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Nominations Committee

A requirement of the higher education codes of governance is that all governing bodies establish a nominations (or similar) committee.


The role of the committee is to make recommendations to the governing body on the appointment of new members, and on the renewal of members whose term of office is coming to an end, but who are eligible to be re-appointed for a further term. The Committee also makes recommendations on the overall size of the governing body's membership. 

The Chair of the nominations committee is normally the Chair of the Governing body. Additional members will be drawn from lay/independent/co-opted members, and frequently include the head of institution.

To help inform its decisions on possible new members, the Committee will usually consider a profile of the skills of its current membership and compare this with the skills it considers the governing body should have at its disposal. Recruitment to fill key gaps is likely to be a priority for the Committee. When appointing new members to the governing body, nominations committees are also be mindful of equality and diversity.

When seeking possible new members it is increasingly common to provide a written role description to potential applicants detailing, for example, the responsibilities of a governor and an giving indication of the likely commitment of time required to fulfil the role of governor.

Additional resources

Briefing note 15: Nominations committee

The nominations committee advises the governing body on the appointment of new ‘lay’ members, and on the membership renewal of ‘lay’ governors who are eligible to serve for a further term, but whose current term is about to expire. When considering the appointment of new members, the committee will need to consider what knowledge, skills and expertise the governing body needs to have at its disposal.
Download the briefing note

Board Diversification

The Board Diversification Project, commissioned by HEFCE, HEFCW and the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland, is designed to support greater diversity within higher education boards and those applying for board roles, whether in higher education or outside of the sector. The project brings together a series of related, practical initiatives to support the sector to increase diversity within higher education boards.
Find out more

Illustrative Practice Notes

In partnership with the Committee of University Chairs (CUC), we have developed an Illustrative Practice Note on a the role of the nominations committee to support governors and share practice from governing bodies throughout the UK.
Download the Illustrative Practice Note

Find out more about governing bodies and their committees

Governing bodies