CIPFA NED Certificate

A course focused on the roles and responsibilities of non-executive directors (NEDs), delivered in partnership with the Non-Executive Directors' Association (NEDA)

This course costs £650 +VAT for CIPFA and NEDA members, and £785 +VAT for non-members. 

About the course

The role of the non-executive director (NED) has recently come under the spotlight. The expectations of key stakeholders of organisations, both internal and external, has subsequently increased significantly. NEDs are considered the guardians of corporate governance, but are also required to bring a broad range of experience and insight, as well as providing a positive and supporting challenge to the boardroom.

The course is run in partnership with the Non-Executive Directors' Association (NEDA) and has been designed to give aspiring and existing NEDs, and those who support them, the knowledge and skills they need to fulfil their roles effectively.

The cost of the course includes all course materials and supporting documents. Six months’ complimentary membership of NEDA providing access to the course text - the Non-Executive Directors’ Handbook (through the members’ portal) – plus all of the other NEDA member benefits.

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Who is the course aimed at?

  • Aspiring NEDs seeking basic knowledge and understanding
  • Newly-appointed NEDs seeking the essential tools and techniques to add value from day one
  • Experienced NEDs seeking to keep up to date, both technically and with further development of some of the softer personal skills
  • Board advisors and others who support NEDs.

Course outline

  • The role of NEDs
  • NEDs and the board
  • Director duties and responsibilities
  • The role of the chair and board committees (especially the audit committee)
  • Updates on corporate governance, business strategy and risk management
  • Evolving good practice in board performance, as well as exploring aspects of corporate culture and director attributes.

You will be given access to the Non-Executive Directors’ Handbook. This provides comprehensive information to support your learning and enable you to confidently approach the NED Certificate test. Please note that the Handbook is provided in the Member area of NEDA’s website and is non-downloadable. It is therefore available to you for as long as you maintain membership.

Learning outcomes

  • Understanding what it means to be a professional NED
  • Seeing the role in the context of the demands of a public sector organisation, as well as a range of other industry sectors
  • Being up to date with the leading governance, strategy and risk practices aligned with key stakeholder interests
  • Appreciating why an 'effective board' is needed and what it should look like
  • Familiarity with the roles and responsibilities of board committees, especially with regard to the audit committee
  • Understanding how you can and should be adding tangible value to an organisation
  • Knowing the best way to go to market as a new NED, with some tips and hints on presenting yourself as an independent NED
  • Benefiting from the knowledge and experience of NEDA, the UK's leading NED training, advisory and support organisation.


The certificate will take three days to complete. This comprises:

  • A one-day intensive workshop taught via 'virtual classroom'
  • Two days reading and preparation for the online assessment (you will be provided with an e-version of the Non-Executive Directors' Handbook (5th Edition) – see 'Price' below).


You will be assessed via an online test. On successful completion of the test, you will be awarded the CIPFA NED Certificate. The first two sittings of the test are free of charge.A link to the NED Certificate Test will be provided after attending the course allowing up to two attempts to pass the Test.

The Test comprises 30 multiple choice questions to be answered in one hour. Questions are drawn from an extensive question bank based on the NED Handbook which should therefore be read in advance of taking the Test. The Test is online, 'open-book' and can be taken at any time. The 'CIPFA NED Certificate' is awarded upon successful completion of the online Test. 

Testimonials from NEDA courses

  • "The course covered a broad range of content on the director and NED role and made me understand what to expect, while enabling me to conduct my own personal gap analysis."
  • "There was plenty of very useful content. It felt very comprehensive and has given me the confidence to understand what is expected as a professional director."
  • "A great overview of the role and responsibilities of a director and NED."

This course carries 21 CPD hours

All CIPFA training counts towards your continuing professional development (CPD). If you are a CIPFA Chartered Member, you are required to undertake a minimum of 20 hours of relevant CPD activity each year as part of maintaining your professional competence and to develop skills and knowledge.

Find out more about CPD requirements.


This course costs £650 +VAT for CIPFA and NEDA members, and £785 +VAT for non-members.

The cost includes:

  • All course materials and supporting documents
  • An e-version of the Non-Executive Directors' Handbook (5th Edition) published by NEDA, in association with the ICSA (now the Chartered Governance Institute), which includes a number of case studies covering best practices that will serve as a reference guide and support your overall learning outcomes
  • 50% off your first year's membership of NEDA (first year membership is normally £195).

Please note: when you register for the certificate, due to the nature and delivery of each aspect of the certificate any personal data provided will be shared between CIPFA and NEDA.