A programme to help departing military officers develop their boardroom skills as they build new careers in civilian life will be launched in Manchester next month.
OnBoarding Officers aims to improve and hone their skills to help them become effective non-executive directors on the boards of companies and non-profit organisations.
Aimed at departing officers and senior non-commissioned officers, the five-day programme has been created by business advice specialist FDS Director Services and training specialist ONECPD, which is a subsidiary of the University of Salford.
OnBoarding Officers will be officially launched in central Manchester on Wednesday, November 7. The first cohort will be enrolled in the city next February, followed by one in London in July and then another in Manchester in October 2019.
The programme will focus on best practice in corporate governance, the legal role and responsibilities of directors, financial understanding and strategic and marketing duties of an NED.
Following completion, participants will be awarded a level 8 certificate in strategic direction and leadership by the Chartered Management Institute.
Funding towards the cost of the course may be available through resettlement grants or the Ministry of Defence’s Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme.
OnBoarding Officers has been endorsed by The Army and Navy Club in London.
Paul Bolton, managing director of ONECPD, said: “British boards need to be supported by skilled non-executive directors.
“Military officers and SNCOs have strong transferable skills which can greatly benefit boardrooms throughout the country.
“OnBoarding Officers will give them a critical insight into the commercial world and equip them with the knowledge and skills to make a real difference to the companies and organisations they join.
“Our programme is supported by ambassadors who have served at a high level in the military and by ‘Super NEDs’ from the public and private sectors. They will provide delegates with support and networking opportunities in their pursuit of non-executive roles.
“OnBoarding officers provides an exciting opportunity for departing officers and SNCOs, and we look forward to the programme starting in the new year.”
Jo Haigh, chief executive and founder of FDS, one of the course tutors and an award-winning serial non-executive director, said: “OnBoarding Officers is a unique programme whose mission is to assist departing military officers and SNCOs into corporate civilian life as highly-qualified non-executive directors – an aspiration which many of them hold.
“Their leadership skills are unquestionable and their decision-making acumen is exemplary, and they will also possess bags of resilience and the ability to analyse and solve problems, handle pressure and control meetings.
“OnBoarding Officers will enable them to transfer these skills into the boardroom environment and we have high hopes for the development of these amazing people.
“It will give them the confidence to ask the right probing questions of a governance, financial, strategic and marketing nature, and enable them to add value to a business, from ambitious start-ups to mature companies, and to third sector organisations.
“We’ve received a great deal of interest and look forward to the formal launch in November.”
Law firm Clarke Wilmott is the corporate partner for Onboarding Officers and is sponsoring the November launch. The firm will host the Manchester cohorts in its offices.
Partner John Flint said: “We regularly work closely with businesses of all sizes along with directors and other stakeholders to provide pragmatic and commercial advice.
“We are excited to be associated with this new project, which aims to add real value to the management and strategic thinking of businesses throughout the UK.”