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External Governance Reviews

AoC is pleased to provide a commercial offer for external board reviews to help colleges deliver self-assessment and determine the effectiveness of the board in administering good governance practices.

In January 2021, the Department for Education launched the Skills for Jobs White Paper. Chapter four includes the ‘strengthening governance’ section, in which the department outlined a future requirement for colleges to undertake an external board review every three years, with an annual self-assessment to ‘level up governance’.

Governors dedicate an enormous amount of time leading the strategic direction of colleges, agreeing a mission, vision and values set within an incredibly complex context of regulation, audit, compliance and policy change. The external board review is an excellent opportunity to take stock of the work being carried out by a group of committed, successful volunteers looking to improve the opportunities afforded to their local communities. The relationship between the chair, governance professional and principal/CEO is absolutely critical in setting the tone for the leadership and strategic direction of the college and we regard the initial meeting with these key individuals as the starting point in agreeing any key themes or focuses within the review.

AoC sees the external board review as an opportunity to look at your college governance through a different lens. An opportunity to celebrate the strong practice taking place within your board and support you in identifying areas to develop and planning to improve the composition, structure and interaction of your board further in the future. Our approach to board review is a supportive one, based on the ETF/AoC Pilot framework, working collaboratively with colleges to ensure that the report covers all key principles, but can also address key themes of importance to the you.

For further information, please read our brochure or contact Briony Parker (