FT launches new qualification for non-executive directors


As the spotlight intensifies on Britain’s boardrooms – particularly when it comes to executive pay and relationships with shareholders – the Financial Times is launching the first professional qualification for non-executive directors.

The post-graduate course, which starts on 22 September and has been developed with Edexcel, is designed to aid the much needed professionalisation of the sector. It is, says the FT, ideal for business leaders eyeing their first non-executive role, or non-executives seeking recognition and development of their knowledge and skills.

Lesley Stephenson, Publisher, Financial Times Non-Executive Directors’ Club and leading governance expert says: “In recent years, the Club has been an invaluable resource for aspiring and existing non-executives, helping them to find appointments, offering them a variety of networking opportunities, and keeping them up to date with corporate governance issues through www.non-execs.com.

“The Financial Times Non-Executive Director Certificate is a natural extension of this, helping non-executives undertake their duties professionally, adding real value to any board.”

Based on the UK Corporate Governance Code, the syllabus covers the whole range of skills and knowledge needed for any non-executive role. It looks at the legal liabilities and duties of a non-executive; the correct structure and operation of a board; audit and financial reporting; internal control and risk management; as well as the all important behavioural skills needed to ensure an effective contribution to the board.

The six-month programme will be delivered by Course Director Murray Steele, leader in the development of non-executive directors and experienced non-executive himself. The course is taught through a mix of workshops and online distance learning and the qualification is earned through successful completion of a case study and formal exam.

Tim Ward, Chief Executive of The Quoted Companies Alliance, says: “It is essential both aspiring and current non-executives are equipped to carry out their roles.

“Professional qualifications like this one from the FT are an effective way to combine a person’s experience with the skills needed to become, and remain, a successful non-executive director.”

A dedicated microsite has been created at www.non-execs.com/certificate.

The course costs £3,950 + VAT and includes attendance at the workshops and networking sessions, access to online materials and online support tutor, examination fees and one year’s membership to The Financial Times Non-Executive Directors’ Club.

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