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Career pathway: CPD directory

Browse the directory to find training, accredited qualifications, networks and more for governance professionals working at all levels.

Prioritising continuing professional development (CPD) and developing governance professional knowledge and skills is proven to:

  • build confidence and credibility
  • strengthen working relationships
  • improve wellbeing and job satisfaction
  • increase employability and earning potential 

Use this directory to explore the CPD available at every level of the profession.

Induction to the role

Induction training courses are often focused on the clerking level and provided by local authorities and foundation bodies associated with the school or trust.  Additionally, multi academy trust and service providers usually run “in-house" induction training for the governance professionals they employ.

NGA’s Learning Link provides an e-learning induction programme for governance professionals, which is designed to complement the context specific induction provided by the employer organisation.

Accredited qualifications

We recommend that all governance professionals hold or are working towards a recognised qualification. 

Qualifications should be funded by the employer or built into the cost of a service level agreement.

Among the most popular and highly regarded accredited programmes available to clerks is the Certificate in the Clerking of School and Academy Governing Boards, which is a level 3 qualification.

Governance professionals working at coordinator level are more likely to hold or be working towards a level four qualification, such as the level 4 Certificate in Academy Governance or the Governance Officer Level 4.

Governance professionals at this level are more likely to hold a level four qualification and be working towards a postgraduate degree level governance qualification.

Chartered Governance qualifying programme rising to Level 7 is delivered and accredited by the Chartered Governance Institute.

Career progression

E-learning modules that support transition to working in:

Advising the board

E-learning modules which cover the governance professional’s advisory role:

Panels and hearings

E-learning modules which explain the role of governance professionals in panels and hearings relating to: 

Understanding compliance

Learning Link e-learning modules help build knowledge of legislation and guidance in areas such as:

Required skills and attributes

The following framework provide an overview of the skills, knowledge and behaviours governance professionals need to be effective.

  • The competency framework for school governance professionals, published by the Department for Education (DfE)
  • The competency framework for company secretaries and governance professionals, published by the Chartered Governance Institute

CPD directory

Volunteering as a governor or trustee

As well as role-related CPD, volunteering as a school governor or trustee can help you to gain a practical understanding of governance, build credibility and strong networks.

You can use the website of your local authority or approach schools and trusts directly to see if they have any current or upcoming vacancies. You can also sign up with Inspiring Governance or Governors for Schools recruitment services.

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Webinars and podcasts

Webinars and podcasts are often free to access and are a convenient and useful way of staying up to date on education law, policy and the latest thinking on the key issues in school governance.

  • ​NGA webinars are delivered live on a monthly basis. They are typically 40 minutes in duration and provide a useful overview of the chosen governance topic.
  • Governors for Schools host regular webinars and panel discussions for those governing and supporting governance in schools and trusts.
  • National law firms such as Browne Jacobson and Stone King deliver regular webinars on topics relevant to legal compliance and school and trust governance. For example, the school admissions code, complaints and exclusions guidance.
  • NGA’s Governing Chatters podcasts explore the latest news and views that affect governors, trustees and governance professionals.
  • The Governors Podcast offers insight and open honest and transparent discussions about Governance in the UK Education Sector.
  • The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) podcasts cover a wide range of topics relating to education policy and leadership in schools and trusts.

Support from organisations

The following complements the 'in house' support governance professionals receive from their employers and or external organisations:

  • The National Governance Association (NGA) is the membership organisation for governors, trustees and governance professionals of state schools in England. NGA provides governance professionals working at all levels with advice and tailored resources
  • The National Association of School and College Clerks provides resources, a regular newsletter and hosts CPD events for governance professionals who subscribe.
  • The National Co-ordinators of Governor Services (NCOGS) represents local authority providers of services to school governors and other governor support professionals. It provides a mechanism for professionals working in Governor services to access a range of materials and development opportunities
  • Trust Governance Professionals supports academy trust governance professionals and provides support to trusts in training, recruiting and developing governance professionals.
  • The Chartered Governance Institute of UK & Ireland is the only chartered professional body dedicated to supporting governance professionals. Its broader membership and offer has evolved to include the work of governance professionals who serve academy trusts whose roles have expanded to navigate more complex board and compliance arrangements.

CPD directory

Professional networking

We recommend that governance professionals working at all levels look into any local peer support networks operating in their area as well as online groups (Facebook, Linkedin etc.) to share ideas and ask questions in a safe environment.

NGA’s Governance Professional Network meets online every term and is open to NGA members who are governance professionals working at all levels. It is an established forum for peer support and sharing good practice. If you do not have NGA membership, you can request a place at a meeting by emailing After attending one meeting, you will need NGA membership to participate in further meetings.

Join our network
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Governance professional jobs

Access a range of governance professional vacancies, both full and part time, which are added to on a regular basis.