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Supporting HEPs During the Recruitment of Board Vacancies

Advance HE is pleased to launch two new frameworks to support Higher Education Providers (HEPs) during the recruitment of board vacancies. These frameworks provide practical step-by-step advice on constructing further particulars associated with board recruitment and guidelines for working with executive search firms. 

Diversity Principles Framework

This framework is based on the findings from the report ‘Increasing the diversity of senior leaders in higher education: the role of executive search firms’ authored by Professor Simonetta Manfredi in March 2017. The framework was constructed by consulting executive search firms in the higher education sector along with HR representatives. Providing a practical, step-by-step guide, the framework builds on recommendations from Professor Manfredi’s report combined with the outcomes from the consultation. Executive search firms and hiring institutions can use the Diversity Principles Framework for support when working together on board level appointments. 

The Diversity Principles Framework and the Board Recruitment Framework are research informed tools designed to help HEIs and ESFs to work in partnership to address 'equality sensitive' stages of the recruitment process and achieve greater diversity on university boards.”

- Professor Simonetta Manfredi, Professor & Associate Dean for Research Knowledge and Exchange, Oxford Brookes University

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Board Recruitment Framework

In line with the diversity principles framework, Advance HE has also launched a Board Recruitment Framework as part of the project. This comprises guidelines for preparing job descriptions, person specifications and advert texts for board roles which are inclusive, concise and well-defined. The framework includes a step-by-step guide to producing further particulars, a detailed breakdown of how to define points on a person specification, and advice for mitigating bias in selection. This framework was constructed by combining resources from Advance HE with documents produced by the Scottish government. 

Jenny Tester, Project Associate at Advance HE highlights that:

This framework has been produced as a result of sector consultation including those from HR, Clerks to the Board, an executive search firm and research. We hope that it provides a helpful and practical tool for all those involved in board selection, ranging from Chairs and board members through to members of staff.”

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Board Diversification Project

The frameworks form part of the broader board diversification project which aims to support universities to diversify their governing body through a series of practical strands including the launch of a board vacancies portal and the pilot of the Step onto the Board workshops for women aspiring to join a board. 

For more information about either framework or the board diversification project please contact our project associate