The IoD is here to help you be the best leader you can be. Whether you have been a director for days or decades, there is always something new to discover about the role, your responsibilities, and the business world around you. In an economy that’s changing by the day, it’s never been more important to be on top of your game with professional development.

To help you understand your role as a director, and future-proof your board and organisation, we have developed our Professional Director Series – bringing accessible and digestible CPD to your region on the topics that matter. The whole series – wherever you are in the UK – is mapped to the IoD Director Competency Framework, keeping your learning relevant, up-to-date and in line with your professional development ambitions. Whether you’re embarking on the Certificate in Company Direction or are a qualified Chartered Director, this CPD series is the perfect accompaniment – or refresher – to your existing knowledge.

You will also be part of a group of leaders from organisations of all shapes and sizes across your region, giving you the opportunity to connect, learn from each other, share your setbacks and successes, and encourage each other at the most senior level.

The morning session will include two carefully designed courses on ‘Strategic Decision Making’ and ‘Role of the Chair’. The afternoon session will explore the popular courses ‘Risk Management and Value Creation’ and ‘Finance for Business Partnering’.

This full CPD day will take place at the Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre, Ipswich where delegates will be able to learn more about the University of Suffolk.

Date and locationSession 1
(AM session)
Session 2
(PM session)
24th January 2020

University of Suffolk,

Strategic Decision Making

Role of the Chair

(9am – 12.30pm)

Risk Management and Value Creation

Finance for Business Partnering

(1pm – 4.30pm)

£249 for Members

£349 for Non-members

£314 for University of Suffolk Partners and Alumni

CPD Workshop Details

Strategic Decision Making – Morning course 1

The aim of this workshop is to equip participants with an understanding of the ingredients of effective strategic decision-making and provide insight into the main challenges. Having done this, the workshop provides participants with a way of assessing their own organisation’s competence in strategic decision-making and identifying the areas to focus on to strengthen this ability.

This workshop looks at all three of what Cliff Bowman called the ‘zones of debate’ and what these mean for directors. It looks at the role of ‘comfortable debate’ – and the limits to its value.

It looks at the notion of ‘uncomfortable debate’ – with guidance on how to facilitate this. It will also explore the impact of ‘assumptions’ that underpin debate about strategic decisions, and how these are promoted by organisational culture and human behaviour, as well as strategic deliberation.

This workshop is based on academic research and the book ‘Strategic Decision Making’, which focus on how senior teams make strategic decisions.

By the time you have completed the session, you will be able to:
1. Identify the ingredients of and challenges around effective strategic decision-making.
2. Assess your own organisation’s strategic decision making capability and know where  this can be strengthened.

Role of the Chair  – Morning course 2

The chair has a critical influence on a board’s style, composition, balance and performance. This popular course provides a unique opportunity to review the chair’s role in light of current legal requirements and good practice.

Whether you are newly appointed, or looking to improve your performance with a fresh perspective, practical case-study led insight shared on the day will equip you with the essential knowledge and skill-set to fulfil your role successfully.

By the time you have completed the session, you will be able to:
1. Appreciate the board’s role, purpose and key tasks.
2. Define the role of the chair in successfully leading and chairing a board.
3.  Compose and develop a more effective board.
4.  Assess key director relationships and plan and run effective board meetings.
5.  Make proper use of both executives and non-executive directors.
6.  Understand the skills and qualities most likely to help achieve competence in the role.

Risk Management and Value Creation – Afternoon course 1

This interactive workshop provides a board-level introduction to risk management: understanding the true nature of risk, exploring how businesses can prepare for uncertainty, and examining the director’s role in managing risk.

Based around interactive discussion and a practical case study, the session will help delegates to understand how risk management improves decision-making, thereby adding value, and will focus their attention on the roles and responsibilities of directors in managing risk across the organisation.

By the time you have completed the session, you will be able to:
1. Evaluate risk by focusing on threats and opportunities in order to add value through improved decision-making. (Effective risk management is not only about mitigating threats, it is also about taking opportunities, thereby increasing chances of hitting targets and meeting objectives.)     2. Discuss the director’s role in assessing and managing the principal risks, and overseeing the risk management and internal control systems.

Finance for Business Partnering – Afternoon course 2

Explore how finance and business management can be coordinated to overcome multiple barriers and become successful business partners within an organisation. This highly interactive workshop provides a practical perspective on the merits and challenges of investing time and resources in finance business partnering. It crucially covers how to obtain buy-in and support from other board directors. You will learn how business partnering can help drive strategy, its impact on business performance and how to tackle any barriers and skill gaps. The session finishes with how to develop a compelling action plan and how to measure success.

By the time you have completed the session, you will be able to:
1.  Describe the benefits of financial business partnering and how it can add value to an organisation.
2.  Consider the key elements of an action plan for your own organisation to coordinate FBP, address any barriers and define how to measure success.

Key details

Date & time: 24 Jan 2020 09:00 – 17:00
Location: Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre, Ipswich
CPD Hours: 6.0

Prices from

Member Price
249.00 GBP + VAT
University of Suffolk Partners and Alumni
314.00 GBP + VAT
Non-Member Price
349.00 GBP + VAT

Event manager:
Ms Caroline Kearney
Contact phone:
Contact email:


IoD course leader

raj gandhi speakerRaj Gandhi

Raj specialises in finance, treasury, risk and governance. He provides mentoring, consulting and leadership training to board directors and is a visiting lecturer at a UK university. This follows a 25 year career at board and senior levels working for SMEs and multinationals across the financial services, energy and retail sectors.

Formerly CFO of London Capital Group Holdings plc, Raj’s remit was necessarily broad and engaging, working closely with the CEO to shape business and finance activities for controlled growth. Prior to this, in Royal Dutch Shell plc, Raj was a member of the group reporting team accountable for announcing results. Other prominent roles include business director at Man Group plc and treasurer of Empire Stores Group plc.

Raj is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, the Association of Corporate Treasurers and the Higher Education Academy.

He is renowned for successfully delivering leadership programmes to some 200 directors each year, always seeking to empower them to tackle modern-day business challenges.

A course leader for the IoD, Raj delivers leadership training to existing and aspiring finance directors. He also provides mentoring, consulting and leadership training for prominent bodies like the ACCA, ACT, ICAEW and Euromoney.

A visiting lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire Business School, Raj has module responsibility for corporate treasury management and international financial management. He also lectures on the MBA programme.

Raj regularly speaks at events and writes articles on financial leadership. He was part of the speaker panel, including the ACCA President, debating on how accountants create value.


Prices from

Member Price
249.00 GBP + VAT
University of Suffolk Partners and Alumni
314.00 GBP + VAT
Non-Member Price
349.00 GBP + VAT
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