The Public Agencies, Boards and Commissions: Member Orientation Manual (PDF, 677 KB) provides an introductory orientation for members appointed to public agencies.

Government policy

All public agencies are encouraged to provide their directors with an orientation to the particular practices of their organization, including their governance practices. Public agencies will pursue ongoing development opportunities for their directors, as appropriate, and the Public Agency Secretariat will promote learning about best practices in governance. Government officials (including ministers) who work with public agencies will be offered an orientation to agency governance.


Given the significant portion of the government's responsibilities handled through public agencies, it is important that there be a commitment to educating and strengthening the knowledge and abilities related to agency governance. This education needs to take place among two groups: directors, and the government officials and ministers who work with them. Governance can be complex and success depends on individuals understanding their roles. Orientation and on-going learning will help develop common understandings of good governance practices.


The Public Agency Secretariat will develop and offer high-level governance orientation programs for ministers and departments. Orientation packages will focus on the range of agencies and how to work with them to promote superior outcomes.

Public agencies will continue to be responsible for providing their directors with an orientation on their organization and its specific governance practices, mandate and environment.

Ongoing learning

Public agencies will plan ongoing learning for all their directors to improve individual performance. Training may cover a range of skills, with particular consideration given to financial literacy, communication, strategic planning, risk management and understanding the legal environment.

The Public Agency Secretariat will provide tools to help public agencies understand what courses currently exist and to find solutions to any gaps in training that may exist.

Leading practices

The Public Agency Secretariat will work with departments to ensure information on emerging leading practices in good governance is available through a variety of means, including courses, networking and other sources.