Minnesota Hospital Association


Board Certification Core Activities

Trustee certification involves both an education component and basic standards of board involvement by the trustee. Education can be completed via any of the following media:

  • Web-based training
  • Audio conferencing
  • Video courses
  • State and national conferences

To become certified, trustees must complete the following core activities (see components below for specific topics):

  • 12 education units in Principles of Effective Governance
  • 8 education units in Strategic Planning and Positioning
  • 4 education units in Fiduciary Duties
  • 4 education units in Board Development and Self-Assessment
  • 4 education units in Quality/Patient Safety
  • 3 education units in General

In addition, trustees must demonstrate how they meet the basic standards of board involvement:

  • Participate in a board orientation
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of hospital mission, vision and bylaws
  • Attend and participate in board and committee meetings as required by hospital bylaws
  • Review and understand hospital operating and capital budgets
  • Participate in board education
  • Participate in a board self-assessment
  • Participate in annual CEO evaluation (if applicable)
  • Introduce yourself to your state representative and senator as a board member of your hospital and contact them as requested by hospital CEO or MHA when appropriate
  • Comply with conflict of interest policy and abstain from voting when appropriate

Components of board certification

Principles of Effective Governance

  • Mission, vision and values
    • Bylaws
    • Policies and procedures
  • Basic
    • Basic role in governance
      • Leader and vision vs. manage
  • Legislative policy priorities
    • Governmental regulations
    • Advocacy/grassroots/policy priorities
      • How to be a state or national advocate
  • Legal issues
    • Commitment to compliance
  • Conflicts of interest
    • Confidentiality
    • Ethics
      • Sarbanes Oxley
      • Corporate compliance
  • Functions of the board
    • Selecting and supporting the CEO
    • CEO compensation/performance review
    • Communication – with CEO, other board members, doctors, staff and community
    • Lines of authority
      • Acting alone vs. at the direction of/in representing the board

Strategic Planning and Positioning

  • Setting goals
  • Leadership principles
  • Trends
  • Developing policies for overall operation
  • Board role in physicians relations
    • Appoint and maintain a qualified medical staff
    • Credentialing
    • Hospital/doctor relationship model
    • Anti Trust issues
  • Community relations
    • Understanding the market place

Board Role in Quality/Patient Safety

  • Assess and improve the quality of care
  • What to expect at board meetings
  • Ensure adherence to quality and patient safety standards and expectations
    • Websites

Fiduciary Duties

  • Health care finance fundamentals
    • Understanding financial statements
    • Standards of measures/ratios
  • Budgeting process
  • Access to capital
  • Facility design and construction/growth

Board Development and Self-Assessment

  • Commitment to ongoing education
  • Core functions
  • Assessing governing accountability
  • Board performance
  • Board self-assessment


  • All other types of educational programs