At Stantec, one of our core values is to do what is right. We embrace the highest standards of personal and professional integrity, and our business principles are never compromised. Our ideals are those shared by all good companies—good governance, transparent accounting, and the delivery of long-term shareholder value.
Our business is based on solid practices—a matrix organizational structure that balances the operational and technical aspects of our Company; a focused business model that allows us to manage risk while pursuing continued growth; Practice and Risk Management teams dedicated to ensuring good professional practices and loss prevention; and training and development for employees throughout our organization. As our Company evolves, we continue to invest in staff training. We are committed to having the best-trained, best-informed, and best-equipped employees in our industry in order to improve our client service delivery.
At Stantec we know the integrity of a company's board of directors sets the tone for its operations, and we have in place a remarkable group of qualified, knowledgeable directors. All members of our board fulfill their roles guiding the management of the Company's business and affairs while adhering to sound corporate governance practices. Our corporate governance model complies with the corporate governance guidelines set out in National Policy 58-201 (NP 58-201), addressing practices in three major areas: stewardship, independence, and expertise.
In assuming responsibility for the stewardship of the Company, our board participates in Stantec’s strategic planning process with senior management along with periodically reviewing management’s performance on key strategic and operational objectives. Succession planning, particularly for the President & CEO, also comes under board review as well as compensation of board members. Other responsibilities include identifying the Company’s principal risks and regularly monitoring the systems in place for managing these risks in order to protect shareholder value. Our board also performs the important task of defining the responsibilities of management by ensuring the integrity of internal control and management information systems.
In keeping with corporate governance guidelines, we maintain a board structure in which a majority of directors are independent. As well, the board’s two committees, the Corporate Governance and Compensation Committee and the Audit and Risk Committee, are both composed entirely of independent directors. Each board meeting includes a session held without management present. The Corporate Governance and Compensation Committee carries out performance assessments of the board and its committees on an annual basis and may authorize individual directors to consult independent advisors at the Company’s expense.
One step we take to achieve compliance with the NP 58-201 guidelines for supporting board quality and expertise is to host management presentations at board meetings throughout the year on topics relating to different aspects of the Company’s business. We also hold meetings at a location other than Stantec’s corporate office to give directors the opportunity to meet with local managers in our five regions. Additional practices include maintaining a Directors’ Reference Manual, which is updated regularly, and having measures in place to ensure the financial literacy and expertise of our Audit and Risk Committee. When necessary, we provide orientation and education for new directors.