IoD membership provides you with a professional network and continuous personal development to improve your skills and effectiveness as a Director and support you in driving the success of your organisation.
The Competent Director Series of IoD professional development events is designed to provide directors and business leaders with knowledge and experience of the core competencies of an effective director to improve the professionalism of boards in private, social enterprise and public sector organisations. The Competent Director Series is supported by Arthur Cox and Ulster Bank.
Local events include:
Half day workshops:
o The Competent Director and Strategy
o The Competent Director and Communication
o The Competent Board Chairman
o The Competent Non-Executive Director
o Resilient Leadership – prepared for crisis
o The Director’s Update – legal, financial and governance updates
o The Effective Board interactive sessions will cover aspects of the Board in action including board dynamics, board financials and the challenge function
o New Directors Boot Camp for new and aspiring directors and companies whose Board is not yet operational
2 hour seminars/masterclasses
o Why you need a NED
o The Chairman and the Chief Executive – making the relationship work
Details of the events in the Competent Director Series can be found at
The Core Competencies of the Director
The success of your organisation depends on the quality of your Board. IoD professional development activity is designed to equip directors with the Core Competencies expected of both executive and non-executive directors.
The Core Competencies
Every director should:
• Strategic direction
o Understand and be able to contribute to the strategic direction of the organisation.
o Be aware of the external environment and drivers for change.
o Be able to bring relevant experience that will benefit and provide new insight to the organisation.
o Show resilience, tenacity and perseverance in driving change.
o Be able to think and plan ahead, to develop a clear vision and enthuse others, balancing needs and constraints.
o Be able to articulate and demonstrate an understanding of good governance and the role and responsibilities of an independent, non-executive director. (NEDs)
o Have a strong sense of ethics.
o Be willing and able to challenge and call others, including the management, to account. (NEDs)
o Be able to listen to and take on board the views of others, and put their own views coherently.
o Demonstrate the ability to build trust and relationships.
o Possess and demonstrate the skills to assess and understand complex information (including financial information) and situations.
o Be willing to modify their position when presented with new information.
o Be always mindful of how decisions will impact on the long-term health of the organisation rather than the directors, shareholders or other stakeholders.
IoD Northern Ireland has established the NED Register supported by BDO to help local companies find a non-executive director who is equipped with the experience and knowledge to contribute effectively to your Board. The Institute believes that all firms can benefit from appointing effective non-executive directors to their Boards. Click here for more information.
Building the Board – The Non-Executive Director (NED)
The purpose of an organisation’s Board is to "ensure the company's prosperity by collectively directing the company's affairs, while meeting the appropriate interests of its shareholders and relevant stakeholders". (Standards for the Board, IoD).
A Board is typically made up of a set of Executive Directors, who work in the organisation and optionally - though recommended - a number of external, independent Non-Executive Directors. In law, an Executive and a Non-Executive Director share exactly the same individual and collective duties and responsibilities. The role of the NED moreover, is to provide a wider perspective of the world at large, to ensure prudent control of the organisation and bring independent challenge to board thinking.
An organisation that has recognised the need to appoint a NED is a company that understands the important added value brought to good strategic decision making through an independent view not clouded by day-to-day company pressures and politics. There may also be gaps in the skills, expertise or knowledge within the current make-up of the Board, and the organisation recognises that these gaps will prevent the exploitation of its full potential for growth and development.
As an organisation forms and develops, its strategy and priorities change and the existing Board may not contain the knowledge, contacts, skills or experience that are now required.
The Core Competencies listed above set out the minimum that an organisation should look for in appointing a NED.
In addition to these core competencies, the existing board will need to consider the specific skills, knowledge and perspectives needed to add value to its work. The starting point for that assessment will be the key priorities for the organisation in the coming years and the key priorities for the board in making those happen.
A NED should show a commitment to ongoing professional development and should undertake training in what good governance means and what the role and responsibilities of a NED are.
Such training might include the IoD Chartered Director Programme, the IoD’s Role of the Non-Executive Director course and The Competent Non-Executive course, or courses delivered by other accredited trainers.
The IoD’s CPD Framework programme and other professional development activities are aimed at equipping all directors (both executive and non-executive) with the skills and knowledge needed for the boardroom.