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Governing Body Effectiveness

In the current environment, effective governance of higher education institutions has become a high profile issue.

Codes of HE Governance and Effectiveness

The CUC Code of Governance suggests every governing body of an HEI in the UK (not including Scottish HEIs) should undertake a review of its effectiveness every four years, in Scotland the Scottish Code of Good Higher Education Governance says that governing bodies are expected to review their effectiveness every year with an externally facilitated evaluation every five years. The CUC Code of Governance (article 7.11, p.26) suggests that ‘Many governing bodies find an external perspective in this process useful’.

Find out more about Codes of HE Governance

Framework for Supporting Governing Body Effectiveness Reviews

Advance HE's recently updated Framework for supporting governing body effectiveness reviews in higher education sets out the key factors for consideration of higher education governing body effectiveness and offers a tool to support our members as they conduct their effectiveness reviews. The framework is free to Advance HE members

At the heart of our approach is the framework for identifying and supporting governing body effectiveness reviews in higher education, developed in partnership with the Committee of University Chairs.

Key Factors for Governance Effectiveness

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 Cycle

Survey Tools 

Two versions of a corresponding survey tool are also available for Advance HE members to use or adapt as they see fit and to tailor the content to the requirements of their specific review. These are:

  • A full version of the survey which covers the entire Framework 
  • A short version of the survey based on a core set of issues with fewer questions about the enablers (the processes and structures) of governance 

If you would like a copy of either please use the link above or contact