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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.


Governance Professionals in HE is a topical, flexible and practical professional 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 and this programme will develop and enhance the knowledge, skills and capabilities of governance teams and individuals.

The programme enables attendees to keep at the forefront of governance practice, with the opportunity to engage with facilitated peer groups and sector experts, building their own skills and knowledge through shared problem solving and discussion.  

Participants will:
•    Be provided with an up-to-date view of the HE governance policy landscape and the issues both currently facing governing bodies and those emerging on the horizon
•    gain insights into practical approaches for building and maintaining key relationships, along with responses to the issues that can arise within these, with the aim of moving towards positive working and good governance
•    learn theories, models and concepts of group dynamics and behaviour and then apply these in the context of boardrooms and governing bodies
•    build a valuable support network of colleagues in similar roles with whom they can continue to share experiences and learning beyond the programme.

The Governance Professionals in HE programme takes place over 3 core virtual sessions and two Action Learning Sets (one virtual, one face-to-face), with the additional option to attend the in-person Clerks and Secretaries Networking Event.

Discover Governance Professionals in HE

21 January 2025 - 14 May 2025


Book your place

5% Early Booking Discount available

There is a 5% early booking discount for bookings made before 30 September 2024 on this service. This is in addition to a 25% discount if your organisation is an Advance HE member.

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Evolving higher education governance brochure

Our new Evolving higher education governance 2023-24 brochure details our support for boards, governance professionals and individual governors. Find out more about our consultancy and enhancement services, the dates for our Governor Development Programme 2023-24 and upcoming exclusive content and projects for Advance HE members.

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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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Plan your professional development for 2024-25 using our Development Planner

Whether you are looking to enhance your practice, share insights or identify the next step in your professional development, by answering only a few short questions our new Development Planner will guide you to a range of development opportunities that meet your requirements. Try it today.

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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.
Tuesday 21 January

Session 2

Understanding and navigating board culture and behaviours.
Tuesday 4th March

Action Learning Set 1

Designed to allow you to apply learning from the programme to your own role, situation and institution.
Tuesday 18th March

Session 3

Your role in achieving outcomes as part of a successful governing body
Wednesday 23rd April

Clerks and Secretaries Network Event (In-person)

The programme price includes free attendance at this ever-popular event bringing together governance professionals in higher education.
Wednesday 14 May

Action Learning Set 2 (In-person)

A follow up on progress since Action Learning set 1 and an opportunity to share and reflect on experiences with other programme participants.
Wednesday 14 May



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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