New professional development programme for college governance professionals

A new development programme for the governance professionals of Further Education and Sixth Form college governing bodies has been launched by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF).

Delivered on behalf of the ETF by the Association for Colleges (AoC), the programme features two strands; one for those relatively new to the role and one for those with more experience.

The first, the Governance Professionals’ Induction and Mentoring Programme, is aimed at those who have been in their role for 18 months or less. It will equip participants with guidance on the role of governance in the Further Education sector, what is expected of them, and how this role should develop over a period of time. It will allow for sharing best practice and learning from others more experienced in the sector to ensure that this role, which can feel isolated, benefits from being part of a wider community. The induction will recognise the variety of backgrounds and skills that those new to governing in the FE sector bring to the role.

The second, The technical aspects of being a Governance Professional – Intermediate level programme, is designed for governance professionals looking to better prepare themselves to move towards being a strategic enabler with a clear understanding of the strategy of the college, the local region and the sector. Delivered via online modules, it will address topics including the role of governance in oversight of curriculum strategy and quality standards, finance and audit, and equality, diversity and inclusion. It is aimed at those with more than 18 months’ experience in the role.

Fiona Chalk, ETF Head of Governance Development, said:

“Since the demise of the FE Clerks Qualification a decade ago, there has been little or no sustained professional or strategic development for clerks in the FE sector. In that time, the role has expanded significantly, and today’s governance professional plays a critical role as a technical adviser and strategic enabler to Boards. This new programme reflects that change in emphasis and heightened profile of governance professionals. The aim of these programmes is for governance professionals to be confident in their role and to carry it out more effectively.”

The programme has been commissioned and is funded by the Department for Education. Further details are available on the programme page on the ETF Leadership Hub website.

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