Governors are volunteers who often struggle with the complex demands of the work, say colleges which report acute recruitment and retention problems.
The helpline was launched this week by the Association of Colleges and the Department for Education and Skills. It will give detailed advice and support as colleges strive to implement policies under the post-16 Success for All strategy.
David Gibson, chief executive of the AoC, said: "There is a plethora of knowledge and theory about management but board leadership and governance has been less well served until now."
Jane Williams, director of the DfES Standards Unit, said: "It is a key element in our programme to develop excellence in leadership in the learning and skills sector."