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About the course

Understand the roles, responsibilities and liabilities of being a director.

This two day course, run by Dr Brent Wheeler and Sarah Haydon, who share over 35 years’ experience as directors, provides the theory, practice and the skills required to operate effectively in a boardroom and give you confidence as a director.

You will:

  • Understand your exposure to risk as a director
  • Improve your contribution to board policy-making
  • Add value to your enterprise through the boardroom
  • Learn from practical examples and the day-to-day experience of hardened practitioners

Topics covered


  • Definition and why
  • Board purpose and function
  • Roles and responsibilities of management, board and chair
  • Profit and not-for-profit settings

Board structure

  • Characteristics of a well-functioning board
  • Make-up of the board
  • Conflict of interest
  • Statement of intent – board charter
  • Relating to owners and stakeholders

Effective board practice

  • Making it work
  • Board meetings and board papers - process and protocols
  • Board monitoring
  • Board work programme
  • Sub-committees and Terms of Reference

Strategy including case studies

  • The role of the board in strategy
  • What a board should be looking for and what management should produce

Legal responsibilities and director’s obligations

  • Director’s obligations
  • Director’s duties
  • Trustee’s duties
  • Director’s decisions and the law

Risk management and the board

  • Understanding risk
  • Identifying types of risk
  • The board’s role in risk
  • The director’s role and risk

Finance and the board

  • Understanding financial accounting
  • Monitoring
  • The capital expenditure decision
  • Finance for boards under stress

Corporate Social Responsibility

  • Business and society
  • Commercial elements of CSR
  • Indigenous peoples – treaties and minorities
  • The environment


You will gain:

  • An appreciation of roles and characteristics of a successful board
  • An understanding of the role of management in providing boards with support
  • An understanding of your legal and reputational exposure as a director
  • The confidence and capability of performing as a successful director of a company

Your organisation will:

  • Benefit from improved discharge of directors’ duties
  • Lessen governance risk
  • Improve quality of board decisions
  • Understand better what you should be presenting to the board

Who should attend

  • Directors or trustees who wish to up-skill their knowledge base
  • New directors and people expecting to become directors
  • Directors of small-and-medium enterprises, not for profit, or non-government organisations
  • Senior managers - preparing papers and helping them service their boards better

Course reviews

Downloadable files