Fit For Purpose | Advisory Board Best Practice Principles


Published 05 September 2020

The ABF101 Advisory Board Best Practice Framework™ has been carefully developed to respect and support the balance required between purpose, people, and process to create a strong foundation for advisor engagement.

The ABF101 Framework is based on five key principles – clarity of scope, independence and fit-for-purpose, measurement, structure and discipline.

Let’s explore the “Fit for Purpose” principle.

Advisory Board Best Practice Framework

Fit for Purpose

Advisory boards are inherently flexible. The scope and priorities of an advisory board are as unique as the organisation it serves. Careful consideration is required from organisations and advisors to evaluate whether the advisory board members are “fit for purpose”.

Within the ABF101 Framework, Independence and Fit for Purpose principles underpin the Advisory Board’s PEOPLE section. Within this, the Fit for Purpose principle states “The advisory board members are profiled and selected by the organisation to fulfil the scope and meet the objectives.”

An advisory board is an effective vehicle for organisations to access a wider view of the market. When selecting advisory board members, organisations are seeking more than industry knowledge as this is often present already within the business. There is a significant benefit for advisors who are leaders in their field with a broader view of sector dynamics than the business currently holds.

According to the Formalised Advisory Boards Advisor Engagement Market Pulse Report, organisations seek different contributions from advisory board Chairs and advisors when determining “fit for purpose”.

Market Pulse Report 2019 – Advisory Board Centre

Market Pulse Report 2019 – Advisory Board Centre

The ABF101 Framework provides a balanced approach to advisory board structures. It recognises the balance necessary for defining a purpose that is unique to the organisation, applying good governance of people and processes. It enables an organisation to effectively draw on the skills and experience of people in a way that supplements skills within an organisation.

Importance of Fit for Purpose for Organisations

  • Clear articulation of the priorities for the advisory board to address
  • Purposeful and targeted formation of the advisory board
  • Targeted and select specialist knowledge, skills and connections

Importance of Fit for Purpose for Advisors

  • Clarity in what the organisation needs and where the advisor adds value to the advisory board
  • Goal orientation for purposeful conversations
  • Maximise impact of external advice


  • Organisational focus within the Charter including advisory board objectives and priorities
  • Scoping of advisor profiles to address the organisational priorities
  • Selection of members who can interact and contribute positively in a group setting
  • Goal establishment for the advisory board to support the organisational objectives and priorities within a period of time
  • The period of time is subject to ongoing review

What’s the next step?

A well-crafted, comprehensive advisory board charter can outline the scope of the advisory board and detail the framework for assessing and appointing advisory board members who are fit for purpose.

Advisory board Certified Chairs have undertaken specialised development to assist organisations to evaluate their options and develop advisory board protocols, including a Charter, that considers whether the advisory board participants are fit for purpose and the organisation.

If you are a business and would like to tap into this and learn more about how advisor engagement could benefit your business, email: [email protected]

Interested in learning more around best practice for advisory boards and professional advisors? Download your complimentary copy of the ABF101 Advisory Board Best Practice Framework™. In addition, you can gain a Micro-Credential in the Advisory Board Technical Foundations Program, which is a fully supported online program that is self-paced and can be done at any time to understand how advisory boards technically work, elevating your skills and lifting you in your role as an advisor.


ABF101 Advisory Board Best Practice Framework™