Step on Board

SoB new nostrapIn today’s fast-changing and uncertain times, how can you engage your employees by showing them you hold the same values they do? How can you empower them to make important problem-solving and strategic decisions and how can you ensure their skills and competencies evolve and work with the business needs in mind?

Step on Board, our full service board-level volunteering programme, offers an unparalleled opportunity for your employees and your organisation, while also contributing to societal development.

Introducing Step on Board

Step on Board is a more innovative, cost-effective and sustainable way of benefiting from professional development. Taking employees beyond the traditional avenues of leadership training and formal management education, this comprehensive and tailored programme will provide employees with training, skills-matching and coaching, culminating in an impact assessment for your organisation.

What does it mean to be a trustee?

By volunteering as a trustee or non-exec board member, your employee will be utilising their skills and experience to improve the performance of the charity and provide the strategic guidance and support needed to achieve their aims. Making important decisions on how the charity operates is a key responsibility of being a trustee and these decisions will have a great impact on both the charity and the community it serves.

What does it mean to the organisation?

Step on Board is tailored to your organisation’s corporate responsibility strategic aims and can be incorporated into learning and development programmes. By being part of this programme you will be:

  • developing your employees’ skills and competencies
  • advancing your brand's reputation for responsible corporate conduct and continually improving its positive impact on the community, enhancing brand recognition and trust
  • increasing levels of employee satisfaction and engagement

What does it mean to the employee?

Trustee volunteering has enormous benefits, both from a personal satisfaction and professional development perspective:

  • sharing expertise to contribute to societal development
  • broadening interests and actualising board aspirations
  • acquiring and developing new skills and competencies to take back to the workplace, such as negotiation skills, strategic development, leadership, teamwork, patience and vision

Board-level volunteering

Step on Board is a full-service board placement programme, supporting employees to volunteer as non-exec directors and trustees of charities and voluntary organisations.

The programme is designed as an innovative, cost-effective and sustainable approach to employee professional development, taking employees beyond the traditional avenues of leadership training and formal management education. This comprehensive and tailored programme provides employees with training, skills-matching and coaching, to make a success of their trusteeship.


Step on Board has three uniquely identifiable programmes each with their own process, outcomes and associated costs.

  1. Premium
  2. All Colleague
  3. Open

A summary of each process can be found below. For further information and detail, please read about the process in more detail here.


The high-end programme is targeted at senior employees and has four phases as detailed below. Participants will progress through the programme in cohorts offering networking and peer to peer learning opportunities.


By the end of these phases, attendees will have a good understanding of:

  • what’s expected from them in a trustee role
  • what boards are their best fit
  • what the rewards and liabilities of trusteeship are
  • things to think about when applying for roles.

Mid-Level/Gold/All Colleague

Due to the success of the high-end programme and our corporate partners requirements for a mid-level programme, we have developed a second version which replaces the 1-1 diagnostics and matching phase, with a workshop designed to equip individuals to find trustee vacancies and secure their own roles.

Open/Individual/Single Sponsor

Our Step on Board Open Programme is aimed at individuals, or companies who want to help between one and five employees, become trustees.

If your organisation is interested in the programme for five or more employees, have a look at our high-end or mid-level programmes for organisations which will be more cost-effective.

Please see more information on Open programme.

Benefits and Impact

Based on the findings of an independent evaluation in June 2016 and the feedback from partners and individuals, Step on Board continues to demonstrate clear and positive benefits and impacts for:

Individual employees

The benefits and impacts for individuals are wide ranging and dependent on initial skills and experience but may include:

  • Experiencing working first hand with board level professionals.
  • Experience in decision making for wider impact.
  • Acquisition and development of new skills and competencies, including strategic development and vision, leadership, teamwork and negotiation.
  • Personal satisfaction from sharing expertise to contributing to societal development.
  • Broadening interests and developing wider networks.

Corporate Partners

Step on Board can be incorporated in to an organisations employee engagement, learning and development, corporate sustainability and responsibility or HR strategy. By including Step on Board in one or more of these areas, an organisation can:

  • Develop your employees’ skills and competencies.
  • Increase levels of employee satisfaction, engagement and retention.
  • Enhance brand reputation and become a leader for responsible corporate conduct.
  • Provide leadership, diversity, sustainability and evidential impacts in the community.

Charities, voluntary organisations and society

Of the 165,000 charities in the UK, one in three boards will have a vacancy at any one time. Charities and voluntary organisations need committed and skilled trustees to help them navigate and achieve their objectives.  By including Step on Board in your organisation strategy, you will be helping charities, voluntary organisations and society to

  • Use the skills of trustees to help tackle some of the biggest challenges facing our society.
  • Help their organisation navigate changing external landscape.
  • Benefit from different perspectives which strengthens charity governance. 

Existing Step on Board clients

 step on board clients

Further information

To find out more and to discuss your corporate or individual needs, complete our short Step on Board enquiry form.

If your organisation is committed to supporting volunteering and voluntary organisations, consider joining NCVO as a corporate member. Find our more about how your organisation could benefit and apply on our corporate membership page

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