New IoD Academy set for launch

IoD Academy training room with table and chairs

A new state-of-the-art IoD Academy learning facility at the IoD’s Pall Mall headquarters will host the latest chapter in our mission to promote professionalism in business

In September, the IoD Academy will be launched – a major leap forward in the quest to set the benchmark for British business leadership. The IoD has held its Royal Charter since 1906, and the work we do to promote professionalism in business continues to this day. We have a unique mandate to provide the training, support and tools necessary to create better directors, better business practice and a better economy.

Having triggered Article 50, the UK is due to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019, and our need to establish trade deals around the world will be paramount. There has never been a more important time in the IoD’s long and distinguished history, therefore, for it to set a benchmark for UK business leaders – and a gold standard for directors around the world.

The IoD’s Director Competency Framework was launched in August 2016 with a clear, concise objective – to establish a blueprint for standards of professionalism among directors. This framework equips business leaders with the knowledge required to perform effectively as board members, and is free to access for all (including non-IoD members). Areas covered include leadership, understanding yourself and others, and how to lead in times of crisis.

The Royal Charter also instructs the IoD to “promote for the public benefit high levels of skill, knowledge, professional competence and integrity on the part of directors”. By making the competency framework available online, free of charge, we are giving all directors and boards the chance to review their performance and measure it against the highest standards. 

Introducing the IoD Academy

Now, we are taking this process to the next stage. In September we will be launching the IoD Academy, the philosophy of which will be underpinned by the Director Competency Framework. We will open a purpose-built, state-of-the-art learning facility for leaders at the IoD’s premises at 116 Pall Mall, while an accompanying digital platform will provide an extension of this environment, offering IoD members and course delegates an opportunity to continue their studies online, via the course website or app.

Our vision is to have maximum impact on the UK economy by increasing the number of leaders engaged in continuing professional development (CPD). We believe that providing accessible and relevant high-quality CPD content will enable the IoD to improve the skills and professionalism of directors across the UK, for the benefit of the public and the economy.

“The Academy, which will comprise a digital and physical campus, recognises that one size – especially when it comes to director development – rarely fits all,” says Louise Gulliver, managing director of professional development at the IoD. “Directors are rightly expected to discharge their duties with confidence and clarity, and yet their own learning and development needs are often overlooked – either due to time pressures or the misplaced sense that they should already be the finished article. Clearly this is not the case. Lifelong learning is a common trait of the world’s most successful leaders.”

Another key development, says Gulliver, is that IoD Academy’s digital offering is also underpinned by the Director Competency Framework. “Members will be able to benchmark themselves against the framework, identify gaps in their knowledge and access content designed to support their specific development needs. The content will be served up according to the time the member has available, so they can select the content they need depending on preference and convenience.”

IoD Academy meeting room with sofasAcademy features

Purpose-built, state-of-the-art learning destination for leaders

Two learning suites, coaching rooms, AV equipment, breakout space, refuelling station, corporate hire facility available for training, board meetings and events

Mobile app and web-based platform available for iPad, iPhone and Android

New bite-sized items of learning content released weekly, focused on the week’s theme and linked to the IoD Director Competency Framework

A competency self-assessment tool – measure your confidence level for each standard in the framework for a summary of strengths and gaps

Free taster content – a small selection of animations and e-learning activities will provide valuable learning content to non-members and will offer a window to the features and content available to IoD members

Digital content for every IoD course – a selection of course materials, quizzes and e-learning activities depending on the course (to be released during 2017–2018)

Exam preparation resources – practice questions, preparation webinars, guidance and tips to increase your confidence and help you get the best possible exam result

Opportunities to connect with course colleagues

A CPD tracker – not just for chartered directors. Anyone using the platform will be able to log their CPD and export a record of it

For more about the IoD Academy and how the IoD’s Director Competency Framework, courses and qualifications can help you and your organisation, visit

About author

Ryan Herman

Ryan Herman

Alongside his work for Director, Ryan has written for SportBusiness International, VICE Sports, Populous, Audi and Gallop Magazine and was previously editor of Sky Sports Magazine.

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