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Scottish Colleges Governance Effectiveness Reviews

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

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.

Due to the extent of our work we can also provide benchmarking analysis against the UK higher education sector.

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

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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.

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.

Download the Framework
Governance framework front cover

Our approach

The work can be conducted over a number of weeks depending upon the timetable of board meetings and availability of key staff for interview. The steps involved are detailed below, the approach can be further tailored to the institutions requirements.

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Step One: Initiation meeting

  • Discussion with a combination of secretary/chair/principal, to validate the brief, confirm logistics and identify specific priority issues.
  • Agree proforma/ questionnaire with client aligned with our governance review framework with additional tailored questions based on the client’s specific needs. 
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Step Two: Completion of questionnaire

  • Members of the board and senior staff complete the proforma/questionnaire from Step 1.
  • Creation of a summary of Board views on a) Board performance to date and b) Areas for future development.
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Step Three: Pressure testing of views expressed at Step Two

  • Observation of one Board meeting. Advance HE will run a short workshop directly before or after the Board meeting to explore the views arising from Step Two in person and develop a more complete understanding of the Board.
  • Desktop review of key documentation.
  • Key one-to-one interviews with Chair, Vice-Chair, Principal, Secretary, staff board member and student Board member.
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Step Four: Draft report summarising outputs of Steps Two and Three

  • Report drafted addressing governance priorities and making recommendations that draw on current practice from across the education sector (Scottish colleges and UK HE).
  • Draft report shared with the Board for discussion/comment.
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Step Five: Final report

Amends made based on board feedback and delivery to board remotely.