The Institute of Directors (IoD) has launched the IoD Academy in Northern Ireland, marking the first of its kind to be established outside London.
A special launch event held at the Merchant Hotel in Belfast brought together business leaders from across all sectors, to hear how the IoD Academy NI is set to raise standards among directors and create a centre of excellence in professional development.
The academy will provide a broad range of courses to enhance the skills of business leaders such as the role of a director and the board, finance for non-financial managers, strategy and leadership for directors, as well as offering the flagship Chartered Director qualification.
In a keynote address at the lunchtime event, IoD Corporate Governance Analyst James Jarvis said the academy was being launched at a time when heightened public interest and the increasingly complex role of modern directors illustrated that “there has never been a better time to invest in professional development”.
IoD NI Programme Director Dr Elaine O’Neill, who heads up the Academy, told the audience:
“Running businesses and organisations comes with risk and that environment will never be without risk.
“However, through investing in your development through the Certificate in Company Direction, the Diploma in Company Direction or becoming a Chartered Director, you can acquire the skills to help reduce these risks.
“The programmes also allow you to learn from the experts, directors who have been through it all; network with and build lasting relationships with your peers; advance your career and maximise your impact on your organisation.
“They will also help you ensure that your board are as effective as possible and moving your organisation forward.”
“Corporate governance has rarely been out of the papers for the past few years and, sadly, this has in a large part been down to corporate failures and examples of poor governance.
“While there is no magic bullet against corporate failure, being a natural and necessary component of our market system, the likelihood of failures occurring can be greatly reduced when directors adhere to good corporate governance.
“Good governance is about more than regulation and corporate law, however. It requires that directors fully understand their role and responsibilities as leaders within their organisations. The role of the modern director is increasingly complex and specialised, and therefore requires specific training, mentoring and skills development.”
The Academy builds on the success of the IoD’s Chartered Director programme which has resulted in more than 60 business leaders in Northern Ireland achieving Chartered status.
Among them is a strong alumni consisting of some of the region’s best-known figures from the private, public and third sectors.
A panel discussion at the launch heard from former participants in the IoD’s professional development programmes including Clare Guinness, Warrenpoint Port; Bonnie Anley, Mourne Country Park and Michael Bell, Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association.
The IoD Academy will commence its professional development programme with the Award in the Role of the Director and the Board, running from 16th-17th April.
An accelerated programme will also run at Lough Erne Resort, Co Fermanagh, in June.
For more information about the IoD Academy and the portfolio of professional development programmes as well as the bespoke in-company training and board evaluations available, visit www.iod.com/academyni, call 028 9091 2829 or email Emma Jayne Mawhinney