Does HRSA require a CEO succession plan?

Does HRSA require a CEO succession plan?

 No. While HRSA does not require a CEO succession plan based on the HRSA Compliance Manual and Site Visit protocol, it is strongly recommended (and an industry best practice) that the Board of Directors have a CEO succession plan. A CEO succession plan helps to navigate the risk of an unplanned absence, can provide a plan if a transition should occur, and breaks the ice on succession planning. A succession plan should not be used to inappropriately remove the CEO; but can be used to assist with planning for any unforeseen occurrences. The CEO transition within a health center can put stress on employees and the organization. It is important that a board approved policy is developed to ensure that the succession plan can:

  • Guide the transition
  • Help prepare for a leadership change, even if the health center has an Interim CEO
  • Ensure leadership continuity


If a health center has a change in the CEO position, it is important to remember that HRSA requires that:

  • The CEO position is directly employed by the health center and reports to the Board of Directors
  • A prior authorization is completed to let HRSA know of the CEO/Project Director position


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