We all assume that, when we begin a new job or receive a big promotion, we are going to receive some kind of training before we begin our new work in earnest. The reasons for this are fairly obvious; if we aren’t trained, how can we be expected to perform our tasks accurately and efficiently? Well, serving on an HOA Board may not be “work,” per se—that is, it may be something you’re doing as a volunteer—but it is nevertheless a big job, and one that is best performed with a little training on the front end. That’s why HOA Boards are strongly encouraged to provide HOA Board Member training sessions for all new members. After all, better-educated board members are going to make better decisions on behalf of the community, and also make things easier for the community manager!
The best policy an HOA board can employ, as far as training goes, is to offer the HOA Board Member Training session after every election; definitely require newly-elected Board members to be present, but ask that existing ones come, as well. The community manager should lead this session, and should go over the basics—how to run an HOA Board meeting, the different roles of the different officers, what a board member does and does not have authority to do, and so forth. Make it a sort of crash course in HOA fundamentals.
But in addition to these orientation sessions, board members old and new should be kept up to speed on other educational opportunities that await them. For instance, many professional HOA Management companies will offer periodic training sessions for multiple boards and associations; these are great times to receive training on a more professional level. On top of that, associations like the CAI conduct big training events and seminars on a regular basis; if it’s feasible, board members might think about sending delegates to these events.
The amount of training different HOA Boards will want or require may vary, of course, but it’s important to know the options and take advantage of them as best as possible; this will ensure an HOA Board that runs as efficiently and smoothly as possible, and best represents the community’s needs and interests.