What you can expect as a Board or Committee member

Eligibility and General Expectations

To be a member of the CFN Board or an Advisory Committee, eligible candidates must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a broad understanding of Canadian health and social care systems
  • Have a commitment and passion for improving health and social care in Canada, particularly as relating to older adults
  • Have the ability to see beyond their own personal experiences, and to relate to and respect a diverse range of values, beliefs, views and opinions
  • Have awareness of, and interest in, the perspectives of the general public and other stakeholder groups on issues related to healthcare and social services for older adults and the ability to bring these perspectives to the Board or Committee table

Board and Advisory Committee members are expected to:

  • Work positively, cooperatively and respectfully with other members, with CFN staff and with the CFN Network community
  • Attend at least 75% of scheduled meetings
  • Review materials in advance of the meeting and come prepared to meetings
  • At meetings, ask questions, actively participate in discussions and contribute to the decision making process
  • Take advantage of opportunities to champion the work of CFN, serving as ambassadors on behalf of the Network
  • Include CFN Board or Committee membership on their CVs or résumes
  • Once a decision has been made, support the Board or Committee actions and speak with one voice
  • Support or attend CFN events, where possible
  • Annually, submit an updated Board/Committee Member Profile and Conflict of Interest (COI) declaration

The following attributes will be considered as assets:

  • an understanding of CFN’s mandate and how it operates
  • previous experience on the Board of Directors or a committee of a not-for-profit organization
  • the ability to communicate in both official languages

Citizen members

Canadian Frailty Network values the meaningful and appropriate involvement of citizens (patients and their family and friend caregivers, as well as the interested general public) in research, policy and program development, from agenda setting and planning to decision making, implementation and review.

We require citizens participating on the CFN Board of Directors, Research Management Committee, most advisory committees; and in all CFN-funded research, implementation or knowledge translation projects, in a meaningful way, as knowledge users.

For the purposes of Board and Committee membership, we define citizen representatives as “older Canadians living with frailty, current or former family or friend caregivers of a person living with frailty, or others from the general public interested in care of older adults living with frailty.” The “general public” refers to citizens with lived or personal experience with the issues relevant to CFN’s mandate who are preferably not affiliated with public or private healthcare providers, government, or industry in the area of care of older adults living with frailty.

All citizens represent themselves as individuals and not any organizations or associations to which they may belong. Where appropriate and needed, other allocated spots on the Board or Committee allocated to citizens may be filled by representatives of an advocacy group focused on older Canadians living with frailty or their family/friend caregivers.

Anticipated Time Commitment

Your time is valuable, and it’s important that you have an understanding of what you are committing to as a CFN Board or Committee member. All Board and Committee members are volunteers, and are not reimbursed for their time.

Generally speaking, your term on the Board or a Committee is two or three years (renewable to a maximum of five (5) years), based on your availability. Terms may differ for some types of Committee members, like trainees (HQP) and their Supervisors, to allow higher participation numbers.

The Board meets approximately four to five times per year, with at least one Board meeting be in-person, with the rest held by web-based meetings or teleconferences.  Committees meet less frequently, and normally not in-person.

The anticipated time commitment in preparing for each meeting is at least one to two hours.


For face-to-face meetings, where necessary, CFN will provide accommodation and reimbursement for allowable travel expenses, in accordance with CFN travel policy and guidelines.  Special provisions for caregiving also exist for citizen members.

Roles of the Board and Committees

Click here to read the Operating Guidelines for Board and Research Management Committee (RMC) which provide more fulsome information on expectations. For information relating to work of the Board or the RMC, please click on the links below to review the Terms of Reference.