The CRD is governed by a 24-member Board of Directors that is supported by more than 75 committees and commissions. The Board is composed of one or more elected officials from each of the local governments within the CRD's boundaries. Each local government has one director position on the Board for every 25,000 people (or portion thereof). The directors also sit as members of the Capital Regional Hospital District Board.

The Board provides a political forum for representation of regional residents and communities and a vehicle for advancing the interests of the region as a whole. Board meetings are held once a month and are open to the public.

The CRD derives authority from Letters Patent, through Establishment Bylaws and generally from provincial legislation, primarily the Local Government Act and the Community Charter.

The CRD has over 200 service, infrastructure and financing agreements with municipalities and electoral areas to deliver a broad range of services that can be grouped into three main categories: regional, sub-regional and local/electoral areas.

Regional: The CRD provides services, explores issues, undertakes initiatives and advocates in areas best addressed at a regional level. Current functions include: water services, waste management and resource recovery, regional parks and trails, regional planning, regional transportation planning, HAZMAT, emergency and disaster planning, climate action, housing and finance.

Sub-Regional: The CRD provides the political and administrative framework for a combination of municipalities to collaborate in the provision of sub-regional services including: community parks and recreation (SEAPARC and Panorama/Peninsula), storm water quality control, sewer systems and wastewater treatment, water distribution, emergency dispatch, arts, grants and theatre, housing trust, Regional History Society, Regional Growth Strategy/Regional Sustainability Strategy.

Local/Electoral Area: The CRD serves as local government for electoral areas, providing for or supporting: electoral area planning, water services, waste management, bylaw and regulatory services, building inspection, animal control, community transit and transportation, community parks and recreation, fire protection, emergency disaster response, library and harbour services, search and rescue, economic development housing numbering, electrification and street lighting.

Representation on the CRD Board balances the need to reflect varying population bases across the region with different community interests. Each local government has one vote for every 5000 population (or portion thereof). Each local government has one director for every 25,000 population (or portion thereof). If a member municipality has more than one director, then the number of votes are divided as evenly as possible.