Non-Executive Director Academy


7 × 2 hour sessions

September to November




University of Edinburgh Business School



The FWB / UEBS NXD Academy is delighted to introduce its flagship NXD Development Programme for the 6th year. The programme was run online during the pandemic and as delegates have expressed a preference for this we will again run it online for 2023 with the final session being a physical meeting and networking event at which delegates can meet face to face and network over drinks and canapés.

The programme this year again focuses on current challenges facing Boards and NXDs and as businesses become more complex and regulations continue to evolve, Boards and NXDs face greater scrutiny and pressure to ensure compliance. There is also an increasing demand to evaluate their own performance and provide clarity over their purpose.

Emerging technologies are changing the business landscape and Boards, and NXDs in particular, need to stay informed about their potential impact on the organisation. Further, as cybersecurity threats become increasingly sophisticated and frequent, Boards and NXDs will need to be vigilant to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to protect the organisation.

Climate change and sustainability continue to be key considerations for businesses with Boards having to be aware of the risks and opportunities associated with these issues, and corresponding courses of action.

These and other challenges mean that NXDs will need to be proactive and adaptable to ensure the long-term success of the organisation so we have developed this programme to provide insights required to increase the likelihood of such success.

As with our previous programmes, our 2023 course has been designed to be highly practical. 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 and not-for-profit. Each session is interactive with small group activities and real-life case studies, together with plenary discussion and Q&A. These sessions have been designed to allow plenty of time for interaction and active learning in all areas.

Every year the modules of the course are designed in collaboration with leading academics and some of the UKs top Chairs and non executive leaders to stay up to date with the most relevant business school teachings as well as the practical skills and experiences Boards are looking for in their future board leaders.

This years syllabus will cover:

  • What Makes A Board Excel?
  • The Role of the NXD in Strategy Formulation
  • The Purpose of Boards
  • Cyber Risk, IT Security and Enhancing the Digital Experience
  • The Role of the NXD in a Private Equity or Angel Backed Company
  • Sustainability in the Boardroom
  • Networking – Managing Your Network & Connections

The programme runs over the course of 4 months with sessions twice a month. The separate sessions use facilitated learning with a combination of professional NXDs leading the sessions with an academic backbone to the course, and are designed to encourage active learning where participants learn from one another as well as from these experts. Each module is designed around a theme particularly relevant to individuals in Non Executive roles already as well as those aspiring to their first or future plural portfolio, and offers tools or frameworks that can be put into practice immediately.

In addition, during sessions participants will work together to discuss scenarios and case studies. The adjacent diagram captures the dynamic nature of the programme elements. The level of teaching is Executive MBA and above and each session is video recorded for the exclusive use of delegates for continued learning and in case a session is missed. The style of learning and delivery will be practical workshops, case studies, and group work to enable practical learning at all times.

The first six sessions will be held online and recorded footage of each session will be available via the University Learning Hub.

Each session will be hosted by:

What Makes A Board Excel?

  • Angela Seymour-Jackson has extensive corporate governance experience. She is Chair of the Board at Page Group, Senior Independent Director at Trustpilot, and a NonExecutive Director at Janus Henderson.

The Role of the NXD in Strategy Formulation

  • Angus Cockburn is the Non-Executive Chairman of the shipping, oil and gas services business, James Fisher and Sons plc, having started in the role in May 2021. He is also Senior Independent Director of plant rental FTSE 250 business, Ashtead Group plc, and Senior Independent Director of the privately owned Edrington Group Limited, which is a global drinks business with brands such as Macallan, Highland Park, No.3 Gin and Brugal rum. Additionally, Angus is a Non-Executive Director of Securities Trust of Scotland plc

The Purpose of Boards

  • Lena is an experienced Chair in the listed, private and not for profit sectors. She has over 15 years of NXD and Senior Independent Director roles including FTSE 100 companies across the financial and industrial sectors. She also holds Advisory roles in UK Government and global Fortune 500 technology businesses. An Investor in small growing businesses, Lena has a strong interest in internationalisation and culture.

Cyber Risk, IT Security and Enhancing the Digital Experience

  • With 30 years’ experience across the financial services, retail, charity and food and drinks sectors, Helen is an experienced PLC Executive, NXD, Board Chair and Senior Brand and Communications Advisor to CEOs and C Suite members with geographical experience across the UK, USA, Europe and Australasia.

The Role of the NXD in a Private Equity or Angel Backed Company

  • Mark, previously of Lloyds Development Capital, is currently Chairman of Aberdeen Sports Village and on the Boards of Todd & Duncan, Commsworld and PDG Helicopters. Mark will share his knowledge and experiences acquired over the last 25 years in Private Equity and lead us through relevant case studies/discussion topics that will be considered in small groups together with feedback sessions and Q&A to learn practical ideas and solutions to common issues.

Sustainability in the Boardroom

  • Rob is former CEO of STV Group plc and founding Trustee of the STV Children’s Appeal. In addition to chairing The Met Office, Rob is also Chair of Court of Glasgow Caledonian University, the software company Blancco plc, marketing services company Ebiquity plc. He is also a Non-Executive Director of Satellite operator OneWeb. He was appointed by the Scottish Government as founding Chair of the Developing Young Workforce Group, which is leading work to support employer involvement in developing Scotland’s young workforce, stepping down from this role in 2021. He is also a Commissioner of the Northern Lighthouse Board.

Networking – Managing Your Network & Connections

  • This will be an opportunity to meet fellow delegates from the programme face to face. Whilst some of the focus will be on networking and sharing thoughts and ideas from the programme, there will also be an experienced Chair as guest speaker who will lead an interactive discussion, with small group sessions and activity.

“If you are going to make just one investment in your personal development this year, choose this programme. It offers leading Chairs and NXDs at the top of their game and crucially willing to share; the structured format delivers relevant, concentrated insights and the online format offers maximum efficiency. Finally, you will never conclude a session without the opportunity to connect offline with experienced fellow participants.”

“This is a great programme from which I gained quality insights from experienced leaders across a variety of current and topical business matters that are being discussed around most Boardroom tables. The programme is valuable for all stages of the NXD journey with knowledge sharing amongst participants contributing significantly to the learning experience.”

“The programme acts not only as a refresher course, but also as the generator of ideas, challenges and new thinking: shared experience is central to the workshops and provides endless food for thought from some of the best NXDs operating in this country today.”

“The overall insight into the duties of an NXD and best practice were particularly helpful and interesting, and equally relevant whether you were experienced or new to NXD roles.”

This interactive, strategic and practical board level programme is for participants either developing their NXD portfolios or aspiring towards one in the next phase of their executive and professional development. It will also supply the tools, strategies, and networks to support and challenge participants as they develop their careers in or towards non executive positions.

How to apply

Download the Course Brochure below, or to register for the course in full, or any of the individual modules please click here


Course brochure

Download a copy of the course brochure