The governance handbook 2019 says that boards should identify the skills they need having regard to the department's Competency framework for governance published in 2017 that sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for effective governance. This skills audit is a useful way of assessing the needs of your governing board to inform recruitment, succession planning and the training that governors/trustees require.
This skills audit is based on the six features of effective governance that are referred to in the competency framework and additional skills and competences required that enable a positive contribution to the board of trustees. It does not attempt to replicate all 200 plus competencies that are listed in the framework.
The skills audit is based on the principle that trusts are best placed themselves to individually assess which areas outlined in the framework are most important for them. Therefore it combines the core aspects of the framework with the priceless experience and feedback of our members to inform the skills, experiences and knowledge included.
The skills audit does not ask potential or serving governors or trustees to rate their commitment to their, school, its ethos, vision and to improving education and welfare for all pupils. Nor does it ask them to evaluate their willingness to devote time and enthusiasm to the role. It is assumed that this has been established from the outset.
Each area should be rated on a scale of 1-5, with 1 indicating no experience or knowledge in this area, and 5 indicating strong expertise. A skills matrix in which responses can be collated can be found on the NGA website.
See our guidance for governing boards on making the best use of skills audits.
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.
No individual is going to have all the skills listed in the audit. The governing board is a team, and the purpose of the audit is to ensure that each skill below is covered by at least one of the governors/trustees around the table.