OnBoard November 2021 Product Relase: Board Assessments & D&O Questionnaires

  • By: OnBoard Meetings
  • November 18, 2021
November Product Launch
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Board assessments and D&O questionnaires are vital, but can be cumbersome tasks for board members and directors. See how our new tools can help boards streamline both processes.

Boards of directors constantly need to analyze virtually everything within their organizations. That includes the boards themselves.

Traditionally, boards conduct annual board assessments and fill out director and officer (D&O) questionnaires as part of this process. Busy board members sometimes struggle to fit these tasks into their schedules, and directors — and their administrative assistants — often spend large amounts of time preparing these items and analyzing the replies.

OnBoard believes in addressing real-world needs and reducing complexity so boards and leadership teams can work smarter, move faster, and achieve more for the organizations they govern.

As part of that commitment — and responses from customers who are seeking specific innovations — OnBoard is introducing new board assessment and D&O questionnaire tools that will streamline both processes.

Watch the “2022 Planning: D&O Questionnaires & Board Assessments for the Next Calendar Year” webinar On-Demand Now

“ The whole goal is to make life easier – streamline process and allow you to drive the business forward”

– Michael Butler, OnBoard growth manager

New: Board Assessments

Annual board assessments serve five primary purposes:

  1. Help identify areas for performance improvement
  2. They’re part of an organization bylaws or are required by stock exchange listing standards
  3. Their qualitative data help identify specific areas to emphasize for better board efficiency
  4. They show where directors have differing opinions that need to be addresses
  5. They’re used during critical inflection points

Boards might seek board assessment tools to assist them if they need:

  • Expert-built templates
  • Central access to results
  • Anonymous responses
  • To save time/reduce the number of apps they use to take assessments
  • Enterprise-grade security
  • A tool to analyze assessment results

“The whole goal is to make life easier – streamline process and allow you to drive the business forward,” said Michael Butler, OnBoard growth manager, during a webinar that explained the product.


OnBoard’s board assessment tool gives users the option to create their own template or select from two pre-made templates — one for board members, the other for directors

board assessment template

D&O Questionnaires

D&O Questionnaires are an annual survey boards issue to their directors and officers each year to gather information about the background and experience, securities ownership, conflicts of interest, independence, compensation, and insider transactions for each director and officer serving on its board. 

Their purposes include:

  • Being part of good governance to identify possible conflicts of interest
  • Public companies are required to complete them annually
  • They’re also initiated during initial public offerings (IPOs)
  • Provide information on background, experience, securities ownership, independence, and compensation of directors and/or officers

Boards might consider D&O questionnaire software if they need:

  • Detailed questionnaires such as conflict-of-interest, financial disclosures, or to gather contact information
  • One questionnaire (i.e. inclusion of eSignature) for everyone to complete
  • Professional services so OnBoard can create the questionnaire and prefill responses
  • Save time by cloning previous questionnaire survey and data
  • To export individual responses
  • Enterprise-grade security for sensitive governance data

“It’s something you’re typically going to see as required by your governing body,” Butler says. “Some organizations have used it for new board member intake. We have one org that uses it as part of their loan approval process.”

What are the differences between the two?

Board assessments are purpose-built to analyze board feedback for continuous improvement. There are templates for board assessments and director self-assessments. Board assessments encourage open, honest feedback with the ability to respond anonymously. Board directors or administrators can analyze results and look for trends in differing opinions, and they can view and share results — including overall and individual question results.

D&O questionnaires, meanwhile, are purpose-built for D&O conflicts of interest questionnaires or other complex forms. They include the ability to prefill responses, and board members can submit them with an e-signature. Directors can clone last year’s questionnaire and directors’ data from the previous year and can export individual reports or aggregate responses into a single spreadsheet. They can also manage responses using a dedicated dashboard.

Still have questions about either tool? Contact the OnBoard Growth Team at [email protected].

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About The Author

OnBoard Meetings
OnBoard Meetings
At OnBoard, we believe board meetings should be informed, effective, and uncomplicated. That’s why we give boards and leadership teams an elegant solution that simplifies governance. With customers in higher education, nonprofit, health care systems, government, and corporate enterprise business, OnBoard is the leading board management provider.