall report all outcomes of the Committee to the Board.
The Committee will:
- Establish criteria for the office of EP;
- Consider potential candidates and interview them;
- Implement a defined recruitment process;
- The Chair will keep the Board informed on the progress of the selection and succession process
- The Committee will make recommendations to the Board with respect to the preferred candidate and potential alternative candidates.
- The Board Executive will determine to what extent the outgoing EP will be involved in the selection process.
The Board will, annually, maintain and review the pool of current potential candidates for a new Executive Principal, Vice-Principal, and back-up appointee to Vice-Principal.
- The Committee shall meet as it deems necessary.
- A quorum is a majority of members of the Committee
- Meetings may take place in person or by electronic conference
- Minutes shall be made of all meetings