We are at the forefront of providing support to boards, governors and staff such as clerks and secretaries to improve governance effectiveness. All institutions need high performing boards equipped to determine the strategic course of the organisation. The effectiveness of a board depends on strong foundations, exhibiting the right behaviours, high quality information, sound processes and skilled governance professionals.
We are embedded in the HE governance policy landscape through our direct
engagement with individual Governors, Chairs and national bodies such as the Committee of University Chairs (CUC), the Committee of Scottish Chairs (CSC).
Association of Heads of Universities Administration (AHUA), Universities UK, Guild HE, Universities Scotland and HEFCW.
Want to find out more?
Complete the form by clicking below and we will send you our Governance Consultancy and Development brochure with further information and case studies of our work.
The Office for Students (OfS) has stated that institutions have provided a "lack of convincing evidence about the adequacy and effectiveness of providers’ management and governance arrangements", so how can providers ensure their arrangements are effective in a new and changing regulatory regime?
Supporting good governance
We support good governance through a range of consultancy services including Governance Effectiveness Reviews and Benchmarking, Board Away Days, Bespoke support and Academic Governance Reviews. We do this by:
- improving understanding of the latest governance developments
- developing effective culture in Boards and supporting diversity
- facilitating the sharing of practice
- upskilling and professionalising support with a focus on behaviours as well as process
- providing benchmarked, independent challenge and advice, and other bespoke support
- drawing on expertise from both within and beyond the HE sector providing practical, policy informed, nuanced recommendations for enhancement.
Our approach to governance effectiveness reviews follows a framework published in 2017 and ensures a holistic review aligned to CUC code. We recognise the diversity of the sector by making sure we customise our services to meet the characteristics and context of each institution - so support can range from facilitated workshops to a full data-driven comparative exercise.
Advance HE has developed a range of support to aid with board effectiveness, governor development, strategy and away days and wider support for the governance community.
Governance Effectiveness Reviews
Every governing body of a HE provider in the UK should undertake a review of its effectiveness every four years, except in Scotland, where governing bodies are expected to review their own effectiveness every year with an externally facilitated evaluation every five years.
The CUC Code of Governance suggests that ‘many governing bodies find an external perspective in this process useful’. This external perspective can provide improved accountability and transparency for stakeholders, increasing public trust in institutions.
Drawing on our network of experts, we provide an external perspective through our Framework for Identifying and Supporting Governing Body Effectiveness Reviews in HE, developed in partnership with the CUC.
Board Away Days
A Board Away Day can provide much needed time and space to develop an institution’s vision, nurture relationships between members and encourage new approaches.
Working with Advance HE to facilitate your Board Away Day will ensure that your institution gets the best possible value from the experience. We can support with developing the agenda, producing materials and resources for use on the day, and contributing to action planning to drive real change at your institution.
Academic Governance Reviews
Members of governing bodies in all higher education (HE) providers need to have confidence in their academic governance, especially given their duty to provide academic assurance, which requires members to rely on the institution’s academic governance arrangements.
Drawing upon our extensive pool of governance experts we work with you to review academic governance provision. Our approach is based on our Framework for Academic Governance and covers areas such as the maintenance of academic standards, defining and monitoring academic quality and continuous improvement in quality of provision.
Governor Development Programme (GDP)
The programme is designed to support Governors in all HE institutions throughout the UK and various events are held throughout the year.
This year’s programme and linked activities, has as its theme 'Governance to 2020 and beyond: Improving Effectiveness for a New Age'. It allows participants the opportunity to anticipate and evaluate the impact of change, while offering practical support and advice about how to successfully navigate the changes. In addition to focusing on a changing policy environment, the topics GDP covers have been updated based on your feedback.
Scottish Colleges Governance Effectiveness Reviews
All Scottish colleges are required to conduct an externally-facilitated effectiveness review of their governance as required by the Code of Good Governance for Scotland’s colleges.
Advance HE has developed a specific approach for Scottish colleges to fulfil their requirements.
Drawing on our network of experts, we provide an external perspective through our Framework for Identifying and Supporting Governing Body Effectiveness Reviews in HE.
We have worked with a number of institutions to support good governance in their contexts:
“We were impressed by the ability of the team to work with us to achieve desired outcomes.”
Senior executive, research intensive university, Scotland
Meet our governance experts and consultants
To help us form and deliver our support our governance experts and consultants are vital. Click below to find the profiles of the people who work on our governance portfolio.