The NGA skills audit helps governing boards to identify where they need to develop knowledge, skills and behaviour to deliver their functions effectively.  

The skills audit should be completed at the start of each academic year. New governors and trustees should also complete a skills audit on joining the board.

The skills audit and dashboard have been updated for the academic year 2021/22 – read about the changes here.

Step 1: complete the skills audit

We recommend that the governance professional (clerk to the board) circulates the relevant skills audit form to each member of their board to complete and return.

The guidance notes supplied (displayed within the audit and available as a separate download below) should be used to support board members with accurate and consistent scoring.

For trustees of multi academy trusts only:

Download skills audit for trustees (Excel)

Download skills audit guidance for trustees (PDF) 

For all other governance roles:

The audit below is suitable for maintained school and federation governors, trustees of single academy trusts and those serving on academy committees (local governing boards).

Download skills audit (Excel)

Download skills audit guidance (PDF)

Step 2: collate audit responses using the skills dashboard

We recommend that the governance professional collates individual audit scores and then supports the chair, or another designated member of the board, to evaluate the results using the relevant skills dashboard.

For trustees of multi academy trusts only:

Download skills dashboard for trustees (Excel)

For all other governance roles:

Download skills dashboard (Excel)

Significant changes made to the 2021 skills audit and dashboard

The new skills audit:

  • Provides those governing with an opportunity to evaluate their experience and understanding of the communities they serve and their capacity to lead an inclusive culture.
  • Incorporates new guidance notes for each of the skills statements to clarify understanding and promote accurate and consistent evaluation of governing skills and knowledge.
  • Is scored on a scale of one to four (previously one to five).

A new skills dashboard replaces the previous skills matrix and will: 

  • Allow the board’s audit responses to be readily copied and pasted.
  • Make it easier for those evaluating the responses to identify priorities for the whole board.
  • Signpost to helpful resources, development and training opportunities to meet those priorities.

Read our blog where NGA's director of advice and guidance gives his thoughts on the development of the 2021 NGA skills audit.

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