Role: Member of the UCM Governing Body
Attendance: 6 meetings per annum with additional ad hoc attendance where necessary. Meetings are approx. 2-3 hrs.
Tenure: Maximum 2 x 4 year term in accordance with the Education Bill
If you are interested in applying or would like further information, email email@example.com (please include a cover letter and CV in your application).
**Closing date is Friday 28th May 2021**
The University College Isle of Man spans several sites, Homefield Road, the Nunnery Campus, Hills Meadow, the William Kennish Building and Elm Wood House. Meetings may be held at any of these sites, or virtually.
Our mission is to serve the Isle of Man community by delivering excellence in education and training throughout our range of further and higher education programmes. We aim to continuously provide high quality learning experiences that support progression into further study or employment that in turn supports the individual and the economy of the Isle of Man. Our staff help our organisation work towards our strategic objectives and in turn those of the Department of Education, Sport and Culture and wider Government.
Purpose of the Role:
Governors make an invaluable contribution to the development of high quality education and training provision offered at UCM. As a member of the Governing Body, Governors set the mission and strategic direction of the college, and scrutinise its performance. Governors are volunteers. Becoming a Governor provides many opportunities to contribute to the local community and is an excellent way of developing strategic leadership skills.
There are many definitions of governance but it is generally accepted that the governance of an organisation is an activity distinct from, but complementary to, the management of that organisation. Two common definitions of governance that bring out this important distinction are ensuring that the organisation does the right things, for the right people, in the right way (Governance ensures, management does) (AOC, 2013).
On being appointed as a Governor, an individual becomes part of a network of bodies responsible for delivering high quality education across the Isle of Man.
Ultimately the role and the running of UCM must comply with various legislation and in particular the Education Act 2001. In practical terms, the Act is deployed through the Instruments and Articles of Government of UCM, approved in April 2016. The successful candidate must ensure they understand and comply with these requirements. Being a Governor is a rewarding and fascinating role, but it brings with it these important obligations.
UCM plays a crucial role in the delivery of education and training to young people and adults of all ages in the Isle of Man and is seen as a key means of improving the economic and social well-being of its people. To provide this service, UCM works closely with all of its stakeholders in both the public and private sectors. UCM is primarily funded through annual budgets awarded by the Department of Education, Sport and Culture (DESC) but UCM also has a significant income target which it meets by offering training services to employers and from applying for grants from a variety of bodies.
Governors are responsible for ensuring the quality of the education provided, and also that it is delivered in a way that offers value for money.
Governors have a responsibility to provide a strategic overview of the affairs of UCM in such a way that its staff deliver the required services. However, as a non-executive member, a Governor is not expected to be involved in the delivery of the services themselves, that is operational management, teaching and lecturing – this is the role of the Principal and the staff employed by DESC.
Governors are required to abide by the Code of Good Governance for UCM. The Governing Body and DESC have a duty of care to the staff employed, abiding by their responsibilities and ensuring that UCM has the right number of staff with the right skills to deliver the services required. There are a number of responsibilities including:
- Ensure UCM does its best to understand and improve the economic and social well-being of the Isle of Man
- Ensure that there is suitable safeguarding in place by having a designated member of staff responsible for safeguarding
- Ensure that UCM works with others to confirm that the education on offer is coherent and meets the skills needed on the Island
- Ensure that the education and training provided is of the highest standards
It is a Governor’s responsibility to ensure that DESC employs staff who are able to deliver on the functions of UCM and Governors must ensure they understand who they are accountable to and take time to build and maintain relationships of respect and mutual understanding with them. In essence, a Governor is in a position of trust, accountable for overseeing a crucial service to those who are funding UCM and who rely on it for education and training. On occasion a Governor may find that the requirements of those they are accountable to differ and it is hard to balance them. That challenge of ensuring proper balance, taking account of legal and financial responsibilities, is at the core of the role.
The overarching duty is to use skills, knowledge and time to support the Chair, fellow governors and staff to ensure that UCM fulfils its responsibilities. Such responsibilities lie with the Governing Body as a whole and not any individual governor.
As a non-executive body, the duty is to ensure the organisation delivers for its stakeholders and does not undertake the day to day work but it ensures it has staff that can do this. The role is a strategic one which means it focuses on:
- Deciding what the organisation should seek to achieve by balancing the tensions of what it is being directed to achieve and what it wants to achieve
- Monitoring delivery of those goals
- If the goals are not being achieved, understanding why and either ensuring the approach is adjusted or changing the goals
Contribution to this collective effort will vary to some extent depending on skills and knowledge but all members must fulfil the following basic requirements:
- Contribute to discussions in a constructive and supportive manner, explaining your thinking and listening to others
- Scrutinise the organisation’s performance and, when necessary, provide challenge to senior staff and fellow members
- Give the required amount of time to the role, attending meetings unless previously agreed with the Chair and be properly prepared for meetings
- Accept and share collective responsibility once the Governing Body has made a decision on anything
- Devote time to understanding the organisation and its operational environment
- Take part in an annual appraisal process overseen by the Chair, taking up opportunities for training to keep up skills and knowledge up to date
- Represent the Governors, or UCM, at local and national events as required
- Build relationships of trust and mutual respect with other members and senior staff
- Abide by any confidentiality requirements subject to Freedom of Information legislation in force at the time
- Abide by any Equality Act and GDPR requirements and legislation in force at the time
- Uphold and promote the required standards of behaviour and values.
Who is there to help you?
The first source of guidance and advice should be the Chair. The Chair is accountable for having a strategic overview of the organisation’s duties but, in addition, have responsibility for ensuring effective and cohesive governance is in place. As part of those responsibilities help should be provided as follows:
- Welcome and arrangements for an adequate induction
- Providing feedback and advice on contributions
- Ensuring support and training are received as required throughout the tenure as a UCM Governor
- Encouragement to make the most of any skills and experience in ways that contribute to the performance of the governing body.
The Principal works closely with Governors and is always the main source of information on the day to day business of UCM. As the senior member of the executive staff and most senior member of staff of the organisation, the Principal is accountable for the delivery of business objectives and has responsibility for ensuring that Governors receive the information and support required. As part of those duties they will help in:
- Understanding the day to day business of UCM, its staff and students
- Having opportunities to engage with staff and students and see UCM in operation
- Overseeing the performance of UCM
- Being alert to the risks, opportunities and constraints facing UCM
The Vice Chair may also be able to assist. This is an experienced fellow non-executive member who will have been designated by the Board of Governors and is expected, amongst other things, to act as an intermediary with the Chair if it is ever required.