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First-time NEDs  |  Secure a NED role

For first-time non-executive directors: Commonly Asked Questions


As a membership organisation which hosts and participates in a multitude of non-executive director dedicated interviews, meetings and events each month, our team at NEDonBoard has excellent insight into the many pertinent questions on the minds’ of experienced and aspiring non-executive directors.

From aspiring non-executive directors, common questions include:

  • What does the role entail?
  • How much can I expect to be remunerated?
  • How long does it take to get a role?
  • How much commitment am I expected to give?

If these questions resonate with you, read on.


What does the role entail?  NEDonBoard has published “What to Expect of the NED Role”, in consultation with the NED community, to answer this question from the NED perspective. For any aspiring non-executive director, this is a worthwhile read and is available within the NED Accelerator Programme.


How much can I expect to be remunerated? Non-executive pay varies greatly.  Those who are trustees of charity boards are not usually remunerated for their involvement, other than sometimes for expenses, unless under special circumstances granted by the Charity Commission.  Those on the boards of small organisations or NHS trusts might expect anywhere from £5,000-£30,000 per annum for a role. Information can be found at this link.


How long does it take to get a role?  This question is in reality like asking ‘how long is a piece of string?’ and can vary depending on a multitude of factors, including what experience a particular board is looking for to ‘fill the gap’; the types of boards you are interested in and how these relate to your background; your current experience; how visible and well known you are in the relevant sector; how you present yourself – i.e. is it clear on your exec bio and CV what you can offer a board?; and how pro-active you are. All of these are important in determining your success in landing your first NED role. Proactivity is important as you need to make yourself known and available for non-executive director roles, and your network is a vital aspect of this.


How much commitment am I expected to give? As with other aspects of being a non-executive director, this varies greatly from organisation to organisation, and the type of non-executive role you take on.  It can be anything from a few days per year, to several days per week – organisations should be clear with you what the role will involve.  However, feedback from experienced non-executive directors is unanimous in that roles can require more time commitment than you may originally anticipate and as such you should allocate enough time to carry out the role based on this assumption.


If you’d like to know more, visit the NED Accelerator Programme course page. We design the NED Accelerator course to fast-track the transition of professionals into non-executive directors.