What Is Policy Based Governance?

by Ann Fletcher

What is Policy Based Governance anyway? What is the Policy and Governance Committee doing at East Shore? How am I already part of Policy Based Governance? Inquiring minds want to know!

Let’s try a metaphor.

For those of you who follow the sport of curling, you will know that team members brush the ice in front of the stone to speed it up or curl it, helping it reach its intended spot. 

Let’s apply the metaphor to East Shore:

  • Let the Congregation, in determining our Mission, decide where that stone should head, and end up.
  • Let the Target be our Mission, doing good work in the world and in ourselves.
  • Let the Board, in setting Annual Goals, be the person who ‘throws’ the Stone.
  • Let the Sweepers be the Minister and Staff and again, the Congregation: those who do the actual work and are responsible for doing their best to get the stone to its goal.
  • Let the Brooms be the Policies which smooth the path for the stone, setting boundaries and clear expectations as to what is appropriate.
  • Lastly, let the Policy and Governance Committee and Board be those who produce and maintain the brooms with input from the Congregation.

Altogether, we have a system of Policy Based Governance, made of both humans and tools, which helps East Shore glide smoothly toward fulfilling our Mission.

If our metaphor was helpful, you now know what the Policy and Governance Committee is up to and how East Shore’s Policies are intended to involve and help the congregation. The term ‘governance’ refers to who has what authority and responsibility, who decides and is accountable for what? You, as a member, are in integral part of this system!