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Organization of a

Guidance Program

Formation of
Advisory Council
and Steering
Committee

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Functions of an
Advisory Council
and a Steering
Committee

What is an Advisory
Council?
An Advisory Board is a collection of
individuals who bring unique
knowledge and skills which
complement the knowledge and skills
of the formal Board members in order
to more effectively
govern the organization.

The Advisory Council does not have


formal authority to govern the
organization, that is, the Advisory
Council cannot issue directives that must
be followed as in the case with a
governing Board. Rather, the Advisory
Council serves to make
recommendations and/or provide key
information and materials
to the formal Board of Directors.

The Advisory Board can be standing (or


ongoing) or ad hoc (one-time) in
nature. It can have a
personality like governing Boards.

What is a Steering
Committee?
At its core, a steering committee is a
"governing device" used to organize a
certain group of stakeholders and
empower them to "steer" a project (or
group of projects) to successful
conclusion.

Steering is not just


managing. Managing gets the job done
only, but steering determines what the
job is. We all know that every project
must be led by an underlying purpose
and a vision. To deliver required results,
that purpose and vision must be clearly
defined, it must be monitored and it must
be maintained.

Andthat'stheroleofasteering
committee-todeliberate,make
decisions,advise,provide
strategicoversight,andtoserve
astheprimaryleaderforall
theassignedinitiatives.

Similarities and
Diferences
All organizations are required to have a
governing body, usually a board of
directors, that is responsible for the
overall well-being of the organization.

The committee hires, fires, and evaluates


the executive director; establish the
organizations vision, mission, and
values; set strategic direction and
monitor progress, and ensure the fiscal
health of the group. Committee members
take on specific tasks on behalf of the
group from time to time, but in general
they are not involved in the day-to-day
implementation of services.

Many organizations also create one or


more advisory groups that can provide
support and guidance to both
the board and staff . Advisory groups are
usually more flexible in what roles they
take on than most the boards of
Directors.

They do not have fiscal oversight and


are not ultimately responsible for the
health and well-being of the
organization, but they often take an
active role in helping
the organization implement its goals
and objectives.

Why do we need an
Advisory Council
and a Steering
Committee?

Functions of an
Advisory Council
and a Steering
Committee

An advisory council:
Provides an independent source of
information and advice to the
directors on strategic issues or risks
confronting the organization
Create a learning forum

Each organization will need to determine


the roles and responsibilities of its
advisory board to best suit its particular
circumstances and needs.
Suggested roles and responsibilities
for advisory board members include:
-Develop an understanding of the
business, market and industry trends

- Provide wise counsel on issues


raised by the directors or management
- Provide the directors and
management with insights and ideas
which can only come with distance from
the day-to-day operations
- Encourage and support the
exploration of new ideas

- Act as a resource for directors


- Encourage the development of a
governance framework that
enables
continued growth, whilst not stifling
the spirit or vision of the founders
- Monitor performance and challenge
the directors & management

A Steering Committee:
takes on responsibility for the
project's feasibility, plan and
achievement of outcomes
ensure the project's scope aligns with
the agreed requirements of the
Directors and key stakeholder groups

provide those directly involved in


the project with guidance on
project issues
ensure effort and expenditure are
appropriate to stakeholders
expectations

ensure that strategies to address


potential threats to the projects
success have been identified,
costed and approved, and that the
threats are regularly re-assessed
address any issue which has major
implications for the project
keep the project scope under
control as emergent issues force
changes to be considered

reconcile differences in opinion


and approach and resolve disputes
arising from them
report on project progress to those
responsible at a high level, such as
agency executive management
groups, Heads of Agency, or
Cabinet

depending on the nature of the


project, take on responsibility for
progressing any issues associated
with the project

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