Health Board Essentials
professional development course


The VHA’s Health Board Essentials program provides participants with a unique insight into the important role board members play in the health system and gives them the skills to make an active contribution to their organisations and the sector.

The modules provide board members (new, current and future) with the essential skills needed to contribute to the health sector. They can be completed as individual modules as a refresher or, ideally, as a complete program.

The six modules, each delivered over two hours, cover:

  • the Victorian health system
  • corporate governance
  • risk concepts and context
  • clinical governance
  • understanding financial statements
  • partnering with consumers.


Expression of interest

Interested in the next intake? Let us know via this form.

Session overviews

Session 1: The Victorian health system
This session introduces you to the Victorian health system. It includes an overview of key stakeholders, types of health services and explores current priorities and challenges. This topic is ideal for those unfamiliar with Victoria’s health system or wanting to update their knowledge with recent changes.



Session 2: Corporate governance
This session introduces you to best practice principles for good governance and draws on literature from the Department of Health, Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Victorian Public Sector Commission. Specific topics covered include board roles and responsibilities, decision-making behaviours, and the delineation between strategy and operations.



Session 3: Risk concepts and context
In this session you will learn about risk definitions, language and its relationship with strategy, quality and safety. Practical examples of risk tools facilitate understanding, action and informed decision making.




Session 4: Clinical governance
This session covers the key domains of the clinical governance framework and their application to health settings. An overview of effective clinical governance systems and their practical application is also included in addition to data systems, incident reporting and review, effective clinical risk management and clinician engagement.



Session 5: Understanding financial statements
This session is designed to help demystify financial statements and assist you in understanding key financial terms and concepts. You will explore different types of financial statements and learn what areas board members should focus on.




Session 6: Partnering with consumers
This session introduces you to reporting requirements related to partnering with consumers. It explores what is meant by participation, collaboration and patient-centred approaches in healthcare and includes examples of current practice.




Delivered fortnightly, each course will be delivered by a highly experienced facilitator with significant experience in the health sector.


Why should I complete the six modules?

In addition to gaining essential skills during the six sessions, and receiving a Certificate of Completion, people who complete the six modules will receive regular updates from the VHA, access to additional programs and resources, and an opportunity to network and learn from their fellow classmates as well as the healthcare leaders delivering the program.


Who should attend?

  • New board members who want to know the fundamentals of being part of a health service board.
  • Existing board members who want to build their knowledge of the fundamentals or focus on a particular essential area.
  • Aspiring or future board members who want to prepare to contribute to the health sector as a board member.


The sessions can also be tailored and delivered for your board as a whole. 

Contact the VHA if you would like to explore how we can develop a tailored program for you.