Close this search box.

First-time NEDs  |  Professional development  |  Secure a NED role

Best pathways to the non-executive director role


Becoming a non-executive director has become a positive career choice for many professionals. As the Institute of Board Members and professional membership and development body for NEDs and board members, we are often asked the question of the surest way to fast-track the transition. In this blog, we present 4 pathways to non-executive directorship and articulate how we can support you.

Gaining a professional qualification

Many non-executive directors have advanced degrees in business, finance, or a related field, and may have also completed specialised training programs or certifications. This helps to build the skills and knowledge that are necessary for success in this role and allow aspiring NEDs to stand out in the recruitment process.

NEDonBoard offers a range of professional qualifications and certificates, depending on the knowledge and skills you need to transition with success. The NED Accelerator® Programme is designed for first-time non-executive directors.

Gaining relevant experience

Non-executive directors typically have a track record of success in a leadership or management role. They may also have extensive experience in a particular industry or area of business or have worked extensively with board, as consultants or advisors. Such experiences demonstrate your ability to contribute effectively as a non-executive director.

Networking and building connections

Non-executive directors have a network of contacts and connections within the business world. This helps them identify opportunities for board positions and build relationships with potential recruiters and board level decision-makers.

Our membership connects non-executive directors and other professional operating at board level. If you have yet to build an effective network which you can tap into to source non-executive roles, we encourage you to join our organisation.

Seeking out opportunities

Many non-executive directors find opportunities through executive search firms or other organisations that specialize in connecting qualified individuals with board positions. You can also look for opportunities by reaching out directly to companies that are looking for non-executive directors. The NEDonBoard jobs board is used by companies, recruitment agencies, media companies and executive search firms to access qualified and skilled talents. We promote an average of 30+ new roles weekly across the private, public and third sectors and feature paid and pro-bono roles, trustees, governors, non-executive directors, committee chair and board chair roles.

Becoming a non-executive director typically requires a combination of relevant experience, expertise, and skills, as well as a willingness to pursue opportunities and build connections within the business world. Schedule a call with one of our consultants to discuss your background and objectives and set yourself on track for success.

Related resources:

Reflections on transitioning to become a NED

The role of the non-executive director

How to write a good non-executive director cover letter