David and Goliath

The Professional Directors Association received an email on 3 August from Dr Roger Barker, the Director of Policy and Governance at the Institute of Directors. In that email he wrote, “I have been asked to contact you by the IoD Director General” and later wrote, “The IoD is concerned about the apparent similarity of the courses offered by the PDA to those of the IoD.”

We are the new fledgling player, launched this year, whilst the Institute of Directors are the traditional mighty giant established nearly 120 years ago. They delivered £7m of professional courses last year. We have a great deal of respect for the Institute of Directors and for their historic contribution to UK Boards.

We are flattered that they believe our courses to be similar to theirs. However, we would like to reassure them that we consider it highly unlikely that anyone would confuse the courses when booking; especially given that our course fees are typically around 50% of their course fees.

For example, our 2 Day “Director Roles and Responsibilities” Course fee is £1,595 whereas their 2 Day “Role of The Director and The Board” Course fee is £2,975. In both cases the prices quoted are non-member rates, excluding VAT, for In Person courses.

As further reassurance confirming the differences between the courses. We would emphasise that the delivery and the underlying course materials are likely to be completely different. Ours were created completely from scratch, based upon the latest research and evidence based results. Our courses are updated four times a year, with a completely new version created every year.

Given that both the Professional Directors Association and the Institute of Directors have as one of their core objectives to help make British Boards Better. We would welcome the opportunity to work together to achieve that goal.

We extend the hand of friendship and cooperation and would hope that the Institute of Directors would do likewise and welcome us as a new player in this very important market segment. More client choice and friendly competition tends to lift all market training standards and to make those training courses more relevant and more affordable to a wider group of Board Directors. This would help to make British Boards Even Better.

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