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What's in a good handover?

One of the most important lessons that I learned in my role as National Lead for May Measurement Month was the need to have a solid handover and future-proof things. The lack of a strong handover was a contributing factor to the challenges I experienced in the role and this seems to be relatively common in the roles I’ve taken on so far. One made me feel so unsupported that all my passion for the role was diminished - I definitely did not accomplish as much as I initially planned to with that position.

Through my own experiences, I have come up with a list of useful things that could go into a handover which could increase the efficiency of the handover process. It is quite important to start thinking about a handover when you start because your perspective when you’re new to the role can give you some very useful ideas on how to make the onboarding process for your successor smoother.

Consider including these in your next handover:

  1. What the general role is

  2. What have you done in your role and how did you go about doing so: having something like a Standard Operating Procedure could be very helpful. For example, organising an event would require confirmation of speaker(s), production of graphics, publicity, running the event itself, getting post-event feedback, sorting speaker + attendee certificates and perhaps getting the speaker a small gift to thank them for their time.

  3. Statistics from the year: what you managed to achieve, event turnout/feedback

  4. Advice based on your experience: what went well and what could be improved

  5. Potential ideas that your successor could implement

  6. Useful contacts (if the people included are happy for your successor to get in touch)

  7. Any useful templates: for May Measurement Month it was quite useful to make an email template which explained what the campaign is about and what involvement entailed.

  8. A timeline: certain things may have a deadline of some sort and helping your successor visualise that would make life easier for them. For example, the Specialised Foundation Programme mentoring scheme and event series that I organised this year was from July-November because that was when people were actually preparing and applying for the programme.


And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed reading this :) Now I have at least two handovers to prepare based on my own advice but please, make the lives of your successors (and potentially mine) easier - we will be eternally grateful + will enjoy the role much more.

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