New Director Induction

New Director Induction

Sep 09, 2021

A professional approach to induction and the first 100 days is essential for success

As a director, you are responsible for obtaining the information you need to become as effective as possible in your new role within the shortest possible time


Important research reveals that, regardless of sector, the average board member takes two years to feel fully competent in their role and confident in their position.


This is such a terrible waste.


That's why we have produced a comprehensive New Director's Induction Pack.

Induction when you first become a director

All directors should receive induction on joining the board and should regularly update and refresh their skills and knowledge.


There should be a formal induction process for all new appointments, with a similar structure to the induction for any new role, but with particular attention paid to managing the change in relationships.


Here are five areas new directors should consider, even if there is no formal induction process.

  1. Have you discussed your new role with your chairman? Are you both clear about your role and responsibilities? Do you understand the culture and operating procedures of the board?
  2. What does it mean to you to be a director? How do you perceive other directors? Are you comfortable with your new identity?
  3. Have you discussed your new role with your staff and colleagues? What are their expectations of you now?
  4. How should you change the way that you trawl for information? What radio, television, newspapers and magazines should you access? What sorts of things should you notice?
  5. How and where should you network and how should you represent your organisation? Have you defined your new public identity and are you comfortable with it?

Induction and the first 100 days

The objective of induction is to provide a new director with the information he or she will need to become as effective as possible in their role within the shortest practicable time. Induction should include:

  • Building an understanding of the nature of the company, its business and the markets in which it operates. 
  • Building a link with the company’s people.
  • Building an understanding of the company’s main relationships.

All directors should receive induction on joining the board to obtain appropriate knowledge of the company and gain access to its operations and staff. The chairman should ensure that new directors receive a full, formal and tailored induction on joining the board.


The UK Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators recommends that a new director should expect to make himself/herself available for an additional 10 days for the induction process. As part of this, directors should avail themselves of opportunities to meet major shareholders.


The company secretary is responsible for facilitating the induction programme under the direction of the chairman. One option is to partner a new non-executive director with a particular executive director to hasten an understanding of a particular part of the business.


Where the director will be joining a committee, he or she should be provided with copies of the committee minutes from the preceding 12 months.

Issues to be addressed during induction

  • Board and committee structure and terms of reference
  • Biographical and contact details of all directors of the company, the company secretary and other key executives
  • Board meetings, recent minutes, dates, procedures, and training in the use of systems and technology
  • Boardroom behaviours, culture and values, codes of conduct/ethics 
  • Articles of association/constitution
  • Board procedures and confidentiality
  • Board appraisal and development programme
  • Current issues
  • The nature of the company, its business and its markets
  • Meetings with senior management, visits to company sites, details of employee committees or surveys
  • Information about main stakeholders

You can download a free induction checklist for new directors.