Future Leaders Programme

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The BDA's award-winning Future Leaders Programme

Leadership development for professional association leaders is rare. The BDA is at the forefront of developing its own members with a unique award-winning programme, developed by us and approved by the Institute for Leadership and Management.

Professional associations are led (governed) through formal structures made up of members and non-members who provide strategic leadership and direction. It is widely recognised that diversity at the most senior levels of organisations helps improve the way they are run and managed. Increasing diversity within the governance of the BDA (i.e. our Board/ Council and Committee structures) is essential for us to stay informed and responsive and to navigate the fast-paced and complex changes facing this sector. Boards whose members have different backgrounds and experience are more likely to encourage debate and to make better decisions.

Aim of the programme: 

To ensure that future association leaders have an opportunity to learn in a multi professional environment and are supported to govern and lead their association with vision and courage.

Learning outcomes:

While the programme does not have any formal assessment, at the end of the programme participants will:

  • Understand the principles of good governance and be able to apply these principles in leadership roles
  • Have an understanding of the legal and regulatory system governing associations and the legal function of the Director or Trustee, other appointed roles and volunteer leadership roles in ensuring good governance and leadership of an association
  • Be able to competently act as a Director or Trustee in developing and leading the strategy, corporate ethics and culture of an association
  • Understand association structures and delegation, roles, responsibilities and accountability of Directors or Trustees, volunteers and staff and be able to apply this knowledge to amplify the impact of an association
  • Understand the financial management principles and functions of a Director or Trustee and be able to apply this by having oversight and managing financial and other risks
  • Understand and be able to demonstrate leadership within association governance structures
  • Be aware of their own leadership qualities and be actively developing these
  • Understand their own strengths and continuing development needs against a framework for Director/Trustee capabilities.
  • Have the competency and confidence to apply for leadership roles

Participants will enjoy the following benefits:

  • A unique multi-association approach which will bring you into contact with a peer network from across the association sector
  • A dedicated a protected online forum specifically for your cohort
  • Short sessions and a flexible approach
  • Support of dedicated and specialist governance trainers and facilitators
  • Mentoring and ongoing personal development
  • 12 months free membership of the Institute of Leadership and Management, which brings access to a wealth of leadership and management resources
  • Small cohorts with dedicated learning opportunities

Testimonials from previous registrants

Working in the NHS, careers can sometimes feel stagnant for periods, and opportunities like this are key to maintaining a motivated and progressive workforce! BDA member

My experiences of the BDA Future Leaders programme is really helping me on the first step of that journey - becoming a better leader. Sharing experiences with other likeminded professionals and discussing topics from self-development to management and strategy within an organisation such as the BDA is enabling me develop a broader understanding of what I need to do to achieve my goals.

It’s been an honour to feel valued as a member and be included in the program, which makes me want to give back to an organisation that I value even more now I understand some of the complexities in how it’s run! BDA member

From a personal perspective, it’s given me the confidence to realise that there is no ‘right time’ or ‘stage of career’ to engage in leadership opportunities, but that we are all continuously learning and developing our leadership skills.

How to apply:

Further details will be announced in Autumn 2024