Development for clerks


Type of Activity and context

Suggested commitment hours

Clerking diagnostics 

-Initial knowledge audit

-Diagnostic 1 360° review

These will be completed as part of Unit 1 as preparation for the later development of competencies programme in Units 2 to 5


Unit 1: Understanding governance and evaluating your current clerking practice

Online self-study audit of existing knowledge and understanding of key areas of governance.


Evaluation of current clerking competencies: Diagnostic 1 will involve a 360° diagnostic review using an online tool which will involve colleague and board input and which will be repeated at the end of the programme to demonstrate and evaluate progress.


Knowledge development

Development of understanding of governance

Online study of up to eight e-learning modules providing a comprehensive introduction to governance. Completion of those modules where knowledge gain is required-each module takes approximately 2hrs to complete.


Personal development

Mentoring 1 call

The mentor will discuss the 360° appraisal and advice on the school based project. This will involve preparation for the discussion including review of the 360° report


Practice development

Workshop sessions

Unit includes a face to face sessions which will scaffold the programme and include a range of individual and group learning activities facilitated by a consultant.

Each workshop expects self-study before the session to prepare and after the session to consolidate learning and will include a range of activities including reading, research and completion of online multiple choice questions.


Participants will be expected to work alone and with their participants. Some self-study will also involve working with fellow participants to develop collaboration and networking skills and behaviours.

Unit 2 :  The role of the modern professional clerk

This session explores the current expectations of clerks working across all types of school, the implications of different types of school and governance structures including the additional requirements of academy clerking; it reviews the need for effective role descriptions and areas of clerking vulnerability, and considers the clerks role in helping to ensure compliance and avoiding and managing situations of difficulty, including schools in difficulty.



Unit 3: The administrative role of the clerk

This will focus on the clerks role in planning and implementing an effective annual schedule of governance business, the challenges of clerking different types and sizes of school organisation and the skills and approaches needed to be effective; it will explore the different types of meetings, compliance and requirements and look at what effective administration and best practice look like including reviewing the various technological options available to improve the effectiveness of board business and its administration.


Unit 4: The clerk as trusted advisor

This will focus on the development of sound understanding of the clerk’s key role as advisor and information provider reviewing the research tools and systems available to ensure accuracy and currency of personal and board knowledge; time will be spent exploring the skills needed to support and influence the board in focussing on its strategic function, to communicate legal obligations and what to do to avoid compliance breaches and when non-compliance is not addressed by the board.


Unit 5: Working together to ensure effectiveness

A three hour face-to-face session which covers the clerks influential role in supporting the development of the board through effective recruitment and succession planning, skills auditing and professional development, board and chair evaluation and helping to ensure fit for purpose governance structures.

This unit also provides the opportunity for you to evaluate your own professional development and learning journey during the programme through a reflective learning log, completion of your school based project and your final 360 diagnostic.


Practice and personal development

School based project – learning into practice


Each participant will design a project to be carried out within school to address a key professional development area, with an outline timeline and measurable outcome(s) linked to improved effectiveness and which will demonstrate the use of peer support; the project will be progressed over the programme and outcomes and impact recorded in accordance with a clear standard format and framework.


Practice and Personal development

Learning Log

The completion of a personal learning log during the programme will record areas for focus, key learning points and impact as well as areas for further development post programme and will help foster a professional and informed approach for ongoing self-development.


Clerking diagnostics

Diagnostic 2 360° review


Evaluation of current clerking competencies: Diagnostic 2 is the second 360° diagnostic review which will demonstrate and evaluate participants’ progress.


Personal Development

Mentoring 2

Participants will prepare for and discuss the outcome of the second 360° review with their mentor, their completed school based project and learning log and the focus for any further development.


Sustainable networking 

Building peer support

Self-study group activities : each of Units 2-5 will include activities which are designed to increase awareness of the benefits of working with others and develop relevant skills and working practices.

Within time allocation for Units 2-5

School based project: participants will be expected to demonstrate how they have received support from at least one other participant or another clerking professional in completing their project.


Within time allocation for school based  project


Evidencing impact on board effectiveness

-Impact report

-Learning Log

Impact report : a short structured report as part of the school based project submitted at the end of the programme as to how it has impacted on board effectiveness

Within time allocation for school based  project


Learning log : a short structured report as part of the learning log summarising how the programme has developed key competencies and what further key actions you intend to take to continue your professional development. 


Within time allocation for learning log


Celebration event

Award of certificate

Invitation to an NGA conference within about six months of completion of the programme. This will provide the opportunity for NGA and others to publicly acknowledge the commitment to governance development made by the participants graduating.  




Full course fees are £449

Check the available cohorts and book your place today

t   0121 237 3780 (option 4)

Learn more 

Why choose NGA Leading Governance?

Frequently asked questions

Connect With Us
  • NGA, 36 Great Charles Street, Birmingham, B3 3JY
  • Phone: 0121 237 3780 | Contact Us
  • Charity Number: 1070331 | Company Number 3549029

Copyright © 2019 National Governance AssociationA Dreamscape Digital Solution