Our governance

The advisory board ensures that the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) has direct input from representatives from business and the further education sector.

It advises the chief executive on how well SFA policy initiatives are working in practice, and the effectiveness of further education and training.

Terms of reference

The advisory board agrees to:

  • advise the SFA on any aspect of policy implementation and delivery across the range of its responsibilities

  • provide a feedback mechanism on the effectiveness/quality of services funded or provided by the SFA as they are experienced by key stakeholder groups

  • act as a sounding board in relation to the implementation plans and timetable for any major new policy initiative

  • provide a vehicle for the development of new partnership structures/mechanisms and for improved stakeholder relationships across the network of organisations with an interest in the work of the SFA

  • recommend to the SFA/the Department of Education (DfE) areas of service delivery and infrastructure to review or evaluate

  • provide a conduit, through the respective individual member organisations on the advisory board, for effective and improved communication and dissemination on all aspects of the adult learning and skills funding system


The members of the advisory board represent stakeholders from further education and training:

  • Mark Farrar, Chief Executive, Association of Accounting Technicians (Acting Chair)
  • Peter Lauener, Chief Executive, SFA
  • Martin Doel, Chief Executive, Association of Colleges
  • Mark Dawe, Chief Executive, Association of Employment and Learning Providers
  • Ian Kinder, Chief Executive, UKCES
  • Les Walton, Chair, Northern Education Trust and the Education Funding Agency
  • Tim Ward, Third Sector National Learning Alliance


The advisory board meets approximately 5 times a year. The summaries from each meeting are available below :