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How to become a non-executive director

by Stephen Conmy

how to become a non-executive director

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Here at the Corporate Governance Institute we all agree that two of the most common questions we’re asked is: “How do I become a non-executive director (NED)? Where do I start?”

Well, it turns out that you can dramatically increase your chances of joining the board you want by becoming a certified board member. 

In this short, handy guide we will show you what you need to do to become a successful and in-demand board member. 

Key takeaways from this guide include:

What do non-executive directors earn?

In the EU, the median salary for non-executive directors is £70,000.

“A good non-executive director is very good at big picture strategy; looking at the sea, not the waves,” says Duffy.

Board members are not there manage the organisation or business; they should encourage fresh thinking in the boardroom.

Bringing fresh insights and new skills to the business must be the goal of non-executive directors.

“The Diploma in Corporate Governance prepares people to be confident non-executive directors, to be able to ask the right questions in the boardroom,” says Duffy.

Learn more about becoming a non-executive director in this video masterclass by David W Duffy, below.

What does non-executive director mean?

The Diploma in Corporate Governance has been developed to prepare non-executive directors for a role on a board.

  • In business, a non-executive director is a member of a company’s board who does not form part of the business’ executive management.
  • Company law does not distinguish between executive directors and non-executive directors (NEDs).
  • Usually, NEDs stay out of the day-to-day operations of the business.
  • NEDs share the same legal responsibilities, liabilities, and potential liabilities as executive management.

Who should take the Diploma in Corporate Governance?

A Diploma in Corporate Governance is an outstanding opportunity for personal growth.

  • In addition to providing a detailed understanding and up-to-date knowledge of the role of a non-executive director, the Diploma also covers leadership, corporate strategy, finance, ESG, culture, networking and crucially, organisational governance.
  • Non-executive directors new to the boardroom, or those looking to improve their effectiveness at the board level, will find the Diploma an invaluable experience.

How to become a certified non-executive director

During the last few years, the role of non-executive directors has evolved considerably.

  • It is imperative that independent directors challenge any governance breaches fearlessly and be strong voices in the boardroom.
  • According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), firms whose boards are dominated by executive directors underperform because there are fewer non-executive directors.
  • Good corporate governance and strong non-executive directors on company boards make companies more valuable to investors.
  • The board of directors plays a vital role in maintaining board standards, managing conflicts, and making sure factual information is presented.
  • The role of the non-executive director carries many legal obligations. A director who does not challenge bad corporate governance or ethical breaches could violate the law.
  • The board of directors’ responsibility is to ensure that the board’s duty of care is upheld.
  • All directors are expected to practice good governance, but independent, non-executive directors are held to a higher standard.

You can develop your career as a non-executive director with a globally-recognised, university-approved Diploma in Corporate Governance.

Discover the Diploma in Corporate Governance
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