<img src="https://secure.leadforensics.com/146720.png" style="display:none;"> Director Development Programme - Finance for Non-Finance Directors

Director Development Programme - Finance for Non-Finance Directors

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Director Development Programme - Finance for Non-Finance Directors

Equipping Directors with the knowledge and skills to understand and assess key financial concepts, terminology and reports, the Finance for Non-Finance Directors course will provide delegates with the ability to confidently evaluate the financial position of their organisation. 

Helping non-finance directors to use and understand the financial numbers in their business, this course will provide candidates with the essential skills and knowledge to interpret key financial statements, models and ratios. Directors will be well placed to ask the right questions, make informed decisions and prioritise where to focus their energy and company resources.  

This module will give non-finance Directors the confidence to better scrutinise financial reports and challenge finance professionals in a positive and constructive way. Delegates will take away a vital understanding of financial strategy and improve financial planning. 

This is one of five modules, which together make up the full Directors Development Programme. The module can be taken on its own or as part of the full programme. By attending this course, you will gain invaluable insights from industry experts into new ways of working, innovative concepts and the latest theories that can be applied instantly on returning to your own organisation.  

Course Summary


University of Chester PGCert - Optional


2 Day


Virtual Central London Central Manchester

Delivery Method and Price:

Virtual Classroom:

Face to Face Classroom:


About Us

About the Programme

This module is for directors, business leaders and senior professionals who are required to use, interpret or produce financial information but have had little or no formal training within the field of finance. We recommend participants have a minimum three-five years of senior management experience. 


This course is for you if you want to: 

  • Understand more about financial strategy 
  • Challenge financial proposals, business plans, projections and reports 
  • Analyse, interpret and evaluate key financial data, models and reports 
  • Review and assess the financial health and position of the organisation 
  • Better understand the financial challenges within the business environment and apply best practice 

*Please note that some of the materials and objectives may be subject to change depending on discussions, activities and needs of the cohort upon reflection of delegate responses to the pre-programme questionnaires.*

On completion of this programme, participants will: 

  • Understand how a robust financial strategy can help drive value within the organisation and underpin the company’s overall business plans 
  • Confidently interrogate key financial data and challenge financial proposals, business plans, projections and reports 
  • Review and assess the financial health and position of the organisation 
  • Make balanced, informed board-level decisions based on an understanding of financial data 
  • Recognise and comply with statutory, and other, requirements relating to company director roles and responsibilities 
  • Identify, evaluate and manage financial risk 
  • Communicate more confidently and effectively with directors and senior leaders on financial issues 
  • Confidently challenge and influence board-level decisions and company direction based on a sound grasp of financial concepts 
  • Evaluate the practical implications of investment decisions 


Session 1

Financial Responsibilities of Directors and the Board  

Key themes include:

  • Understanding Director Responsibilities and Accountabilities
  • Introduction to the Companies Act
  • Governance and Finance
  • Financial Strategy
  • Working With Finance Departments and Your Finance Director

Session 2

Understanding Finance and the Various Financial Statements  

Key themes include:

  • Introduction to the Key Financial Terminology, Accounting Concepts and Standards
  • Financial and Management Accounting
  • Costing Systems
  • Break Even Analysis
  • the Profit and Loss Statement
  • the Balance Sheet
  • Cash Flow Statement

Session 3

Assessing Financial Risk and Ratios

Key themes include:  

  • Assessing Financial Health
  • Ratio Analysis
  • Cash Flow Ratios

Session 4

Getting the Best from Your Finance Team

Key themes include:  

  • Financial Planning and Reporting
  • Gaining Strategic Value from the Finance Department
  • Finance Decision Support
  • Budgeting and Forecasting
  • Financial Controls and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Session 5

Case Study: Analysis of Financial Board Reports  

Key themes include:

  • Interactive Group Session

Session 6

Identifying Appropriate Sources of Finance  

Key themes include:

  • Understanding Your Stakeholders and Their Interests
  • Distilling and Reporting Financial Position
  • Summarising Performance
  • Communicating Effectively

Session 7

Presenting the Case to External Financial Stakeholders  

Key themes include:

  • Understanding the Requirement for Finance
  • the Cost of Capital, Its Relevance to Decisions
  • What Are the Options?
  • Private Equity Providers
  • Bank Finance
  • Shareholder Finance
  • Raising Capital From Stock Markets

Session 8

When It Can Go Wrong  

Key themes include:

  • Corporate Failures

The Postgraduate Certificate 

Following completion of the Directors Development Programme ‘Finance for Non-Finance Directors’ Module,  learners can opt to continue their studies with a Postgraduate Certificate in Strategic Leadership for Directors, validated by the University of Chester.  This is a level 7 postgraduate qualification which sits between a degree and a masters.   

Those opting for the accredited route will complete this Module as part of the full Directors Development Programme. On completion of all five Modules, learners can work towards achieving the PGCert in Strategic Leadership for Directors (60 credits). 

The remaining modules are as follows: 

  • Director Development Programme – Advanced Leadership for Directors 
  • Director Development Programme - The Role of the Director and the Board
  • Director Development Programme - Advanced Strategic Planning for Directors 
  • Director Development Programme - Strategic Marketing for Non-Marketing Directors 

This is also an excellent route into a full masters, contributing 60 credits towards the 180 necessary for a masters. Students can pursue the full MBA with the University of Chester, following the PG Cert, should they so wish.  

Support and Guidance 

Students are provided with: 

  • Guidance from an experienced academic assessor 
  • Literature available through the University of Chester e-library 
  • A partner specific Moodle page which is populated with course information, video content and useful resources 
  • Regular group workshops pertaining to various study skills  

The Assignments 

Students will complete 3 assignments. Each is assessed through a work-based critically reflective essay or report. As it is work-based learning and the assessments can all be applied to the business situation/workplace, this then gives both the student and the wider organisation a chance to learn and adapt business practice.

Janet Grant

Janet Grant


Janet is a leadership, resilience and business coach. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young she worked in senior management and finance director roles for recognised retailers such as WH Smiths and Littlewoods. She then followed her passion for developing people by becoming a leadership development trainer, currently specialising in wellbeing and resilience with a wide range of companies including BAE Systems, Pets at Home, Janssen Pharmaceutical, SME’s and Charities. She also delivers a wide range of finance programmes from introductory sessions up to Directors Development, together with individual finance business coaching.

Janet enjoys using her finance, business and personal leadership experience, combined with her coaching and training skills, to enable people and teams develop the skills, behaviours and culture they desire.

Janet works with not-for-profit organisations, currently as a Governor for the Trafford College Group, a Trustee & Treasurer for Home-Start Trafford, Salford & Wigan plus a business mentor with the Manchester Business Growth Hub.

Janet is an accredited practitioner for the Kirros RQi resilience programme plus trained in the Drake P3 behavioural profiling system. She is a member of the Association of Coaching (AOC), the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW).

Della Hudson

Della Hudson


Della has been a chartered accountant for over 30 years, founder of three businesses, mother of two teens, and author of three books. As well as running her own businesses Della has served as Finance Director of multinational organisations liaising with non-financial managers to improve the overall business. She was voted one of Accountancy Age’s ‘Top Women in Finance’ and one of Tide Bank’s ‘20 entrepreneurs to watch in 2020’.  

Della’s passion is to demystify the world of accounts and to coach directors and owners to build the business that they first dreamed of with the results that they deserve. 

Tara Askham

Tara Askham


Tara Askham is a qualified lecturer specialising in finance and a Fellow of the Association of Accounting Technicians. As a Finance Director, Tara co-founded multi-award-winning social enterprise Infused Learning and wrote the first Accountancy Access to Higher Education Diploma in the country. She designs and delivers finance courses to companies around the UK including Volkswagen. She inspects colleges’ accounting provisions on behalf of the Association of Accounting Technicians and works as a consultant subject matter expert for global accountancy awarding bodies writing and moderating exam material. She wrote the global award-winning ACCA-X finance course and is a published author for Osborne Books. Her experience has led to her role with NatWest as a Social and Community Capital credit panel member. (Part of the independent credit panel to analytically review each charitable proposal for funding). Tara is also a guest Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University.   

Ewan Tracey

Ewan Tracey


Ewan combines training with running an active accounting practice and working as a Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Finance at a UK University. 

Ewan has 14 years of training experience and 22 years of experience as an accounting and finance professional.  His main areas of expertise are financial reporting, financial strategy, finance for non-financial managers and governance.  Prior to training Ewan held a variety of industry roles from site accountant for an American multi-national to owner/finance director of a logistics company, but his real passion is in training and teaching. 

Ewan holds a Bachelors degree in Accounting and Marketing, diplomas from both Harvard and Yale, and alongside his MBA he is in the final year of a Doctorate of Business Administration. He has conducted training in the UK, Ghana, Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, China and Hong Kong. 

Professionally he is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds public practice credentials as both a financial accountant and tax advisor, he is a fellow of the Higher Education and the Chartered Management Institute.  He has previously served as a member of the British Accounting and Finance Association executive committee for higher education and training.  

Christine Silvester

Christine Silvester


Christine Silvester  is a qualified chartered accountant, (ICAEW)  who runs her own accountancy practice in Warwickshire where she specialises in the provision of accounting and tax compliance services to a range of small businesses. She also provides tutoring, support and guidance to business owners in the understanding and requirements of finance.  

After  qualifying as an accountant  with Coopers & Lybrand in Birmingham Christine briefly worked in financial recruitment before moving to work for BT.  During 12 years at BT  she worked in various  senior financial management  roles including Head of Business Planning and Forecasting for one of the divisions in the company which required working with operational teams across the business.   

Christine has over 37 years working  in Finance and has gained a wealth of experience which ranges from working with large teams and budgets in excess of £1bn to supporting start up businesses including building and running her own successful business for almost 20 years.  Christine enjoys sharing these experiences through her various tutoring roles. 


Stewart McCombe

Stewart McCombe


Stewart has a career background in corporate banking, and is a highly experienced commercial individual, who commenced a transition into the not for profit sector at the end of 2009. He now has a portfolio of Chair, Board and consultancy roles across not for profits and SMEs.

Throughout his career, Stewart has developed a proven track record in the North West corporate market. In roles covering both relationship management and business development, his key skills of brokering and relationship building ensured the management of multiple stakeholders, at all times undertaken with outstanding levels of integrity. Core to his roles at Bank of Scotland were the management of key entrepreneur relationships for the bank.

In recent years, he has rapidly developed a profile in the not for profit sector, maintaining key board roles across a range of areas, including leisure and social care

Stewart has a range of financial, operational and strategic experience in the private, public and not for profit sectors, including charities, local authorities, banking and venture capital. This has captured a range of areas, including direct roles in leisure, adult care, the arts, environment and recruitment, coupled with a wide range of sectors including manufacturing, service, retail, building products and housebuilding during his corporate banking career. Stewart is at ease in any environment, from start-up to PLC boardroom.

Andy Bate

Andy Bate


Andy is a qualified chartered accountant with in excess of 15 years’ experience working in corporate finance and private equity organisations, where he did multiple Merger and Acquisitions and fund raising transactions and has sat on 15+ Boards.

He made the cross-over in wanting to build his own businesses and in the last 10 years, is a founding partner of a fast-growing and successful e-commerce company, and in 2019, co-founded and launched an education software business around capturing and evidencing health and wellbeing in children. Andy is also a founding partner of the consultancy/operating partners arm of Gunner Cooke Operating Partners.

The vast amount of businesses Andy has appraised and worked with in his corporate finance and private equity career, coupled with his own “at the coalface” learning experiences of starting, building and developing his own businesses, gives an invaluable insight into how businesses and Boards should function.

Andy is incredibly energetic, hungry, and has a strong desire to succeed in any business he supports.

Jeremy Earnshaw

Jeremy Earnshaw


Jeremy Earnshaw is a current portfolio Chief Financial Officer and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales. Jeremy has been operating at main board C-Suite Chief Financial Officer level for over 25 years to date, having been one of the youngest PLC CFO’s at age 29, leading a full IPO listing on the London Stock Exchange.

Working across multiple sectors including housing, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, printing, retail marketing, and online E-commerce, Jeremy is highly experienced on all main board and CFO matters, with specialisms in funding, M & A, stakeholder communication and value creation. With international experience in Europe, North America and Asia, Jeremy’s roles have always encompassed a wide range of responsibilities, including legal, governance, risk, financial PR and procurement.

Using the vast experience gained in both growth markets and challenging downturns, Jeremy is also now a​n Institute of Leadership & Management-qualified and trained Executive ​Coach & Mentor with his own practice, and currently undertaking a part-time Postgraduate Masters Degree in Coaching & Mentoring at Newcastle University.

Jeremy is also helping other companies with his experience by adding NED roles to his portfolio. He currently serves as Chair of Audit & Risk on the Boards of Optoma, a €245m Revenue global leader in the production and distribution of Visual Display Products & Solutions, and One Heritage Group PLC, a fully-listed Property Development business. Additionally, he is a NED at Leeds & Yorkshire Housing Association, plus an early-stage technology-led business.

Our dedicated In-House Training team can work with you to create a tailored training course that creates an optimal learning experience. Our bespoke built training programmes are designed around your needs and allow you to meet the specific requirements of your business.

Click here to view our In-House Training services.

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Is this course right for you?

  • Understand more about financial strategy
  • Challenge financial proposals, business plans, projections and reports
  • Analyse, interpret and evaluate key financial data, models and reports
  • Review and assess the financial health and position of the organisation
  • Better understand the financial challenges within the business environment and apply best practice


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