FWB Park Brown and the University of Edinburgh Business School are delighted to announce the fifth series of The Non-Executive Director Programme.

Each session is interactive and includes group activities and case studies addressing real events, together with plenary Q&A and discussion.


Due to increasing demand and the circumstances prevailing at this time, the programme will be held online.

Sessions will take place from 18:00 to 20:00 and will be delivered online via Zoom.


£90 per session

A 20% discount is available if all six sessions are booked at the same time. You will see a ticket option to book all sessions on the Eventbrite Registration page. The discount has already been deducted from the original price.




FWB Park Brown and University of Edinburgh Business School NXD Academy is delighted to introduce its flagship NXD Development Programme for the 5th year.

The global pandemic added a level of complexity that saw boards grappling with unforeseen challenges on an unprecedented scale, and many NXDs were forced to face crisis situations while also searching out new opportunities as their companies tried to survive.

Beyond the pandemic, the role of NXDs is likely to be even more important in helping to ensure the future sustainability of businesses, reshaping them to address societal shifts, and planning for economic recovery.

As with our previous programmes, our 2022 course is designed to be highly practical, and will address the key issues facing boards and NXDs. Led by experienced chairs and NXDs, it is aimed at those interested in all types and sizes of organisation:

  • Listed
  • Private
  • Entrepreneurial
  • SMEs
  • Public sector
  • Not-for-profit

Each session is interactive with small group activities and real-life case studies, together with plenary Q&A and discussion. These sessions are designed to allow plenty of time for interaction and active learning in all areas. While each session has a main topic, the discussions and questions will be wide-ranging.

Session one: 20 January 2022

The role and importance of the board committee structure

Ian Steele, experienced NXD on UK listed Boards

With so many pressures coming from regulatory bodies and shareholders, and with no shortage of items on corporate agendas, members of a board need to make the most efficient use of their time.

The committee structure provides a sound platform to deal with specific issues that require specialised areas of expertise. The committees divide the work of the board into manageable sections and their charter outlines the duties, responsibilities, and expectations of each.

Directors who sit on several committees can share helpful information, which alleviates issues with information segregation, and multi-committee directors tend to have a range of expertise in several areas.

Session two: 24 February 2022

Driving board excellence and the nominations committee

Angela Seymour-Jackson, Senior Independent Director at Trustpilot and NXD at Janus Henderson and Page Group

There has never been a more important time for boards to assess their effectiveness. To fulfil their responsibilities, directors must be concerned about this area; including finding ways to measure it and being diligent about transparency with investors.

Gauging and measuring the effectiveness of a board are practical issues not generally documented and yet they are what existing and potential NXDs need to know.

The following are all the issues that need to be managed:

  • Roles
  • Competencies
  • Board meeting agenda and productivity
  • Setting strategy
  • Communication
  • Potential crisis situations
  • Challenging Chair and CEO relationships
  • Boardroom dynamics
  • Diversity

How can boards and their NXD members determine how effectively they are meeting their responsibilities across these and related areas?

Session three: 31 March 2022

Private equity—opportunities, challenges, and expectations

Mark Kerr, Chairman of Aberdeen Sports Village and Board member of Todd & Duncan, Commsworld, and PDG Helicopters

The growth in private equity investment has continued to create opportunities for NXDs, and even if this should level off, the demand for those NXDs who can significantly add value to these investments will continue apace.

So what differentiates NXDs in the public and private spheres and what do private equity (PE) firms expect from those on their investee boards? This session will explore in detail the issues that PE firms consider when appointing NXDs together with the issues and challenges they will be required to address as chairs and members of their boards.

Session four: 28 April 2022

Risk—the role of NXDs in a post-pandemic world

Bill McCall, Principal of McCall & Partners

While it has always ranked high on board agendas, the pandemic has highlighted even more the importance of Risk Assessment for companies and in particular for NXDs.

How should NXDs advise boards on strategies to deal with all kinds of risk — known and unknown?

This session will consider how NXDs can ensure they are kept aware of potential threats from different kinds of risk to their company boards and how they should advise them to ensure adequate planning and controls are in place in a fast moving and ever-changing global landscape.

They need to understand it, deal with it, and mitigate it to an acceptable level, while all the time recognising that unexpected randomness will arrive from time to time as we have all recently experienced.

Session five: 26 May 2022

ESG—the new big challenge for boards and NXDs

Amanda Young

Public awareness around environmental and social issues is at an all-time high and society’s attention is firmly fixed on humanity’s long-term impact on the planet and its ecosystems.

The question being asked today is "What is your company’s core reason for being, and where can you have a unique positive impact on society?" Now, more than ever, companies need good answers to these questions — ignoring ESG is no longer an option.

With investors now willing to divert their capital away from funds that may be doing harm, either directly, or indirectly through supply chains, boards, and management teams are now reviewing their sustainability credentials, and assessing what strategies they have, or need to have in place, as key stakeholders demand to know about the environmental and social impact of their company.

Session six: 23 June 2022

ESG—boardroom practicalities

Rob Woodward, Chair of The Met Office

The second session on ESG, having delved into the detail and challenges for companies in session five, will look at this from a chair and NXD perspective of practical implementation. Our guest speaker, Rob Woodward is Chair of The Met Office, appointed by the UK Government to the role in 2018.

In this role he oversees the growth of the Met Office’s global leadership in the provision of weather and climate services and the science that underpins them. These services help Governments, the public, industry, and international partners achieve their goals through enabling protection, increasing prosperity, and improving well-being.

This gives Rob a unique insight into the challenges facing boards, not just in regard to climate change but also across the wider ESG spectrum, and with his extensive NXD portfolio experience he has had to guide boards across a variety of sectors UK wide and globally on addressing the challenges corporate boards are facing.