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Factors to be considered while choosing a Training Programme for Directors

The Board of Directors of a company plays a crucial role in providing leadership to the company. It is also known as the governing body, and is expected to provide directions to the efforts of management. It is also responsible for safeguarding the interests of various stakeholders of the company.

For the Board to be effective and relevant, it needs to update its skills on a regular basis. Induction of new Directors or training of the existing Directors helps them to update themselves, their skills and knowledge, and to stay relevant with changing times.

SEBI has also mandated familiarization programmes for Independent Directors, to inter alia make them aware of the nature of industry in which the company operates, its business model, and the roles, rights and responsibilities of an Independent Director.

Given the seniority of Directors, it is important to give careful attention while deciding and finalising training programmes for them. The factors which can be considered while choosing a training programme are:

  1. Goals/target of the company: Based on the future goals of the company, including any new areas that it may want to consider for operations, the training can be customized.
  2. Structure and businesses of the company: Most companies are into multiple businesses, and it is important for the Board to understand all the businesses of the company. Training needs can be ascertained keeping in mind the gaps in knowledge, as may exist.
  3. Gaps that need to be addressed through training: It is important for the management to check with the Board the areas in relation to which it would want such programmes arranged so that self identified gaps of the Board can be addressed through such training programmes.
  4. Training pedagogy- Given the seniority of Directors, a classroom approach to training may not often yield results. The pedagogy should be such that it factors the seniority and knowledge of Directors, while seeking to upgrade them. Conversation, rather than presentation, would be usually desirable.
  5. Budget of the training: A number of companies wrongly view training as a cost. However, it is an investment in Directors, who in turn help craft the strategy for the future of the company.
  6. Feedback: Feedback is important, and should cover quality of the training sessions, and areas for improvement therein.

The Board should act as the captain of the ship, with a clear vision, in order to lead the company and fulfill the expectations of various stakeholders of the company.

Alka Singh