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Governance Professionals in HE programme

For Clerks, Secretaries and those in governance support roles The Advance HE Governance Professionals in Higher Education programme is specifically designed for clerks, secretaries and staff in governance related roles in professional support teams who play a central role in the academic and corporate governance of HE institutions.

Governance developments in a virtual and changing world - still time to book for workshop sessions three and four

Workshop prices - Members £225, Non-members £300

Workshop session three - 21 September 2021 9am to 12.30pm

Enabling governance effectiveness, diversity and sustainability

We will consider the practical challenges facing HE governance now and in the future, such as the governor and executive team boundary, the role of governance in academic standards/quality and we will do a deep dive on governor diversity and inclusion and on sustainability – a holistic approach beyond financial sustainability.

The lens through which this session will focus is to enable governance effectiveness across committees, academic governance and the Board.

Book here

Workshop session four - 7 October 2021 9am to 12.30pm

Navigating boundaries, strategy, risk and stakeholders 

In this session our focus will be on the process and people aspects of supporting committees, Boards and strategy/risk.

We will hear from an experienced University Secretary about what they expect from their governance professional colleagues and will consider developments and trends such as ESG, particularly social capital and stakeholder engagement to practical issues such as supporting strategy away days, schemes of delegations and getting the balance right between conformance and performance.

Book here

How to book

The booking links above will redirect you to My Advance HE, our customer portal. If it is your first visit to My Advance HE you will need to go through the sign up process to activate your account, guidance notes on the sign up process. You can use My Advance HE to book on behalf of yourself or for other colleagues.



Advance HE offers a flexible and practical development programme for higher education (HE) staff who lead and support corporate and academic governance. 

Governance professionals and senior professional staff in HE play a central role in the academic and corporate governance of institutions. The knowledge, expertise and capabilities of such teams is a key factor enabling an institution’s system of governance to be both effective and efficient. Keeping at the forefront of practice in a facilitated peer group with sector experts will enable governance professionals to face the governance challenges ahead.

Register your interest

Programme content

This programme will offer delegates a topical and flexible approach to professional development, combined with an opportunity to understand and share collective problems with peers across the sector and engage in collaborative problem solving. It includes some asynchronous study as well as presentations, opportunities for group discussions and exploration of issues, plus a dedicated cohort area for resources, ongoing discussions and problem sharing/solving. There will be two core sessions for all participants plus two additional optional sessions.

Learning outcomes 

The programme will improve participants' understanding and knowledge to help facilitate the effective operation of academic and corporate governance of higher education institutions.

After completing the programme, participants will be able to:

  • gain practical approaches to analysing issues arising from key relationships and devise responses which provide positive results towards good governance
  • draw on theories, models and concepts of group dynamics and behaviour and apply them in the context of boardroom  effectiveness
  • gain an up to date view of the HE governance policy landscape
  • build a valuable support network of colleagues in similar roles with whom they can continue to share experiences and learning beyond the programme.
Excellent programme, highly recommended for anyone seeking to develop their career or knowledge in Governance.”  Hannah Quinn, Head of Governance and  Executive Support, University of Bristol

Who is the programme for?

The programme is for university secretaries, clerks to the governing body, governance managers and staff in professional support teams who play a central role in the academic and corporate governance of institutions.

These roles are key to facilitating relationships between the executive and the board. With a holistic view they can provide value by observing group dynamics, facilitating dialogue between parties, gathering and sharing information and aiding the decision-making process.

The Governance Professionals in Higher Education programme helps participants develop practical skills to better navigate critical relationships with key stakeholders and become more effective in their role.

People working together

How is the programme delivered?

The programme is delivered virtually with sessions lasting approximately 4 hours (with breaks). Asynchronous working, networking and problem sharing/solving will take place at your own pace over a 4-month period. Participants can book just the core sessions or the full programme at a reduced rate. 

Core programme

Pre Course

Our virtual environment will be made available to programme participants before the start of the first core session and will include resources and opportunities for peer support and virtual networking.

Session One

15 June 2021
The Policy landscape, the HE environment and current challenges for governance professionals

Session Two

2 July 2021
Governing Body Culture, behaviours and understanding governing body dynamics in higher education

Optional sessions

The two optional sessions can be purchased as stand-alone workshops or as part of the full programme. They may be of particular interest to those who have attended previous iterations of this programme, international colleagues, or multiple attendees e.g. university secretary, chief operating officer, financial director and HR directors, who are working collaboratively on a strategic review or strategic deep dive.

Session Three

21 September 2021 - 9am to 12.30pm
Developments in a virtual and changing world, how effective governance can support organisational sustainability, including the importance of board diversity.
Booking link

Session Four

7 October 2021 - 9am to 12.30pm
Developments in a virtual and changing world, focus on purpose, strategy, risk, and the balance between conformance and performance.
Booking link

Watch the video

Watch an introduction to the programme with co-facilitator Aaron Porter.


Aaron Porter
Associate Director (Governance), Advance HE

Aaron Porter is the Associate Director (Governance) for Advance HE leading on engagement with governing bodies and governance across the UK, including leading reviews of board effectiveness.

Find out more about Aaron
Aaron Porter

Kim Ansell
Senior Adviser and Managing Consultant, Advance HE

Kim combines strategic insight with a sound understanding of operational excellence. She has worked across higher and professional education providing support to both senior leadership teams and Boards, to facilitate strategic planning and performance improvement.

Find out more about Kim
Kim Ansell
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