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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.

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

Register your interest in the next cohort.

Complete the form by clicking below to register your interest in the next cohort of the programme. 

Register your interest
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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 three core sessions and two Action Learning Sets (one virtual, one face-to-face) 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.

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How is the programme delivered?

The programme is delivered over 4 months through a series of virtual workshops along with face-to-face Action Learning sets. Participants on the programme will also benefit from free attendance at the ever-popular Clerks and Secretaries Network Event. Asynchronous working, networking and problem sharing/solving will take place at your own pace over a 4-month period.

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 1

Governance Professionals - enabling good governance

Action Learning Set 1

Designed to allow you to apply learning from the programme to your own role, situation and institution.

Session 2

Understanding and navigating board culture and behaviours

Clerks and Secretaries Network Event

The programme price includes free attendance at this ever-popular event bringing together governance professionals in higher education.

Action Learning Set 2

A follow up on progress since Action Learning set 1 and an opportunity to share and reflect on experiences with other programme participants.

Session 3

Your role in achieving outcomes as part of a successful governing body


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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