Governing Board Skills Audit 2015
The National Governors' Association (NGA) is an independent charity representing and supporting governors, trustees and clerks in maintained schools and academies in England. Our goal is to improve the well-being of children and young people by increasing the effectiveness of governing boards and promoting high standards. We do this by providing information, research, advice and training. We also work closely with, and lobby, UK government and are the only national membership organisation representing school governors and trustees.

The NGA is a membership organisation: governing boards can join at a standard (£77 for 2015/16) or GOLD rate (£260). To join NGA and receive regular updates, contact us:
Website: Telephone: 0121 237 3780 Email

This audit is a useful way of assessing the skills, knowledge and experience of your governing board. In the 2015 NGAV TES survey, 83% of respondents said their governing board uses a skills audit. Of these, 60% used it to identify training needs, 49% used it when recruiting new governors, 65% used it to assign governors to committees; and 47% used it for succession planning.
NGA would like to see more governing boards using the results of the skills audit to help them identify any skills and knowledge they still need to deliver their functions - particularly their core functions - effectively.
No individual is going to have all the skills listed int he audit. The governing board is a team, and the purpose of the a udit is to ensure that each of the skills below are covered by at least one of the governors around the table. Therefore, we have also produced a skills matrix in which governors' responses can be collated - this can be found on the NGA website. If there are any gaps these can be filled when recruiting new governors ando training existing governors. The way in which this exercise is introduced is crucial - the intention is to enable all members of hte governing board to set out their skills and experience whatever their backgrounds, and make clear that the essential and desirable skills for governance can be acquired through a range of life experiences. As such, the experience and skills below may come from either governors' professional or personal lives.
When considering the skills listed, it is important to understand that governance is a 'thinking' not a 'doing' role. this means that the skills and knowledge sought are those which enable governors to ask the right questions, analyse data and have focussed discussions which create robust accountability for school leaders. For example, a governor might work in the construction industry, but it would not be appropriate for him/her to carry out a health and safety check at the school. Similarly, a lawyer should not be asked to give free legal advice. Governance is a strategic role and governors must not be tempted to do the staff's job: management must be left to the school leadership team.

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