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Governance development events for every step of your governor journey

31 Mar 2023 | Aaron Porter Aaron Porter, Associate Director for Governance, Advance HE, introduces our long-standing Governance Development Programme with an overview of some of the remaining events for this academic year.

In modern higher education, it is vital that governors continue to keep their knowledge and understanding up to date in a rapidly changing environment. Advance HE has been running the highly regarded Governance Development Programme (GDP) for over a decade, to support governors with the latest intelligence, skills and insight to support them in the role across a range of events tailored to governors at different points on their career journey. The programme is largely online and is deliberately tailored to be relevant to governors from all types of higher education providers, from large multi-faculty research intensives, small and specialist and newer HE providers including private and shareholder owned institutions.

We address a variety of different topics and areas on the programme relevant to a broad spectrum of governors and governance professionals, and whilst certain events are designed for specific groups, anyone from HE with an interest in these topics is more than welcome to attend.

Enhancing leadership

Leading the Board is focused on chairs, deputy chairs, chairs of key sub committees and those with ambitions to take on chairing roles.

We’ve attracted a range of highly experienced sector experts to speak at this event including Gordon McKenzie from GuildHE and Vice-Chancellors Nic Beech (Middlesex University London) and Karen Cox (University of Kent). Topics range from the current policy environment to how to build effective engagement with governors and governing bodies, with opportunities for networking and a chance to ask your pressing questions.

Regional focus

We’ve also created more specific events for those involved in governance in both Wales and Scotland.

It’s important for governors in these countries that we have events that can take a more exclusive focus on the unique policy contexts that they face in their roles. Examples of this include the Wales session focusing on the creation of the tertiary regulator CTER, whilst the Scottish event will have an in-depth discussion on how to resolve growing questions of financial sustainability and increasing divergence from the rest of the UK in terms of regulation.

Fostering new governance careers

For those who are new to governing, we have a specific event focused on introducing the key expectations of governors, as outlined in the CUC Code. We explain the regulatory environment across the UK and give advice on how to hit the ground running as a new governor.

It’s a vital time for anyone entering the role, and the more advice you’re able to get, the better your chances of succeeding. It can also be a confidence booster as you’re able to meet others in the same position as you and listen to experienced individuals talk about their struggles as new governors and the lessons they learnt from that time, making this an important part of blossoming into the new role.

Support for governance professionals

We also run face-to-face networking for Registrars, Clerks, Secretaries and governance professionals which allows staff both new and experienced to get together, share ideas and discuss issues critical to their ability to contribute to their institutions. They can consider how best to support their governors and governing bodies and hear about innovations in governance from within and beyond higher education.

To finish the academic year, we are running a virtual event on the student experience and academic assurance to consider how academic governance and student experiences have changed since the Covid-19 pandemic, how governing bodies should be discharging their oversight of academic quality and standards and have the chance to get valuable input from experts and network with others.

All these events are tailor-made to individual roles and for people with a wide range of backgrounds. Anyone with any connection to governance will find an event to suit them to pick up vital lessons, expertise and tips that will ensure they continue to blossom in their role. I hope to see you at one of these events later in the year.


Aaron Porter leads on Advance HE governance activity through the delivery of our national Governor Development Programme. He has extensive experience leading reviews of over 40 governing boards, is currently a school governor, chair of BPP University, on the Council of Goldsmiths University of London and chair of the Board of Governance of a specialist college in East London.

Goverance Development Programme
We have a number of events available as part of our Governor Development Programme. These events have been designed to help you to develop and refine your skills in response to a rapidly changing environment. Find out more

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