Principles of Good Practice: Business Officers

View this PGP as a PDF file.

Preamble: The following principles provide common ground for interaction between independent school professionals and their many constituents (parents, students, colleagues at other schools, and the public). The NAIS Principles of Good Practice for member schools define high standards and ethical behavior in key areas of school operations to guide schools in becoming the best education communities they can be, to embed the expectation of professionalism, and to further our sector’s core values of transparency, excellence, and inclusivity. Accordingly, membership in NAIS is contingent upon agreement to abide by the spirit of the PGPs.

Overview: Although responsibilities of business officers are as varied as the institutions they serve, the following principles provide a common standard of leadership and good practice for individuals vested with the responsibilities of the school’s financial and physical resources.

Principles of Good Practice:

  1. The business officer understands and promotes the mission, standards, and policies of the school, and provides leadership as these evolve and when they are evaluated.
  2. The business officer supports the head and other school officials in ensuring compliance with applicable laws.
  3. The business officer reports to the head of school and works strategically with the head of school and the board of trustees to ensure the development and implementation of appropriate policies for the long-term management of the school.
  4. The business officer provides important assistance to the head in administering the school and to the board in meeting its fiduciary responsibilities through attendance at meetings, informative disclosure, and other educational means.
  5. The business officer manages the school’s resources in a prudent manner, consistent with the mission, safeguarding the value of those assets for the use of future generations of students by establishing appropriate financial controls and procedures.
  6. The business officer maintains and fosters high ethical standards, integrity, and respect for colleagues, alumni, parents, and students in the conduct of the school’s business.
  7. The business officer respects and maintains confidentiality and rights to privacy applicable to individuals and institutional records.
  8. The business officer ensures that the human resource policies and practices, as well as the school’s finance-related policies, are clearly articulated, consistently applied, and conform to legal requirements.
  9. The business officer fosters professional standards and development by participating in local, regional, and national associations that offer personal support and professional assistance and development.
Download a PDF of the complete set of NAIS Principles of Good Practice.