Leadership Development Programme for Company Secretaries and Governance Professionals



The aim of the Leadership Development Programme is to provide a structured programme of executive development for governance professionals who wish to ‘reach the next level’. The Programme focuses on experienced Candidates who wish to develop the skills needed to transition from the role of subject-matter expert to that, ultimately, of strategic governance adviser to the board and its directors.

The year-long Programme has been created to address the skill gap which exists between the technical competences which most governance professionals possess, and the soft skill attributes required to operate at a senior level. It addresses the research findings produced within the company secretary community in recent years and, drawing on best practice executive development programmes, has been designed by professionals with many years’ experience of working with boards and directors. The key Programme outcome is business benefit for the Candidate and employer, in terms of increased personal and organisational effectiveness.

Details about the Programme, which launched in January 2015,  can be found here All participants have senior roles, most of them in the ‘top job’ with principal governance responsibilities for the board and directors; with increasing interest being shown by colleagues with board-facing responsibilities, including risk, audit and HR.

Programme networking dinners take place on a quarterly basis, with guest speakers who hold senior company secretarial positions. If you are not on the Programme, you can join the Networking Club, which entitles you to attendance at the dinners.   For accounts of previous dinners, please click on Latest Posts (and/or to see related blogs, visit me on LinkedIn).


I wanted a lot more than I was experiencing, and was looking for leverage to advance my career, and raise my profile.  Having identified a gap I needed a tool that worked for me.  The Leadership Development Programme was structured, and the elements that particularly appealed to me were the coaching, mentoring, the independent perspective and the external advice. In terms of the ‘so what’, the benefits have been that I have increased confidence (I talk up more), I have been involved in more visible projects and events, and I have been approached by a number of Not-for-Profits for Trustee and NED roles.  Do I recommend the Programme?  If you are thinking of advancing your career, and being relevant, a 100% yes!

Rachel Benjamin, Company Secretary, Premier Oil

Early on in my career I benefited from skillful mentoring from experienced senior Executives; learning from role models I developed my own personal style. The role of Company Secretary is a privileged position which brings its own unique challenges and is rarely the same in any two organisations. I passionately believe through sharing and collaboration we can achieve so much more. Coaching and mentoring provides a safe environment in which to be stretched, challenged and supported and is often overlooked in management development programmes.  I am pleased to endorse the Leadership Programme which provides individuals with a structured environment in which to develop themselves personally and professionally – with a view to becoming much more rounded individuals who can add value to the organisations in which they work.

Jane Earl, former Company Secretary BBC Worldwide

The Leadership Development Programme is an important initiative for developing the careers of our ambitious company secretaries, and helping us promote our role as the champions of the governance agenda at board level. We need to equip our members with the necessary skills to deliver that agenda with authority and credibility if the profession more widely is also to benefit.

Derek Woodward, Group Company Secretary, Worldpay Group

I am delighted to act as a sponsor to one of the Programme candidates. I believe passionately in investing time to develop the next generation of the profession.

Andrew Fairhurst, Head of UK Secretariat, Legal & General Group


If you would like to know more about the Programme, or the Networking Club, or to join either, please contact me by emailing seamus@valuealpha.com  or by phone (07739 088208).