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Board Governance and Effective Meetings

The foundation of an effective not for profit organization is good governance. By having a sound governance structure and following best practices an organization will effectively meet its goals. The Government of Alberta has produced a manual on board governance that outlines the roles and responsibilities of a board and its members, board structure, and other topics to help your organization be an effective board. In addition, the Government of Alberta has also produced a manual on running board (or committee) meetings which provides a step by step guide on how to make the most efficient use of your members time while ensuring organizational business is managed appropriately.

Board Governance Guidebook >

Effective Meetings Guidebook >

Societies Act, Bylaws, Policies, Procedures

Part of good governance is understanding how bylaws, policies, and procedures all fit together and how your association or club team fits within the Societies Act and Hockey Alberta. In general, the hierarchy can be summarized as follows:

1. Society/ Societies Act: To be a member of Hockey Alberta as a Minor Hockey Association you must be incorporated as a society under the Province of Alberta. Club teams do not have to be incorporated under the Societies Act but is recommended.


2. Bylaws: Bylaws are your governing rules and they should not contradict each other. Your bylaws must contain certain information and criteria to meet the requirements outlined in the Societies Act if you are going to become a registered society


3. Policies: Policies are documented statements that guide decision making for the organization. They must line up with your bylaws.


4. Procedures: Procedures explain how a task is to be done. The task tends to be the result of a policy but not always. Your procedures should always fit within your policies.



The Muttart Foundation is an excellent resource on governance and provides publications on a variety of topics including drafting and revising bylaws and building effective boards.

The Sport Law Group provides many articles on Governance, Legal, Leadership, Planning, Strategy and other topics:

Strategic Management + Good Governance = High Performing Sport Organization >

Hallmarks of Good Governance >

Governing Documents: Separating Constitution, Bylaws, Policies, and Rules >