There are now more than 60 Chartered Directors in Northern Ireland after three more local business leaders achieved chartered status, including the youngest ever to receive the award locally.

Robert McConnell of CCP Gransden, at 31 years-old, was among the most recent cohort to gain chartered status through the programme run by Director Development Ireland on behalf of the Institute of Directors Northern Ireland (IoD NI).

He was joined by Stephen Reid, Chief Executive of Ards and North Down Borough Council and Brian Murray, CEO of The Workspace Group.

The course is designed to raise standards of governance and business leadership across the private and public sectors.

The widening pool of Chartered Directors across Northern Ireland illustrates the commitment of the local business community to continually develop in order to improve economic standards overall, according to IoD NI Chairman Ian Sheppard.

He said:

“The Chartered Director Programme has historically been a tremendous success in Northern Ireland and I am delighted to see that there is now more than 60 business leaders locally to have gained this internationally recognised qualification.

“It demonstrates to would-be investors from outside Northern Ireland, the strong desire of the corporate community here to be the best-in-class and that makes this an attractive place to do business.

“The course provides participants with a solid understanding of the role of a director – focusing on areas such as strategy, marketing, finance and legal responsibilities – all of which help to greatly improve their day-to-day decision-making and contribution.”

Robert McConnell, who was this year named the Young Director of the Year at the First Trust Bank IoD NI Director of the Year Awards, has been Engineering Director at CCP Gransden since 2014 after joining the firm in 2012.

Stephen Reid took up the post of Chief Executive at the newly formed Ards and North Down Borough Council in 2015, having previously held the position at Castlereagh Borough Council and was Director of Leisure, Tourism and Community Services at North Down Borough Council for 10 years.

Meanwhile, Brian Murray’s work at the Workspace Group in Draperstown saw him receive the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2012.

Director Development Ireland Managing Director Peter Martin, who has been co-ordinating the Chartered Director Programme since 2000, added:

“Each year, the Chartered Director Programme attracts participants from all sectors across Northern Ireland.

“It is tailored to suit the requirements of those with a busy workload and while the qualification may be the main reason for getting involved, it also provides a platform for business leaders to network and share ideas and best-practice methods with one another.”

The next local IoD Chartered Director Programme commences in the final week of September and will run until the June 2018 Diploma examination while a further course will run from the end of January 2018 until November including a summer break.

The modular course, which is open to both IoD members and non-members, sees delegates sit two exams after attending 12.5 learning days spread over a 9-month period.  Some of the sessions are residential.

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