UK: Why Governance Professionals Should Give Something Back

Last Updated: 31 August 2017
Article by Alister Bould

A further education governance role is an opportunity for personal development and making a difference to the community.

There is a significant moment in many people's careers that goes unremarked even though it is worth celebrating. It is the moment when you feel confident in the job you are doing, not because there are no challenges, but because you know that you have the experience and the skills required to face those challenges.

That moment often coincides with a feeling of wanting to give something back, or perhaps an urge to use and develop the skills that you have acquired in a different context. It may not be immediately obvious what you can do to address that feeling, but there is an effective way: volunteer your time and transfer your skills.

Finding an opportunity

Having decided that you want to volunteer, the next challenge is finding an opportunity that allows you to use your skillset.

Delivered by Education and Employers, 'Inspiring FE Governance' was recently established to find business volunteers with the relevant skills to serve as governance board members for further education (FE) providers in England.

In other parts of the UK, those interested can approach FE providers directly. FE governance roles are akin to non-executive director roles in function and responsibility, given the size of many FE providers in terms of employee numbers and budgetary responsibility. Although the role is unpaid, the professional and personal benefits are significant.

Governing education

Further education is an increasingly significant part of the industry in this country.

FE providers are responsible for high-quality academic and vocational education, including apprenticeship training, for more than three million young people and adults. They work closely with employers to develop a workforce with the skills needed in their region.

By closing the skills gap, they boost employment and strengthen the economy.

"Good governance is critical to FE providers as they undertake this vital role while navigating rapidly changing regulation"

There are more than 300 FE colleges in England. They are mainly large institutions with budgets ranging from £10 million to more than £80 million, and student numbers from 2,000 to more than 20,000. Many colleges have recently undertaken mergers or are considering doing so.

Good governance is critical to FE providers as they undertake this vital role while navigating rapidly changing regulation. A successful FE provider is reflected in the success of its students.

There is an acknowledgement of the importance of good governance which is reflected in a central drive to increase the spread and level of skills found on FE provider governing boards. There is also a growing recognition of the importance of increasing the diversity of the membership of governing bodies.

Piers White is a board member of Croydon College, having held numerous chair and non-executive director roles during his career.

He explains: 'I had previously been a school governor and I was involved in the economic regeneration of Croydon. I wanted to use my skills and interest in education to put something back. My background has given me a good understanding of how to strike the right balance between challenge and support. In turn I seek to help others use their experience to do the same.'

Two-way transfer

The governing board of an FE provider operates in a similar way to the board of a company. It decides upon the strategic direction of the college or provider and it appoints senior post holders who are responsible for the day-to-day running of the organisation.

The board is responsible for holding the senior management to account. It also has a role to play in ensuring the financial stability of the organisation and the safeguarding of public funds and assets.

Many FE providers would love the opportunity to work with governance professionals in order to benefit from the wisdom that such highly-qualified people have acquired over the years. Transferable skills are called that for a reason, and it is great to be able to put them to the test.

The beauty is that the transfer works in both directions, so skills that you develop and hone while volunteering can be brought back into the workplace. The organisation for which you are volunteering gets the benefit of your skills and experience, and you get the chance to undertake valuable personal development.

"Even a reluctant employer may change their mind about allowing staff to volunteer once they realise it has a positive impact on the bottom line"

If you work for an enlightened organisation, your employer will even encourage you to undertake voluntary work because of the benefits volunteering brings to the business.

Various reports by the CIPD, Business in the Community, and the City of London Corporation show that employees who are supported by their employers to volunteer are more motivated and more loyal. This results in a measurable impact on recruitment and retention.

Employers also reap the benefit of having a workforce that can bring their new-found and highly-developed skills and put them to use in the working environment. Even a reluctant employer may change their mind about allowing staff to volunteer once they realise it has a positive impact on the bottom line.

Return on social investment

By serving in a governance role on an FE board you can make a difference to the life chances of young people and adults in your community. In addition, you will be playing your part in ensuring that your region has a skilled, well-trained workforce, which in turn has a positive impact on the economy.

People who are interested in this opportunity can register at Inspiring FE Governance where they will be matched with FE providers who are recruiting board members in their area.

It is also worth considering if there are others in your organisation that would be suited to an FE governance role. Volunteering may provide exactly the personal development opportunity that is required for an inexperienced board member or someone being lined up for promotion to the board.

Often this kind of opportunity is not available internally.

It is said that variety is the spice of life. If so, then becoming a volunteer helps to prove that theory. Doing something different to the 'day job' will almost certainly provide you with a fresh perspective on your current role and tackling a new challenge may even give you a renewed sense of purpose.

More information

Inspiring FE Governance is commissioned and funded by the Education and Training Foundation, and delivered by Education and Employers. Education and Employers is a national charity that builds links between employers and schools and colleges.

It runs the Inspiring the Future initiative, which connects skilled volunteers with schools and colleges using the latest online technology, and Inspiring Governance, which recruits business volunteers to serve as school governors.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.