Launching the 3rd Edition of the NED Handbook

The 3rd Edition of the NED Handbook was published by ICSA Publishing for the Non-Executive Directors Association (‘NEDA’) at the beginning of November and the launch event – “NEDs and the Board, making it work” was hosted by ICSA last week.

The event was very well attended attracting over 60 NEDs, Company Secretaries and Board Advisors and provided an opportunity to learn more about the Handbook. Peter Swabey, Director of Policy at ICSA acted as MC and introduced me and Peter Williams, Senior Independent Director (‘SID’) at ASOS Plc, as speakers.

I welcomed the opportunity to outline the work of NEDA which has been seeking to promote and support the day to day needs of NEDs since 2007-8, initially based on the publication of the 1st Edition of the NED Handbook. NEDA’s key areas of focus being on:

  • Knowledge…. Keeping NEDs up to date
  • Performance… Improving NED skills and capabilities
  • Independence… Challenging and retaining the NED independent perspective

In 2010-11 we started working with a range of Partners and Sponsors which is when we established a working partnership with ICSA on the 2nd Edition of the NED Handbook – this followed the new UK CG Code and provided a range of ‘case studies’ and handy checklists and frameworks that NEDs could use as a source of reference

However, with the increased focus on corporate governance issues and a number of changes that have included:

  • Diversity… Women on Boards
  • Executive Remuneration legislation
  • New CG Codes and Guidance from the IOD, NAPF and the QCA
  • New financial reporting updates, especially changes such as the new Strategic Report
  • The 2012 revised version of the Stewardship Code

…..It was time for an update and refresh

In the 3rd Edition of the NED Handbook working with ICSA we have added more ‘case studies’ and more checklists – for example a checklist for “Evaluating an NED’s personal performance”…

The Handbook also provides insight into the 4 stage Life-cycle of an NED covering:

  1. Pre-Role planning – Understanding and Knowledge
  2. The New Appointment – Due Diligence and Induction
  3. The Established Role – Keeping up to date and measuring Performance
  4. Succession Planning – Mentoring and the Legacy you leave behind

Peter Williams an experienced NED and currently SID at ASOS provided some excellent personal insight into the role picking up on some of the themes he had outlined in his Foreword to the Handbook.

As he noted: “What is common to being a non-executive is an understanding and application of the fundamental rules, guidelines and policies that boards are expected to follow. So whether you are an experienced non-executive in need of a re-fresh, or just about to take up your first appointment, this excellent Handbook provides both a comprehensive and succinct summary of the essentials, which makes it a must-read for NEDs”…

A lot of hard work has gone into producing the Handbook and the Launch Event enabled a number of “Thank Yous” to be made especially to: Brian Coyle – who did an excellent job in writing the Handbook and to the professional ‘Publishing and Marketing’ team at ICSA – Emma Reitano, Kate Murphy and Henry Ker.

The feedback and interest generated by the Handbook demonstrates that it is a quality Louis Cooper 1publication – the NED role can be daunting and, in some companies, a lonely job and it is good to know that practical support and guidance is at hand in The Non-Executive Directors’ Handbook!

Do let me know if you would like to learn more about NEDA and the work we do. Contact me at:

The Non-Executive Handbook, 3rd edition, can be purchased from the ICSA Bookshop:


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