My journey Bonnie Anley CDir of Londonderry Port & Harbour Commissioners

Bonnie Anley is the Chair of Londonderry Port & Harbour Commissioners, a role she's held since 2014. Bonnie joined the IoD in 2015 and qualified as a chartered director in 2017.

Find out why she chose to undertake the Chartered Director Programme, and the ways in which her learning have shaped her role since.


I am chair of Londonderry Port & Harbour Commissioners based at Foyle Port. I’m in my fourth year and Year 4 of our current strategy ‘Port +2020, Defend & Grow’. I am also chair of Friends of the Earth Limited (England, Wales and Northern Ireland). I have spent 25 years in senior governance roles in the commercial, public and third sector. I worked as director in the transport sector for 18 years largely based at Warrenpoint Port.

I have an MA from Trinity College Dublin and an MSc from Queens University Belfast.

Why I undertook the CDir programme

Chartered Director training is excellent and provides comprehensive coverage of what the role of a director actually means. It is also an invaluable learning aid to good governance practice. In practical terms commercial, public and third sector boardrooms are full of modus operandi that are fairly individual to the organisation. This course provides an excellent resource to guide directors to follow best practice at all times. The course appeals to experienced directors as it collates many important areas into an overall narrative that is an excellent resource for improving individual and company performance.

My key learnings

Where to start? Directors’ responsibilities and accountability, the important role (and the fascinating development) of the UK Corporate Governance Code, the company as an entity, good financial management, management of strategy and risk, the fundamental importance of values and culture, the vital role of people and how performance management interfaces with governance, and the role of the board especially in relation to leadership.

The interactive nature of the sessions was very useful. We became a close knit group who shared experiences as part of our learning. We have since enjoyed staying in touch with each other. All the module leaders were experts in their own fields and made time for off- line discussion.

How the CDir programme has helped me

Since enrolling with this course, our board has completed a Governance Review, a mid- term Strategy Review, an Effectiveness Review, a Risk Review and a review of our CSR Policy. These reviews did not happen as a direct result of the course, however my role in all of these areas was greatly enhanced as a result of becoming a chartered director.

Professional development is an essential part of improving performance – I would be concerned if any director felt that they were past the point of learning. I would wholeheartedly recommend the IoD Academy as a centre for high standards, current and accessible learning.

My advice for future chartered directors

Keep calm and carry on!

Do not feel overwhelmed at the volume of content. Enjoy the experience and readily share your experiences as part of the journey.

Get Involved

To find out more about becoming a Chartered Director click here, or to take part and complete a testimonial for the Chartered Director hub, get in touch here.

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