Home | About us | News & Media | Contact us

Chapter 3: Officer induction

Why are induction programs important?

An induction program welcomes officers to your organisation, introduces them to your compliance culture and equips them with the tools and information they need to understand and perform their roles. It is an essential component of promoting good governance in your organisation. 

A comprehensive induction program also helps to create a smooth transition for your organisation when there is turnover – for example elections or resignations – and reduces the loss of experience and corporate knowledge.

 
     
Idea
     

Useful tip: A good induction program protects your organisation and your officers and you can reinforce your speak-up culture!

Having new officers make responsible decisions from day one, fully informed of their obligations minimises the risk of mistakes or misconduct for the entire organisation and reduces the likelihood that the organisation or individual officers will breach the RO Act.

An induction program also lets you begin fostering a culture where officers are encouraged to speak-up about concerns, know how to act on complaints they receive and properly understand that the complaint isn’t an insult to the organisation but an opportunity to make improvements.

 

You can think of officer induction like an induction for new employees of a company. The person may have never been an officer of a registered organisation before, or they may have recently been elected or appointed to a new office with a greater level of responsibility. New officers are often unfamiliar with the way things are done in the organisation. The start of their term of office is an ideal time to educate them about your policies, procedures and expectations. 
 

What should the induction cover?

New officers must understand the duties they have under the RO Act as officers of a registered organisation. You should educate officers about these duties as part of the induction program.

     
Idea
     

Useful Tip: Your induction should also include practical tips for officers 

This will help them perform their roles, such as:

  • where to find the rules of the organisation
  • how to access minutes
  • how meetings are undertaken.

This is all essential information for the officer so they can hit the ground running and be a responsible, productive decision-maker in your organisation. 

 

To help new officers of organisations understand their obligations, responsibilities and the compliance time frames under the RO Act, the ROC has prepared an officer induction kit

The ROC recommends officers access the induction kit through its website rather than downloading it as it is frequently be updated by the ROC with the most up-to-date resources. The officer induction kit has an index with hyperlinks to our fact sheets and guidance notes, such as the officer duties fact sheet, our guide to understanding financial statements, and our fact sheet about conducting meetings. 

Please note the induction kit is not a comprehensive list of all the requirements, obligations, and responsibilities of officers. It is a useful starting point for officers to learn about their obligations. 

 

     
Idea
     

Useful Tip: Include organisation responsibilities and good governance processes

There are often responsibilities that new officers might not have encountered before like: 

  • using an organisation credit card and keeping receipts
  • approving travel and other expenses
  • ensuring privacy requirements are met
  • taking complaints
  • speaking up in meetings with questions or conflicts
  • making proper decisions
  • understanding risk and risk mitigation

Information and training on all these procedures and ideas during the induction will be essential for new officers.

 

Financial training for officers with financial management duties 

New officers of an organisation who have financial management duties also need to complete financial training within six months of taking office. This is a requirement under the RO Act - more information is in the officer financial training fact sheet. 

The mandatory financial training should be run in addition to your officer induction training. It is a small but vital part of what your officers must learn so they can responsibly lead your organisation.

 

 

   
Idea
     

Useful Tip: You can have financial training refreshers

Some organisations have their officers take the financial training on a regular basis as a refresher on their obligations and to learn about any changes in the law. You might consider having officers who hold the same office for more than 2 years take a refresher course.

 

How do I tell which officers have financial management duties

For many reasons, it is important to know which officers have financial management duties. This doesn’t change from election to election, it’s not the people but the office itself that has responsibility for the duties. To determine whether an officer has financial duties (and needs to undertake approved financial training) you will need to refer to the rules of your organisation. Examples of financial duties include:

  • the ability of an officer or group of officers to enter into contracts
  • authorisation of spending
  • making donations 
  • purchasing or disposing of property
  • incurring liabilities on behalf of the organisation or branch. 

If an officer of your organisation has one or more of these duties, they will need to undertake approved training within six months of taking office or get an exemption if eligible. 
 

 
   
Idea
     

Useful Tip: The Committee of Management

All members of the Committee of Management have financial duties regardless of whether they’re paid or in a voluntary role. This is because they approve the financial reports and other expenses.

 

Further resources 

Officer induction 
Officer induction kit 
ROCpod episode 15: officer induction

Officer financial training
Approved financial training fact sheet
Application for exemption from financial training

 

Go back to:
Good Governance Guide introduction

spacer

Next chapter 4:
Committees of management