Health Board Essentials
professional development program




The VHA’s Health Board Essentials program provides participants with a unique insight into the important role board members play in the health system.

Delivered in partnership with the Australia Centre for Healthcare Governance, the modules provide board members (new, current and future) with the essential skills needed to make an active contribution to their organisations and the sector. They can be completed as individual modules as a refresher or, ideally, as a complete program.


The six online modules, each delivered over two hours by a highly experienced facilitator with significant experience in the health sector, cover:

  • the Victorian health system
  • corporate governance
  • risk concepts and context
  • clinical governance
  • finance fundamentals
  • partnering with consumers.

Health Board Essentials brochure

Click here to download eight-page brochure.



October and November 2022

This ‘fast track’ version of the program runs weekly during October and November 2022 to help get new health board appointments up to speed.

Friday 14 October: The Victorian health system (12-2pm)

Friday 21 October: Corporate governance (12-2pm)

Friday 28 October: Risk concepts & context (12-2pm)

Friday 4 November: Clinical governance (12-2pm)

Friday 11 November: Finance fundamentals (12-2pm)

Friday 18 November: Partnering with consumers (12-2pm)

Click here to register.

Register now for the remaining individual module,
or join the wait list to be kept informed once 2023 dates are finalised.


Session overviews


1. The Victorian health system
This session will introduce you to the Victorian health system. It will include an overview of key stakeholders and types of health services, and will explore current priorities and challenges. This topic is ideal for those not familiar with Victoria’s health system or wanting to update their knowledge following recent changes.




2. Corporate governance
This session introduces you to best practice principles for good governance and draws on literature from the Department of Health and Human Services, 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.



3. Risk concepts & context
In this session you will learn about risk definitions and language, and their relationship with strategy, quality and safety. Practical examples of risk tools will also be explored to facilitate understanding, action, and informed decision making.




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.




5. Finance fundamentals
This session is designed to introduce you to foundations of financial governance including the role of directors in budget setting, monitoring, and analysing financial performance. You will also explore funding models, different types of financial statements, and key financial terms.




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.




Full program (member): $1200

Full program (non-member): $1800

Individual module (member): $269

Individual module (non-member): $369


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.


Custom training

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. Register your interest in specific modules or custom sessions for your organisation.