Governance Development Programme

This DfE-funded Governance Development Programme (GDP) is aimed at developing the skills of both new and existing board members and, where appropriate, clerks/company secretaries in Further Education and Sixth Form Colleges. Some elements may also be applicable to other types of FE provider. The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) has commissioned the Association of Colleges to develop this comprehensive training programme for college governors.

The GDP provides a structured yet flexible approach to learning and development for all board members as well as governance professionals/clerks. The programme can either be used as individuals begin their roles or for experienced members of governing bodies and governance professionals to develop to become more specialised in order to add substantial value to the organisations and students which they serve. 

The GDP includes online courses, podcasts, self-directed study resources, face to face sessions, shadowing and coaching modules.

Overview of the Governance Development Programme

Guide to the ETF Governance Development Programme

To explore the modules visit Foundation Online Learning (FOL). If you have not used FOL previously you will need to create an account.

Key benefits

The specific aims of the Governance Development Programme are to:

  • ensure board members are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to fulfil their responsibilities 
  • provide a comprehensive and structured approach to board member induction and their ongoing development
  • ensure clerks/company secretaries are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to provide high quality support for governance to their organisation
  • develop the necessary skills and behaviours so that boards operate effectively, and board members can provide support and challenge to senior leaders and the wider organisation
  • support board members to draw on their previous experience to add value to the wider board
  • provide a diagnostic assessment, utilising a skills audit, for board members to build relevant learning plans. 
Events and inductions

Regional governance events

ETF fund regional governance events which are run by AoC. Book or register your interest

Student governor inductions

ETF fund student governor inductions. Book or register your interest 

Staff governor support

Each year, the ETF supports the annual staff governors conference with representative for the sector, trade unions (UNISON, UCU) and AoC, this is usually held in late November/early December. Watch out for further information.

Looking for the new Mentoring and Development programme for Governance Professionals programme? Visit this page for details.