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Governance Reviews and Governor Development

We carry out independent Governance Reviews, drawing upon an unrivalled pool of governance experts and our framework and toolkit to support governing body effectiveness.

In the current environment, effective governance of higher education institutions has become a high profile issue. Every governing body of an HEI in the UK (not including Scottish HEIs) must undertake a review of its effectiveness every four years, in Scotland governing bodies are expected to review their own effectiveness every year with an externally facilitated evaluation every five years. The CUC Code of Governance (article 7.11, p.26) suggests that ‘Many governing bodies find an external perspective in this process useful’.

We can help you review your governing body’s effectiveness and facilitate its development.

Want to find out more?

If you would like to know more about Governance Reviews, complete the form below and one of our team will be in touch to discuss this further with you.

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Focusing on what boards do and how they work

Drawing upon an unrivalled pool of governance experts with experience from within and beyond higher education, we offer a range of expertise in the delivery of these sensitive and important reviews.  We recognise the diversity of the sector by making sure our reviews are customised to the characteristics and context of each institution – so review can range from facilitated workshops to a full data-driven comparative exercise.

A Framework for supporting governing body effectiveness

At the heart of our approach is the framework for identifying and supporting governing body effectiveness reviews in higher education, developed in partnership with the Committee of University Chairs.

The framework sets out three key factors (Enablers, Working relationships, Outcomes) for consideration of governing body effectiveness and offers a tool to support members in conducting their reviews. These three inter-related elements are an effective basis for underpinning higher education governing body effectiveness reviews.

The governance cycle

Governance Effectiveness Benchmarking

We also offer a unique Governance Effectiveness Benchmarking service. Our extensive anonymous dataset, created from our previous reviews of a wide variety of different providers, enables us to provide insight and analysis including:


Insights on key themes or trends, such as succession planning for diversity or member participation.

Comparative analysis

Comparative analysis against a set of core indicators with other anonymised providers, or by mission group, size or location. The dataset also allows you to compare whether similarities or differences in views between your lay and staff members are similar to other providers.

Perspectives on Governance:

What contributes to an effective board culture, how can boards ensure that they are in touch with the experiences of students studying in their universities, and how can boards improve their diversity? These specially commissioned films provide perspectives on these three themes.


Other Governance Support

The Governance Effectiveness survey tool is a unique resource offered free of charge to Advance HE members. Contact us for further details.

Our Governor Development Programme, designed and delivered in collaboration with a wide range of sector partners, offers a series of face-to-face events, resources and additional support.

Academic Governance Reviews complement Governance reviews, focusing specifically on the responsibility of the Academic Board or Senate.

Enquire about our Governance support

If you are interested in Advance HE's Governance Consultancy and Advice, please complete the enquiry form below. We will get back to you to discuss your requirements. 

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