National Occupational Standards

Sector Profile

The field of governance has emerged in recent years with increased importance. Today there is a clear need to define the personal attributes and performance standards of the estimated five million executive and non-executive directors who lead organisations in the UK. Leaders have to be fit to lead.

Governance involves:

  • Establishing and monitoring an effective board structure and composition
  • Complying with laws, regulations and voluntary codes of practice
  • Developing effective relationships between the company and its shareholders
  • Ensuring honest and responsible conduct and behaviour throughout the company
  • Dealing competently with relevant stakeholders such as employees, local authorities, community members and clients.


Our suite of National Occupational Standards (NOS) is aimed at existing board members or those aspiring to join board membership. They are designed to underpin best governance practice and focus on five areas:

  • Providing an effective governance structure
  • Providing a strategic direction
  • Ensuring effective management of an organisation and implementation of the strategy
  • Ensuring accountability, managing relationships and communications with stakeholders
  • Providing support to the governing body, the organisation, its key stakeholders and shareholders.

They have been designed to describe what governing bodies of organisations are expected to do as well as provide criteria by which chairs and directors can assess performance in line with these standards.

Governance (PDF) ⇢
Company Secretary (PDF) ⇢
Governance of Risk (PDF) ⇢

Define the Standards for Your Sector

Our NOS and frameworks have been developed to best represent the skills that you need in your sector. If you would like to join one of our sector-focused steering groups and ensure that training continues to work for your business, please contact us on

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Instructus Skills is a pan-sector body that represents the training needs of over 11 million employees across the UK. From consultations to certification, we ensure that apprenticeships deliver the skilled workers that employers need.

In other words, we make apprenticeships work.