Company Secretary Programme

4 days 10-13 Dec 2017, Dubai UAE £3,995.00 Download brochure Add to basket

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Course Background

Boards of Directors need the right support to enable them to be effective. Members of boards need to know what support they need and how to get it. All boards should aim to deliver effective entrepreneurial leadership and this will require high quality, relevant and timely support, information and advice to enable the board to make decisions and set strategy. The executive team and in particular the Company Secretary and the General Counsel provide a key role in supporting the board. This course is intended for those who need to understand the breadth and scope of the role and responsibilities of both Directors and those who support boards and in particular Company Secretaries and In-House Counsel.
The course will explore the role of the Company Secretary which continues to evolve as the role is now about being:
  • an active participant with the board and directors to ensure good corporate governance and board effectiveness;
  • an advisor to the board to ensure that board intentions and policies are aligned and functioning correctly;
  • a gatekeeper to ensure that laws are not broken and that policies are complied with; and
  • an enabler and provider of information on trends and new developments.


This 4-day course has been designed specifically for Directors and those directly involved in board support and board information preparation to help them provide to their boards the best quality board support and to enable them to consider what practical steps they can take to deliver better quality board support.

This course will broaden the awareness of members of and advisers to Boards of Directors of methods of improving board support mechanisms and frameworks. It provides an opportunity for participants to update their knowledge and to explore the available mechanisms to deliver the effective board support necessary in order to fulfil their roles.

Practical teaching methodology

This advanced 4-day course is a vital overview to the board support practices and mechanisms that exist in listed companies, banks and other financial institutions. Practical guidance will be provided on such issues as:

  • Being a Company Secretary
  • Best practice guidance on policies and procedures
  • Managing meetings from conception to follow up
  • Governance frameworks
  • Dealing with regulators and other stakeholders
  • How to guide and influence
  • Managing information flows

PLUS: The course will contain a variety of training activities that include:

  • Practical presentations and lectures
  • Group discussions
  • Multiple case studies
  • Board support simulations and role plays



We work with a series of expert instructors, please select the course location of interest to review the credentials of who will be delivering the programme.

Vanessa Jones

The course instructor has worked as an In-House Lawyer and Company Secretary in the listed sector and undertaken public policy work before establishing her own consultancy practice in 2012. She is a qualified Barrister (1984) and Chartered Secretary (1997) and has worked both in the FTSE listed sector and in the private company sector in both in-house legal and company secretarial roles. Having been involved in supporting boards both as a Company Secretary and as an In-House Lawyer over a number of years, her approach to board support and governance is immensely practical and business focused.  Prior to establishing her own consultancy she was the Head of Corporate Governance at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) in the UK.



Dubai Finance

This programme takes place on a non-residential basis at a central 4 to 5* Dubai hotel. Non-residential course fees include training facilities, documentation, lunches and refreshments for the duration of the programme. Delegates are responsible for arranging their own accommodation, however, a list of convenient hotels (many at specially negotiated rates) is available upon registration.

Related Courses



Do you have five or more people interested in attending this course? Do you want to tailor it to meet your company's exact requirements? If you'd like to do either of these, we can bring this course to your company's office. You could even save up to 50% on the cost of sending delegates to a public course.

To find out more about running this course in-house:

Our Tailored Learning Offering

If you want to run this course at a location convenient to you or if you want a completely customised learning solution, we can help.

We produce learning solutions that are completely unique to your business. We'll guide you through the whole process, from the initial consultancy to evaluating the success of the full learning experience. Our learning specialists ensure you get the maximum return on your training investment.


We can offer any of our public courses delivered at your office or we can devise completely tailored solutions:

Read more about our offering or complete a call back request to speak to a learning specialist.



Day 1: The Role and Responsibilities of the Company Secretary and those Providing Board Support

What does an Effective Company Secretary do?

  • Regulation and legal aspects to include: Director’s Duties in the Companies Act, the role of regulators, the importance of the Articles of Association, regulatory submissions
  • Corporate Governance aspects to include: key provisions of international corporate governance codes, the concept of independence and effective board procedures
  • The role of the board as a decision making body to include: delegation to committees, key committee terms of reference and schedule of matters reserved to the board
  • The unitary board concept to include: information asymmetry between Non-Executive Directors and Executive Directors and challenges that the asymmetry poses to board support
  • The role of advisors, the role of the Company Secretary and the need for independent advice
  • The provision of information to the board and its committees

Case study: The diverse role of the Company Secretary

The Role of the Company Secretary in Different Jurisdictions

  • Diversity of practices and norms and cross-border complexity

What are the Responsibilities of the Company Secretary?

  • Responsibilities to the board, the company and shareholders
  • Core duties
  • Additional duties that may come with the role
  • Structure of the secretariat and combining the role with other functions
  • Directing the focus of the board
  • Potential to expand the mandate of board support functions
  • Keeping up to date with developments

Case study: Looking at the responsibilities of the Company Secretary
What are the Compliance Functions of the Company Secretary?

  • Stock exchange requirements
  • Statutory registers
  • Statutory and regulatory returns
  • Report and accounts
  • Share and capital issues restructuring
  • Acquisitions, disposals and mergers


Day 2:  Supporting Boards: Board Meetings, General Meetings and Information Flows

How to Get the Most Out of Meetings

  • The annual calendar of board business and the forward planner
  • Meeting frequency
  • Meeting duration
  • Attendance issues
  • The purpose and legal standing of board packs/document discovery and confidentiality aspects
  • Ensuring board papers are ‘fit for purpose’ to facilitate good decision making
  • Using IT effectively in board processes
  • Minutes of meetings and minute logs
  • Document retention and document retention policies

Case study: Examining agenda issues
Common Problem Areas

  • Meetings organisation and set up arrangements
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Any other business items
  • Time management
  • Meeting behaviours

Role play: Exploring the roles involved and the key problem areas
The Importance of Information Flows

  • Meeting type: offsite/strategy/planning and how best to support them
  • Defining the purpose of the meeting, agenda setting and management
  • Dealing with routine and non routine items
  • Getting the most out of pre-meetings with Chair and key participants
  • Circulating board papers/timing/method/equivalence of information

Case study: Assessing the information flows to boards, verification and timing issues


Day 3: Supporting Boards and the Organisation by Improving Corporate Governance

The Company Secretary and the Governance Framework

  • The Company Secretary and the overall governance architecture of the organisation
  • The Company Secretary as a ‘gatekeeper’
  • Who owns the governance framework of an organisation

The Company Secretary as a Conduit of Information to the Board

  • The link between the board and the business
  • Being a point of access, services and advice for all directors
  • Responsibility for all board procedures and the compliance of board procedures

The Company Secretary and the Board

  • Working together with the Chairman on governance issues
  • Advising and assisting Directors on their duties and responsibilities
  • Promoting and reviewing new corporate governance developments
  • Acting as a communicator with Non-Executive Directors

Role play: Investigating the relationships between the Chairman and Chief Executive and the Company Secretary

The Company Secretary: Induction and Training

  • Role in facilitating director induction and professional development

The Company Secretary and the Executive

  • Effective management of the conflicts inherent in the role
  • Managing the impacts of additional duties and exploring other duties

Role play: Dealing with dominant Executive Directors
The Company Secretary and Board and Committee Evaluations

  • Role of board and individual evaluations
  • Development role

Case study: To externally evaluate or not? Examining the Company Secretary’s role

Day 4: How to Guide and Influence

The Company Secretary: Directing the Focus of the Board

  • Forward planner/board paper tracking schedules/use of templates
  • Effective use of pre-meetings
  • Enhanced communication and follow-up
  • Use of external independent advice
  • Reviewing past decisions
  • Managing change
  • Managing crisis

Case study: The importance of external sources of advice and how to maximise benefits
Working with Directors

  • The Company Secretary’s role in decision making

Role play:
Meetings with Executives and Non-Executive Directors and getting the most out of them
The Company Secretary and Shareholders

  • Shareholder communications and documents: notice of AGM and proxy forms and communications with shareholders
  • Ascertaining who the shareholders actually are and shareholder monitoring issues: who actually are the owners?
  • Board support and investor relations
  • Stewardship Code considerations and enhanced engagement opportunities

Case study:
Minority shareholder abuse and handling investor relations
Skills of the Company Secretary

  • What qualities are needed
  • Mandate of the Company Secretary
  • Potential to narrow or expand
  • Perception of the Company Secretary
  • Strategic v administrative
  • Potential to be seen as uncommercial
  • Acting as an interface between the board and the business
  • Future trends and how to keep up to date

Course summary and close

Why us

We have a combined experience of over 60 years providing learning solutions to the world’s major organisations and are privileged to have contributed to their success. We view our clients as partners and focus on understanding the needs of each organisation we work with to tailor learning solutions to specific requirements.

We are proud of our record of customer satisfaction. Here is why you should choose us to help you achieve your goals and accelerate your career:

  • Quality – our clients consistently rate our performance ‘excellent’ or ‘outstanding’. Our average overall score awarded to us by our clients is nine out of ten.
  • Track record – we have delivered training solutions for 95% of worlds’ top 100 banks and have trained over 250,000 professionals.
  • Knowledge – our 150 strong team of industry specialist trainers are world leading financial leaders and commentators, ensuring our knowledge base is second to none.
  • Reliability – if we promise it, we deliver it. We have delivered over 20,000 events both in person and online, using simultaneous translation to delegates from over 180 countries.
  • Recognition – we are accredited by the British Accreditation Council and the CPD Certification Service. In an independent review by Feefo we scored 96% on service and 95% on product