On Board

On Board 

Covid-19 update - On Board is currently being delivered online and the traditional one day programme has been split into two shorter, interactive sessions

David Nicholl's On Board programme is the United Kingdom’s leading training programme for Board Members of public bodies. It provides Board Members with practical information and guidance on their roles and responsibilities, ethical standards and other issues of accountability and governance. 

It also provides practical advice on how to avoid some of the common pitfalls that Boards and Board Members can fall into and how to manage some of the crucial relationships within and outwith the Board.

In the past 20 years, David has trained more than 25,000 Board Members and senior executives from more than 700 public bodies in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (including local authorities).

Who is this course for?

On Board is essential training for Board Members of public bodies. Although primarily aimed at Non-executive Board Members (including the Chair), the course is also highly relevant to Chief Executives and senior managers who deal with Boards. 

The course will also be extremely useful for staff in sponsor teams responsible for liaising with public bodies and staff in public appointments units involved in the appointment of Board Members.

How is this course delivered?

Corporate governance can be a dry and turgid subject at the best of times and many delegates turn up at an On Board training event fearing the worst!  However, On Board is a lively and highly interactive course brought to life by the use of practical case studies and the sharing of real life experiences and anecdotes. 

The course is delivered by a mix of Powerpoint presentation and case studies/group discussion.

Slides are used by the course leader to set out best practice in key areas; but most of the course involves consideration of real life case studies and facilitated discussion of practical issues that affect Boards and Board Members. 

For public courses, a variety of general case studies are used to illustrate governance principles. For in house courses, the materials are tailored to the organisation and the sector in which it operates. 

Invariably, public courses lead to demand for in house courses as participants see the benefit of the training for all Board Members.

Course Tutor

David Nicholl

David has trained more than 700 boards of public sector bodies in Scotland, Wales, England, Northern Ireland and beyond and is widely recognised as the UK and Ireland’s leading expert in corporate governance in the public sector.


Quintin Gill MHK
- Chairman, MEA

Thank you so much for the excellent (in house) On Board training day. My colleagues and I at the Manx Electricity Authority in the Isle of Man were all very pleased with the day and feel that we greatly benefited from it, as well as enjoying a challenging and enjoyable day.

David Nicholl is an excellent facilitator who had researched our local situation to make the case study discussions particularly relevant and informative.

Anne Galbraith CBE
- Chair, Valuation Tribunal Service, Board Member, NHS Business Services Authority

This was an excellent training programme - as good as anything that I have ever been to. I believe that there would be much merit in Board Members and officers having this training delivered to their organisation at an early stage in the life of a new Board.

Keith Bartley
- Chief Executive, General Teaching Council for England

Thank you very much for your contributions to our Council deliberations yesterday. Your clear, authoritative and very relevant presentation not only set out clearly the matters for Members to reflect on but also contributed greatly to the tone and content of the subsequent debate on the future governance of the GTCE. All of the members that I spoke to were most appreciative of your input and, once again, your blend of insight, wisdom and commentary on case studies has assisted us considerably.

In addition, the On Board training programme that you provided for our Chair and Vice Chair of Council was a vital part of their induction into these challenging governance roles