The Department for Education (DfE) Competency Framework for Governance is designed to help governing boards assess what knowledge, skills and behaviour are needed to govern the school, or group of schools, most effectively.

Download the Competency Framework for Governance

How to use the competency framework

The framework is designed to help with board performance reviews, identifying training needs, succession planning and induction. It may also help you to prepare interview questions. However, the framework is extensive and should not be used as a checklist.

We recommend that boards use NGA’s skills audit, which draws upon the competency framework, to make an assessment of their governing board’s collective skills and knowledge.

Read about NGA's skills audit

Competency framework structure

The  framework is made up of 16 competencies, grouped under the headings of the ‘six features of effective governance’:

1. Strategic leadership

2. Accountability

3. People

4. Structures

5. Compliance

6. Evaluation

Development of the framework

The Competency Framework for Governance was developed by an expert group led by Sir David Carter, the national schools commissioner. NGA members were consulted on a draft version of the Competency Framework during our round of autumn regional meetings in 2016.

The governance framework was developed alongside the Clerking Competency Framework and Governance Handbook. Boards will need to refer to all three resources to ensure effective governance. 

Further reading

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