Board self-evaluation vs external evaluation

Are you in charge of organizing your company’s next board evaluation?

Here’s a brief description of a board self-assessment vs. an external third-party evaluation, followed by our tips below.


  • The board evaluates itself, normally initiated by the Chair with practical help from the company secretary, legal counsel, Nomination Committee or external partners
  • Can be in the format of a (paper- or online) questionnaire and / or in the format of the Chair carrying out a mini-interview of each board member as well the CEO, CFO, and other key leaders
  • Some use both questionnaire and interviews, others use only one of the methods
  • Typically done annually

External evaluation

  • External partner sets up and carries out this third-party evaluation
  • Should consist of individual in-depth interviews and ideally be combined with an online questionnaire
  • Usually also includes several special analyses such as those listed in the document below
  • Usually includes one or more sessions run by the external partner, interpreting the results and giving concrete feedback and suggestions for improvement
  • Typically conducted at least every 3 years

Use the form below to download a PDF with our tips on the differences, pros and cons of self-assessment vs external evaluation.

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Interested in self-evaluation? Try Online Board Evaluations

Well-aligned with national corporate- and foundation/charity governance recommendations, our board clients usually conduct an external board evaluation every three years. However, most national governance recommendations recommend that boards perform a self-evaluation in the years between an external board evaluation. Therefore, we have developed which is a tool enabling boards to self-evaluate effectively and effortlessly every year.