Leadership in Board Governance

Why this course?

In an increasingly competitive international marketplace, participants on this course will be able to differentiate themselves as confident, experienced Governance Leaders: individuals who can bring a highly valued skill set to any organisation, and who are ready and qualified to pursue a suitable board-level opportunity with a charity or local community organisation. 

Who is it for?

As an employer, what better way is there to demonstrate your corporate social responsibility than to provide a trained member of your team to serve as a board member on a local charity or community group? 

As an ambitious individual, how better to gain leadership experience than by giving your time and expertise to help develop a local charity or community group? 

And as a charity or community organisation, how much more value can you gain from a new board member if you provide this focused development opportunity to enhance their skills?

Our Leadership in Board Governance' course blends practical application with relevant academic theory and participants should have several years of work experience to draw upon. You will also preferably hold an Honours degree, although other qualifications/experience will be considered on an individual basis.

What is governance? 

Transparent and effective governance is critical to the success of any organisation. It is concerned with how leaders manage their stakeholder relationships to achieve economic goals, as well as social and environmental objectives in a range of boards in the private, public and voluntary sectors. 

Effective Governance Leaders demonstrate responsible and ethical behaviour, which meets the needs of shareholders, other stakeholders and wider society.    

This course will equip you with the necessary knowledge, skills, attitude and support to ensure you are ‘Board-ready’ and assist you to pursue and attain a governance leadership role.  

You will gain a critical understanding of the nature and importance of governance, ethics, benefits of a diverse board, finance, the role and contribution of board members and awareness of practices that can be adopted to achieve more effective governance in an international context. 

You will benefit from continual interaction with Governance Leaders from private, public and third sectors for the duration of the course and receive support in sourcing and applying for suitable board level positions.

How participants will learn and develop...

The online learning experience consists of ten weekly group sessions (5.30pm - 7.30pm) on Wednesdays. Two weeks in February have an extended session to 9.00pm to allow for a role-play exercise.

The delivery schedule creates an opportunity to reflect on learning activities that can be completed prior to attending each workshop and you will need to complete around 4 hours of individual learning each week. For this, you will follow a Study Guide that will lead you through each of the topics, with set reading for core academic theory and concepts; a mix of case-studies; and self-reflection exercises with diagnostic feedback.

Throughout the course you will develop an individual Portfolio of Practice, which you will be able to use to demonstrate your enhanced competencies in terms of the knowledge, skills and mind-set you can draw upon as an effective board member.

Upon successful completion of this course you will gain a Certificate of Credit.

Further Information:

Delivery of the 'Leadership in Board Governance' course will be through Edinburgh Napier University’s online study platform.

Cost £1,550 (includes tuition and course materials). 

The dates of the weekly group sessions are: Each Wednesday from 19 January 2022 to 30 March 2022 inclusive.


Applications are open to those who wish to build a strong track record in leadership and a demonstrable ambition, commitment and passion to pursue a suitable board-level opportunity. You should preferably hold an Honours degree and/or have several years of work experience, although other qualifications/experience will be considered on an individual basis.

The application process will open shortly.

The deadline to apply for the January 2022 start is Noon on Friday 7th January 2022. 

Meet some of the team

MIles WeaverCourse Leader: Dr Miles Weaver 

Miles is an Associate Professor in the Business School and Director of the Leadership in Board Governance CPD course. His research focuses on building a meaningful engagement between stakeholders from different sectors, particularly supporting purpose-driven organisations to create value with third sector/charity organisations. He has led the award winning ‘Get on Board’ programme at Edinburgh Napier for 5 years and is a co-author of the ‘Get on Board’ competency framework for trustees.  The framework has been adopted by the ‘Charity Board Initiative’, a partnership between Santander, RSM and the University, making governance training and a staged accreditation process available to students across participating Scottish Universities. Miles has considerable board experience and is an ambassador for ‘Young Trustees’.   He currently sits on the board of the Association of Corporate Governance Practitioners and is a member of the Operational Research Society General Council, as well as (… and as important) an active engagement in two sports committees in the local community. 

Lynne Cadenhead portraitExpert Advisor: Lynne Cadenhead 

A serial entrepreneur, Lynne has over 20 years’ investment experience, and has served on over 30 boards. Currently Lynne is involved with several early stage technology companies as director and investor, mainly in the fields of cyber security and artificial intelligence, whilst continuing with her pioneering work in leadership in board governance.

She has significant links with Edinburgh Napier University as an alumni, a long-standing member of the Campaign Advisory Board, and on the Business School Advisory Board. She is also Chair of UNICEF Scotland Advisory Board and Chair of Women's Enterprise Scotland, the community investment company which works to unlock the economic potential of women in business.


Richard WhitecrossDeliverer: Dr Richard Whitecross 

Richard is Associate Professor in Law. He holds degrees in History, Law and Social Anthropology and is an alumnus of the Rockefeller Foundation. A former commercial lawyer, Richard has experience of advising a range of boards in Scotland and the UK. As a legal advisor, Richard supported the establishment of the Loden Foundation, an international charity that promotes education and entrepreneurship in the Himalayas, and in particular, access to education for girls. In 2008- 2009, he conducted research that informed the introduction of SCIO in Scotland.

Richard has held various board positions and currently supervises the Edinburgh Napier Law Clinic which provides free legal advice. As well as sitting on a range of Business School and University committees, he is the Professorial Lead for the Professional Doctorate and Private Law Cluster Lead.  He currently holds research award from the Scottish Government. Richard is an elected Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, the Royal Asiatic Society and the Royal Society of Arts.