<img src="https://secure.leadforensics.com/146720.png" style="display:none;"> Directors Development Programme Accelerator

Directors Development Programme Accelerator

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Directors Development Programme Accelerator

As validated by the University of Chester, the Directors Development Programme Accelerator (DDP) has been designed in partnership with academic and industry experts. The programme is designed to support and provide leaders with the knowledge and skills to be a high-performing director, preparing them for a host of demands and challenges. 

This structured, insightful and intensive programme provides an outstanding personal development opportunity. It will give participants a detailed understanding and up-to-date knowledge of the role of the director and the board, leadership, corporate strategy, finance and, crucially, organisational governance. Through the knowledge and experience of the course leader and peers, participants will be encouraged to consider their own role alongside the board, discussing relevant issues, challenges and solutions.  

Through subject specialists, cutting edge research, case studies and models, participants will be able to improve board effectiveness and increase their own contribution at board level. 

Course Summary


University of Chester PGCert


5 Day


Virtual Central London Central Manchester

Delivery Method and Price:

Virtual Classroom:

Face to Face Classroom:


About the Programme

This programme has been designed for managers, directors and senior stakeholders with a minimum of three years’ senior management experience. 

On successful completion of the Directors Development Programme, delegates will automatically be eligible to participate on the C-Suite Leaders Programme, should they wish to continue their learning and development. Full details about this programme can be found here.  

On completion of this programme, participants will: 

  • Hold a detailed knowledge and an in-depth understanding of the role and responsibilities of a director including legal obligations, personal liabilities and expected duties and how these relate to your role in your business
  • Build crucial commercial, operational and leadership skills and knowledge 
  • Have improved confidence to effectively operate at board, C, D or executive-level management
  • Possess knowledge of the latest boardroom best practice and principles
  • Have developed the personal key skills to better influence the board and deliver more effective outcome
  • Be able to make improved and more informed decisions, viewing challenges more objectively and delivering better results.

Session 1

Day one: The role of the company director

  • Director duties as defined in the Companies Act 2006 
  • Corporate and ethical governance 
  • Risk management in the current climate 
  • Offering both challenge and support in the boardroom and managing stakeholders 
  • Considering ongoing legislative changes 

Session 2

Day two: Finance for Non-Finance Directors

  • The key financial reports and metrics of a business, including cash-flow, balance sheet, and profit and loss / income statements
  • How to interpret the financial information from a non-financial perspective 
  • Understanding accounting principles and standards 
  • Methods that can be used by finance directors to create financial information 
  • Understanding the relationships between a company’s financial stakeholders and its directors / business owners 
  • Recognising the signs of a failing company 
  • How to rely on and gain the most from the finance function 

Session 3

Day three: The Directors Role in Strategic Marketing and Communications 

  • Self-awareness in leadership and 21st century leadership practice 
  • Developing an inquisitive mind-set and leading organisational change and knowledge 
  • Managing performance and measuring progress 
  • Influencing a positive culture in the workplace through effective, responsible and sustainable leadership 
  • Managing diverse inter-dependent teams 
  • Developing soft skills for performance (coaching and mentoring) and developing effective teams and resilience in the workforce 

Session 4

Day Four: The Directors Role in Strategy

  • Understanding differences between strategic and operational thinking 
  • Strategic business planning concepts
  • Designing and managing a process for successful organisational change 
  • Defining the business environment and influential factors 
  • Reviewing a range of strategic leadership and management theories to inform best practice 

Session 5

Day five: The Directors role in Leading & Managing an Organisation

  • Deriving value and market share from research and insights
  • Developing a brand and ‘the universal truth’ 
  • The purchasing decision-making process 
  • Public affairs and stakeholder communications 
  • Digital and social marketing 

You can attend the Directors Development Programme on an accredited and non-accredited basis. On completion of all modules, participants can work towards achieving the PGCert in Strategic Leadership for Directors (60 credits). 

The Postgraduate Certificate 

This PG Certificate in Strategic Leadership for Directors is accredited by the University of Chester and is a postgraduate qualification which sits between a degree and a masters. This is also an excellent route into a full masters, contributing 60 credits towards the 120 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 three assignments. Each is assessed through a work-based critically-reflective essay or report. The work-based learning and assessments can all be applied to the business situation/workplace and give both the student and the wider organisation a chance to learn and adapt business practice. 

Matt Eld

Matt Eld


Matt is an expert in marketing strategy and business transformation. He is a senior leader with over 25 years’ experience of improving and growing businesses, gained from a variety of senior management roles. Matt has held MD and Director posts in a FTSE 250 organisation, Marketing and Communications agency and as a business owner. A CIM Marketer by background, Matt has amassed a wealth of commercial transformation and marketing communications experience. He is an accomplished communicator and is skilled at operating at all levels of the organisation, analyzing and quickly establishing business challenges and developing sustainable solutions. He has strong influencing and negotiation skills and can drive transformation change to success with authority and a clear vision. His broad range of experience covers multiple disciplines including marketing, communications and crisis management, commercial development, change management, organisational development, IT & technology deployment, project management and business improvement.

Matt is a director level project and transformation professional with demonstrated ability to create and translate strategy into measured operational performance improvement. He has extensive experience in marketing, customer acquisition, project management, organisational redesign and commercialization, which he has gained across direct and agency environments in Higher and Further Education, Media & Publishing and Local Government sectors. He is an accomplished leader and influencer from the boardroom to front line teams across multiple location.

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 well being 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 with a strong desire to succeed in any business he supports.

David Abbott

David Abbott


David is an award winning international marketing speaker and author. He read Engineering Science and Economics at University College, Oxford University and then went on to complete the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Diploma at Manchester Business School. He is a Chartered Marketer.

David has held a number of senior marketing and MD roles in a wide variety and sizes of businesses. His background covers multiple industries, includes public sector and private sector, and both B2B and B2C. David works as an interim marketing director for a number of businesses, helping them to develop and execute a marketing strategy to help them achieve their goals, and helping them to develop their marketing skills, processes and teams.

Tom Robinson

Tom Robinson


A versatile business leader having held 5 divisional MD roles and been Chief Sustainability Officer within a FTSE 250 plc, followed by 6 years as Chief Executive within a private, family-owned business. Now operating as a consultant and business advisor assisting organisations improve their performance.

Tom has been responsible for delivering projects and services to customers in both private and public sectors including communications, defence, retail, health and logistics. Businesses Tom has led include construction, facilities management, property development, architecture, vehicle and plant asset management, recruitment and training.

He has a track record of driving transformation and improvement and is driven by an enthusiasm for customer service and responsible business.

Tom is a member of the Advisory Board to the Lincoln International Business School.

Fergal Roche

Fergal Roche


Fergal Roche was a teacher and headteacher. He was also a leading entrepreneur in the business of Education. He grew a digital business from scratch to an EBITDA of £3.5m+ and sold it to a lead investor in 2018. Since then, Fergal trained as an executive coach at Henley Business School. He worked with the CEOs of 8 different organisations to help them through change. He is also a qualified mediator. Fergal has set up three companies over past three years and he has invested in two others.  Currently he is a chair of a multi academy trust of 12 schools. He has previously chaired three other organisations, and two of them are private-equity backed. 
He has also authored and co-authored 2 books. He likes to partner with leaders to help them gain clarity, confidence and conviction. 

Cara Halliwell

Cara Halliwell


With over a decade of experience in leadership and transformation roles and a focus on unlocking the potential and value of people, Cara has worked with a range of global clients to design strategic aims and deliver the people, process and system change required to meet these. Acting as a critical friend to business leaders, she guides, cheers and challenges her clients throughout the full breadth of transformation activity – from defining strategic aims and roadmaps to coaching and supporting people through the change process.

She now runs a consultancy firm that helps business leaders to imagine and create highly productive and effective workplaces in which people can excel, through defining strategic ambitions, developing people's capability and confidence, making best use of technology and organising processes for maximum efficiency.

Business acumen, extensive transformation experience, endless curiosity and an approachable, down to earth demeanour give her the ability to inspire confidence, unpick complex challenges, disarm resistance and unlock people's insights, wit and wisdom.

Hannah March

Hannah March


Hannah is an experienced Marketing Strategist, specialising in helping business leaders boost company performance by identifying what customers want and care about, aligning products and services to deliver that value and then positioning the value propositions so that customers are drawn in.

Hannah has experience across the board working in both products and services, client and agency side and for multinational corporations and SMEs. She has held roles in London and Sydney and worked with many multidisciplinary and geographically dispersed teams.

Hannah has worked for the world’s largest exhibition company, with leading luxury brands, for a prestigious design agency, and within the manufacturing field.

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Is this course right for you?

  • Build your understanding of the role and responsibilities of a Director
  • Build crucial commercial, operations and leadership skills
  • Improve your confidence and effectiveness operating at board level
  • Make more informed decisions
  • Lead and plan more strategically


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