Educational governance

‘Educational Governance’ is the term used to describe the processes through which directorates and teams are accountable for the quality and performance of educational programmes and activities.  This is a central part of our corporate governance arrangements, and is overseen by the NES Board.

Through our Educational Governance processes we review each of our educational directorates and educational programmes to check that they are aligned with strategic aims, well managed, and that there are no significant issues requiring remedial action.  Quality improvement is an increasingly important focus for Educational Governance processes, with particular emphasis on the educational or performance impact of our products and services.

This page will direct you to further information about Educational Governance at NES, including our Educational Governance Framework – a comprehensive reference point for all staff engaging in quality monitoring or review processes.  Also available from this page are summary Educational Governance reports from completed reviews.

The Educational Governance Framework sets out a three-tier, risk-based reporting structure for NES educational programmes.  At the apex of this reporting structure is the Board level Educational & Research Governance Committee (E&RGC) comprising non-executive Board members.  The Committee is supported by a cross-directorate Executive Group, which takes forward the detailed monitoring of Educational Programmes and the development of reporting processes.

Following the risk-based approach to reporting, larger programmes subject to close scrutiny by an external regulator are reviewed on an annual basis by the E&RGC.  Programmes considered of lower risk are reviewed biennially by the Executive Group, following an agreed schedule and based on a common report template.

Each of the five educational directorates is reviewed on a triennial schedule. This directorate review process provides NES and external stakeholders with an opportunity to consider directorates’ overall quality management, strategic direction and key challenges.

NES does not apply any corporate criteria or standards for education and training.  Instead programme teams will self-assess their programmes set by external regulators such as the General Medical Council.  In cases where there are no externally set standards or criteria, the programme team is asked to explain the how educational standards are set and how quality is managed.  All programme teams will report on progress against external or internally established standards.

Programme teams subject to Educational Governance quality monitoring complete a self-assessment report using an agreed template.  This is used to provide descriptive information about the programme (key outputs, strategic drivers, resources etc), arrangements for managing quality, standards and criteria applying to the programme, and performance against established criteria.

Teams will also provide brief information about their main challenges, inclusivity of their programme, the key risks to quality, and the priorities for future development or quality improvement.  The report is submitted to the Educational & Research Governance Executive Group for review at a scheduled meeting. Each report is allocated to a Critical Reader, who takes lead responsibility for analysing the self-assessment document and any supplementary information on behalf of the Executive Group.

A report will be prepared summarising key information from the programme self-assessment, issues highlighted by the Critical Reader and the main points arising from the Executive Group discussion.  This summary report will detail noteworthy practice and issues for wider consideration by NES. The report will be forwarded to the Programme Team for final comment on the issues raised, the quality monitoring process etc. 

The summary report is submitted to the Educational & Research Governance Committee, who will check that due process has been followed by the Executive Group and Educational Governance operational lead.  Summary reports are then posted to the NES intranet and internet for information and wider learning.

The focus of the directorate review process is an event at which panel meets with directorate representatives to discuss issues of interest or concern.  The event starts with a short private meeting of the panel at which members will identify issues for further clarification and response by the directorate.  The panel is joined by the directorate representatives, including the professional lead, who will provide a short presentation on the professional context, key workstreams, main challenges etc.  Following the presentation and an extended question and answer session, the panel will formulate conclusions in private session.  These are then presented to the directorate team at the conclusion of the event.

The outcome from the review is a series of commendations and recommendations for consideration by the directorate.   An account of the review, including the recommendations and recommendations, is prepared for submission to the NES Executive Team and Educational & Research Governance Committee for final approval. The approved report is published on the NES intranet and external website.