Board Evaluation has become a regular feature of an effective board's calendar. It is simply the best investment you can make in the continuous improvement of your top team.

Who we are

Independent Board Evaluation (IBE) was founded by Ffion Hague in 2008 and is a stand-alone consultancy of independent practitioners, working solely on board effectiveness reviews. IBE has conducted board evaluations for all kinds of companies, partnerships and organisations across the commercial, public and voluntary sectors. Lisa Thomas has been working in the field since 2011 and they are supported by a team of experienced researchers.

What we do

Over many years, IBE has developed interview based evaluation technique that is light, non-bureaucratic and highly effective. Tailored to your board’s needs, the IBE process can be angled to a specific issue or used as a general assessment of a board’s effectiveness. In partnerships or organisations that are not listed, we bring our experience of best practice to bear so that we can help your board be the best it can be within its particular governance structure. IBE can support boards with an in-depth review of individual governance issues on request.

Our Clients

Our Team

Ffion Hague

Ffion has been evaluating the effectiveness of boards for over fifteen years and founded Independent Board Evaluation in 2008. Between 2003 and 2008 she was a director and shareholder at Hanson Green, a top-level non-executive search company, where she built up the board evaluation practice alongside her search activities. Since 2008, Ffion has focused exclusively on board evaluation in the UK and internationally, running her own practice, Independent Board Evaluation and working with clients in the FTSE 100 and 250 together with private, not-for-profit and public sector organisations.

Ffion's Website >

Lisa Thomas

Lisa has been evaluating board performance since 2011. Lisa has worked with the boards of major UK and overseas companies and legal and accounting firms and has a particular interest in evaluating partnership structures. Lisa is a Vice President of the London Welsh Centre, and has served on the London Advisory Board of Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres, and been a Trustee of KINOE.

Lisa's Website >

Jacquie O'Dea

Jacquie joined IBE in 2021 to provide research support on board effectiveness reviews. This complements her work as an independent career consultant, advising and coaching senior executives and aspiring non-executive directors. Previously, Jacquie spent over 20 years in executive search with one of the top five global search firms, delivering international financial officer assignments across a variety of sectors as well as leading Research and Knowledge across EMEA; most recently she supported the UK board practice, discovering and advising new and diverse talent as future non-executive directors. A qualified Chartered Secretary with a career in recruitment, training, corporate governance and leadership in a variety of settings in the public and private sectors, Jacquie has a passion for encouraging others to achieve their best. She also volunteers for Riding for the Disabled and for a local dog rescue.

Ally Gaskin

Ally joined IBE to support Lisa in early 2019. She is an accomplished PA with over 25 years’ experience of supporting Chairs and NEDs of FTSE companies in their portfolios, in the commercial, private and third sector. She supported Lord Stevenson of Coddenham for 16 years whilst Chairman of one of the UK's largest companies, and the later Dame Helen Alexander for 10 years whilst she held several Chair and NED roles and co-chaired the Hampton Alexander Review. Ally is responsible for scheduling and supporting the arrangements for Lisa's evaluations.

Kariné Guzelian

Kariné has spent over twenty years in the recruitment industry working for various leading global search firms. Since 2000 her focus has been on non-executive appointments for FTSE, private, private equity backed and public sector organisations. She joined IBE in 2016 to provide research support on board effectiveness reviews. She holds a BA and an MA in Classics from University College, London.

Sarah Maltby

Sarah joined Independent Board Evaluation in June 2023 as Executive Assistant to Ffion. Prior to this Sarah gained invaluable experience working as an Executive Assistant to industry leaders in a range of sectors including Media, Law, Finance and Business Services both in the UK and Overseas. Most recently Sarah has been working as a Virtual Assistant for Chair Mentors International (CMI) liaising with Mentors and Mentees who are Global industry leaders across multiple sectors. In her current role Sarah provides administrative and research support for a broad range of board evaluation clients, acting as the main contact point for governance teams and board members.


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These guiding principles have been designed to standardise best practice for Board evaluation. Created by three leading evaluators, including Boardroom Review, Independent Board Evaluation and Lintstock, and in consultation with shareholders and regulators, they are intended to set professional standards for evaluators, regardless of methodology, and align expectations between clients, shareholders and regulators with regard to quality and integrity of process.

There are four guiding principles for evaluators, and three for clients, that will standardise the quality, credibility and legitimacy of the field, and have relevance across a number of different methodologies.

Four guiding principles for evaluators

Independence - the evaluator must be able to exercise independent and objective judgement. Existing commercial relationships, and other conflicts of interest, should be avoided, and/or disclosed and managed.

Confidentiality - the evaluator must keep all information confidential. The only exception to this is the discovery of unlawful practices or regulatory demands.

Competency - the evaluator will disclose the skills and competences of each individual involved in the evaluation, and provide appropriate references. There must be alignment of expectation between the client and the evaluator with regard to quality, value and longevity of service.

Follow-up - the evaluator will discuss progress on agreed outcomes with clients (to include the Chairman, SID and/or Board) within 6-12 months of the evaluation.

Three guiding principles for clients

Cooperation - there must be full cooperation between the client and the evaluator in order to ensure integrity of process. This will include transparency of, and appropriate access to, Board and Committee information, participants, and meetings.

Transparency - all disclosures, including the Annual Report, must identify the evaluator (and any conflicts), the methodology (including the use of interviews and observation), final outcomes (with reference to accepted recommendations), and the approval process.

Approval - the evaluator should agree and approve any formal disclosures, including the Annual Report, which describe the evaluation.


Each time I have worked with IBE they have tailored their approach to specific circumstances and added real value with honest feedback, helpful provocation, and practical recommendations. I view the team as expert thought partners in our quest for ever more effective governance.

Ffion’s low key but thorough, firm but fair, unconfrontational approach turned Board opinion from marginally fragmented to wholly supportive. As a result, the review has generated an important and quantifiable contribution to the process of building a Board that is better equipped to do justice to shareholders expectations.

Board evaluations are sometimes viewed sceptically by those participating in them. Our experience turned this perspective on its head. Lisa’s engagement was seen to be genuinely focussed on performance - she delivered as a professional partner rather than a passing assessor. Her knowledge of the personalities on the board makes her a wise counsel and a great mentor for the chair. Her opinions matter to other board members.

IBE is simply outstanding at running an insightful interview process involving Board members and those who interact with them to identify the issues, producing a report to the Board, crafted with finesse, which members accept, and making recommendations for improvement which are actionable.

No Board is perfect, there is always room for improvement. Ffion Hague has the great ability to encourage Boards to examine how they perform in a clear and positive way and to build a plan to get better without any unnecessary fear of creating unrest or dysfunctionality between directors.

Lisa leads a clear and focused session at the Board. I received so much positive feedback from the Board on both the findings and approach. The session struck such a positive tone, but the continuous improvement suggested really resonated with the Board and led to a high-quality discussion at the non-executive breakfast the following morning.

We were delighted with the help and advice which we obtained from IBE. The report was clear, inciteful, commercial, practical and of great assistance. In addition, all those who participated found the exercise of great use. We believe that the performance of our Board will be enhanced as a result.

As a true global partnership, the effectiveness of our board is critical to our future success. Working with Ffion, with her extensive board experience, and Lisa, with her knowledge of partnership culture, was a valuable and enjoyable experience, and delivered an outcome tailored to our needs that provided some real insight.


Ffion Hague


Lisa Thomas


Sarah Maltby