The Financial Times will start offering the UK’s first formally accredited post-graduate qualification for non-executives directors from 1 September this year.
The six-month-long Non-Executive Director Certificate is based on the UK Corporate Governance Code and will be accredited by Edexcel in a bid to support the professionalisation of the sector.
Lesley Stephenson, a Financial Times publisher and governance expert, said she saw the course as a “natural extension” of the newspaper’s Non-Executive Directors’ Club and believed it would help participants “undertake their duties professionally, adding real value to any board”.
The qualification is aimed at people who are thinking of becoming non-execs for the first time, have been newly-appointed or would like to update their existing knowledge and skills.
Candidates much have a degree or an equivalent educational qualification from a professional body and have had experience at a senior level in business for at least five years.
The level seven course is meant to be practical in nature and will cover issues such legal liabilities, the correct structure and operation of a board, auditing and financial reporting as well as internal controls and risk management.
It will also look at the softer behavioural skills needed to ensure that individuals make an effective contribution to the board and will be based on a mixture of workshops and online distance learning. The Certificate will be awarded following the successful completion of a formal exam and submission of a case study.
The news came as training organisation Positive Outcomes unveiled a new series of commercial courses, covering management and leadership, business skills and compliance.
The Charity Learning Consortium also said it planned to provide third sector organisations with free access to all of its e-learning courses, ranging from IT to customer service and assertiveness training, during Adult Learners’ Week, which starts on Monday 16 May.
The move is part of the Consortium’s pledge for the Race Online 2012 campaign, which is being spearheaded by the coalition government’s digital champion, Martha Lane Fox. The aim of the scheme is to encourage the estimated nine million people in the UK who have never used the internet to go online, with the ultimate aim of making the country a completely digital nation by the end of Olympic year.