Policy Section: Board

Policy Subsection: Policy and Governance

Policy Title: President

Policy Statement

Swimming Canada is dependent upon a skilled and effective President and a positive working relationship between the President and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The role of the President is to guide the governance of the organization and the development of policy.


The Swimming Canada President is responsible for the stewardship of the Board of Directors (Board). As such, the President represents the leadership of the Board and maintains a mission focus, ensuring benefits to the members and maintaining the integrity of governance.

The President of Swimming Canada forms the working link between the Board and the CEO. As such, and in partnership with the CEO, the President may direct the CEO to a course of action on behalf of the Board. The President’s working relationship with the CEO sets the tone for the relationship with the Board and serves as a model for the behaviour for other Board members toward the CEO.

The President is accountable to the Board and acts on the Board’s behalf between Board meetings – consulting and taking actions as required. As such, the President must be a leader in sport: networking and advocating on behalf of Swimming Canada.


The President/CEO Relationship

  1. The President will be the primary point of contact for the CEO with the Board. While respecting their own responsibilities – the President to lead the Board and the CEO to manage the operational activities – they will work as a partnership serving the success of the organization.
  2. The Board expects that in establishing an effective working relationship between the CEO and the Board, the President will:
    1. Focus the CEO and Board on key goals, strategies and accountabilities, making sure everyone understands who is responsible to whom and for what.
    2. Respect the role of the CEO and work through those situations where the line between management and governance is not clear.
    3. Avoid territorial behaviour with the CEO when issues are not easily defined as either a Board or staff responsibility and communicate candidly about the situation and adjust their approach accordingly.
    4. Understand that the success of the President/CEO relationship is measured by the impact on Swimming Canada and not by the strength of their personal relationship.
  3. Debate and disagree behind closed doors but maintain a consistent and united front on important issues, particularly when making public appearances where the two should speak with one voice.
  4. Avoid conflict that ensues from neglecting or abdicating their own duties or encroaching on the other’s areas of responsibility.
  5. Support each other by ensuring they are informed of the other’s domain.6. Guard against developing a special or confidential relationship that tests the boundaries of ethical practice.

The Responsibilities of the President

  1. To make the Board stronger by suggesting appropriate governance practices, keeping the Board mission focused, engaged and inspired, speaking with prospective Board candidates and providing orientation to new Directors.
  2. Create healthy and productive relations between the CEO and Board by establishing clear personal and professional boundaries around the interactions between the two; reprimanding those that overstep bounds or show disrespect for colleagues, and demonstrating optimism, inclusiveness, integrity and respect in relationships.
  3. Manage the flow of information between the CEO and the Board so that it acknowledges the Board’s information needs and acknowledges the contributions of others.
  4. Seek out opinions of other Board and Board Committee members and ensure their concerns are dealt with by the Board or brought to the CEO’s attentions.
  5. Set an example of the respectful balance between passion for the organization and dogmatic views.
Body Action
Board of Directors

Set boundaries defining the working relationship between the President and the CEO.

Assure and monitor performance and results of the President/CEO partnership.

Policy and Governance Committee Monitor policies for the Board of Directors, the President and the CEO to ensure compliance with good governance practice.

The President may not perform, or cause to be performed, anything that may be considered unlawful or immoral in violation with the Swimming Canada Code of Conduct or inconsistent with the funding source requirements or franchise/regulatory organizations (FINA, COC etc) on executive authority.

Any breach of policy must be reported to the Board, to guarantee that no violation has been kept from the Board.

Review and Approval

Reviewed:      August 2010
Approval:        December 11, 2006
October 24, 2008