Non-Executive Director Programme

The Royal Agricultural University, through a collaboration with Universities South West, is piloting a programme that supports senior academics, (Heads of Department, Research Directors and Deans), to become Non-Executive Directors (NED) of companies.

Programme benefits

Senior academics are provided with some intensive training and support, covering all aspects of the non-executive role. These include;

  • Corporate Governance
  • The financial, legal and fiduciary responsibilities of an NED
  • Board Structure and Committees.

In addition, there is considerable work on personal impact, CV preparation, the interview and recruitment process; as well as case studies from existing non-executive directors.


The recruitment process and corporate relationships are led by the Enterprise Managers at the University. Only in rare cases will academics be able to gain a placement without this necessary support. Where appropriate, an honorarium can be made available so that the company can take on the NED at no direct financial cost (this is limited to a year).

Businesses involved in the programme (those appointing an NED to the Board) will benefit from the knowledge and expertise provided by that senior academic to the business. The organisation will also gain a better understanding of the potential for further links and collaborations with the RAU.