Identify Skills Required to Fill Critical Roles

The second step in succession planning is to break down the roles, responsibilities and required knowledge for the critical roles you identified in Step 1. It might be a good idea to begin with the roles you marked as ‘immediate’ expected vacancy, then move on to ‘short term’ and finally ‘long term’.  

For each position, ask the person who is currently in the role to answer the following questions and discuss it with the board. The board should also make adjustments or additions to these as they see fit to ensure the responses reflect the feelings of the board as a whole and not just the individual who is currently in the role. For the positions that do not currently exist or are vacant, the board or relevant committee should answer the questions collectively.

    • Why is this position so important?
    • What are the three main objectives of this position?
    • Which skills are required to carry out this position?
    • Is there any previous experience that would help to carry out this role?
    • What knowledge is required?
    • Is there any other expertise/personal quality or characteristic that would help someone to carry out this role successfully?

Now devise a position description for each critical role using the Position Description Template. By completing a position description you are achieving two things. Firstly, you are clearly recording what skills and experience are required for key positions which will help the club board in the future. Often the person in the role is the only person who knows exactly what is required of them so when they leave that information goes with them and their replacement has to ‘learn as they go’. If a position description exists, it provides a level of continuity in that position as the new volunteer continues in the role knowing exactly what is required of them and what the position is all about. Secondly, a position description outlines exactly what you are looking for when you start to recruit volunteers to fill the position. It is very important that you revisit these position descriptions regularly and make appropriate updates.

You should now have the skills and knowledge required to fill out the critical roles section of the Template – Succession Plan (133 KB).