County Commissioner Handbook


When you are appointed as County Commissioner it is good practice to have a handover period with the outgoing Commissioner. This ensures that you have all the information you need in order to carry out the role. A handover can take place within the designate period. Remember that the outgoing Commissioner has been in the role for five years; she will have her own ways of working that she has developed over this time. You do not need to work in the same way when you take over the role of Commissioner, but it is important to respect the retiring Commissioner’s experience during the handover period.

Areas to consider within the handover are:

Essential things to find out about are:

During the handover, try to attend key meetings, such as Finance and Executive meetings, so that you are aware of current business and processes. You may wish to hold one-to-one meetings with key members of your County team. These could include:

It is important to note that not all members of your County Team will be part of the County’s executive committee.
Prepare questions in advance to ask each person. It is a good idea to have the same set of questions for each person; this will give you a view of the state of the County from all angles and will also point to any potential conflicts.

You could ask questions such as these.

Taking the time to talk to key team members individually will help them feel appreciated in the role and create a good foundation for communication. From the answers to these questions you should be able to form your own, independent view of the County and how it operates.

If you can’t have a handover with the retiring Commissioner you should still try to meet members of your County team individually. You could ask an existing member of the County team to chair your first meeting, allowing you to focus on the issues and becoming comfortable in the role. If you need further support during this time please contact your Country or Region Chief Commissioner.