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Board of Studies

IHNA Governance – Board of Studies


The Board of Studies is the standing committee of IHNA that oversees all academic functions of the Institute including academic governance, course development, delivery and assessment as well as compliance to the VET Quality Framework.

The core functions of the Board of Studies comprise of the following:

1. Maintain the highest standards of VET training and assessment
2. Maintain the highest standards of scholarships and research
3. Assist and advise the IHNA management on all matters relating to and affecting the Institute’s educational programs, including:
a. Rules governing awards and courses of study
b. Admission of students
c. Conduct hearing for appeals
4. Extend advice on the educational aspects of the Institute’s strategic plan
5. Develop, review and recommend policies
6. Ensure effective implementation of policy
7. Manage the development of new courses and approve necessary accreditation and re-accreditation submissions, if any
8. Ensure that Continuous Improvement ensues across all areas of IHNA
9. Manage and implement staff learning, development activities and professional growth


Membership to the Board of Studies includes the key decision-makers at IHNA as well as representative members such as:

•   CEO
•   Director
•   Director of Education
•   Course Coordinator
•   Student Representative
•   External Representatives (up to 5 members)

Meeting protocols

The protocol observed by the Board of Studies for membership and meetings is as follows:

1. External membership to the Board of Studies is by invitation from IHNA
2. The Chair of the Board of Studies is elected by its members
3. The Board of Studies is authorized to convene ad hoc committees on course development or for carrying out specific tasks. Such committees will disband upon completion of the task
4. All members of the Board of Studies are provided with relevant information prior to meetings and thereby obligated to preserve commercial-in-confidence information
5. The Board shall review Minutes of Meeting regarding:
a. Risk Assessment / Financial Management outcomes
b. Learning and Teaching outcomes
c. Course Development outcomes
d. Educators’ Meetings

Frequency of meetings

The Board of Studies conducts meetings at least twice every year.

Board Members

Cheryl Richards

Director, Compliance And Training Services Pty. Ltd

Cheryl Richards is the Director of Compliance and Training Services Pty. Ltd. She has also been the Lead Auditor for Victorian Qualifications and Registration Authority and was responsible for the registration of Registered Training Organisations.

Throughout her career, she has donned innumerable roles that highlight her key skills and competencies. She was the Content Coordination for the review of the Pulp and Paper Training Package including managing the Box Hill Writing Team, Pulp and Paper unit content, liaising with Industry Skills Council, Unions as well as Pulp and Paper employees.

Cheryl has also been responsible for managing the site implementation of Global SAP upgrade, a Production Office and the integrity of SAP inputs, establishing processes for error monitoring and corrective actions. She was also responsible for the facilitation of continuous improvement of the business using SAP data. Cheryl has extensive experience in managing a variety of Business System development, implementation and maintenance projects. This includes Safety, Standard Operating Procedures, Document Management, Business Continuity and non- accredited Training.

Cheryl has also worked as Chief Executive Officer of Registered Training Organisations and has extensive experience in the design and implementation of Nationally Accredited Training for several training packages. Cheryl also comes with experience and expertise in managing compliance and auditing for AQTF, ISO9001 and SafetyMap systems. Her range of expertise expands to the realms of design and implementation of change management programs including up-skilling and/or multi-skilling the manufacturing workforce, Frontline Management for factory supervision.

Cheryl’s broad range of skills and qualifications includes an Engineering (Degree), Research, Education (Dip Ed), Lean, 6-sigma Greenbelt, Training (Dip in TAA), Auditing, and First Aid. She has also participated in steering committees for State and Federal government and associated projects. Cheryl is renowned for her attention to detail and the steadfast ability to facilitate the successful delivery of projects and business outcomes. She is also an experienced Project Engineer with the ability to manage large and small projects, on time and within budget, across a variety of technical areas. She has over 13 years of experience as a Research Metallurgist including laboratory, experimentation, pilot plant development and customer service.

Helen Walters

Helen Walters

Helen Walters is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse with an illustrious career spanning three decades. Her academic qualifications include Master of Health Science (Mental Health), Post Graduate Diploma of Advanced Psychiatric Nursing, Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing and Certificate IV in Workplace Assessment and Training.

During her 30 year stint, Helen has held several key positions. Among the most recent roles include Psychiatric Nurse Consultant (RPN 5) at Austin Health and Senior Psychiatric Nurse/Deputy Director of Nursing (RPN 6) at Eastern Health Mental Health Program. In 2007 she took a secondment to the Department of Health as Senior Project Officer in the Mental Health and Drugs Division, following which she decided to return to the clinical field. Currently, she holds the position of Unit Manager of the Secure Extended Care Unit at Austin Health.

Recruitment and retaining of nursing staff during a difficult era of staff shortage in the global nursing scenario is a prime area that Helen holds significant experience in. She also has a commendable understanding of overseas recruitment of educated / trained nurses from South Asia. Her expertise in this area is further substantiated by her travels to India as well as Malaysia to initially recruit and later design / deliver a pre-registration course for 20 recruits based on their identified education and experiential needs. This hands-on expertise has been documented in her Master thesis as well as other research projects. In 2008 she published an article in the Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing entitled “The Experiences, Challenges and Rewards of Nurses from South Asia in the process of entering the Australian Nursing System”.

Bijo Kunnumpurath

Managing Director, HCI Group Bijo Kunnumpurath, Managing Director, HCI Group

Bijo Kunnumpurath is IHNA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) as well as the founder and Managing Director of IHNA. It has been his great passion towards education, entrepreneurship and technology that shaped the vision of the company. Professionally-qualified as a Mechanical Engineer, Bijo has a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a Certificate IV in Training & Assessment. Having worked extensively across the globe, he is well respected as a prominent community figure in Australia, Malaysia and India. With hands-on expertise in project as well as business management, Bijo has been the driving force behind the organisation’s varied programs and activities. He is a member of GAICD (Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors) and is currently enrolled for Ph.D in Corporate Governance with the Swinburne University of Technology.

Pankaj Patel

Pankaj Patel has more than 20 years of professional expertise in accounting and finance ranging from financial reporting and taxation to auditing. He has extensive know-how and hands-on skills in effectively managing corporate finance, financial analysis, taxation, accounting and auditing. Pankaj has been an integral part of the organisation for the past eight years and his core responsibilities include framing, implementing and effectively managing the financial strategies and objectives of IHNA and the Health Careers Group.

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