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Step on Board Open Programme

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.

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.


The Open Programme has four core phases as detailed below, with options for additional follow up support once you secure a trusteeship.

Before you come to the session you will receive supporting materials:

  • Fifteen questions to ask before becoming a trustee
  • A summary booklet of The Good Trustee Guide, our flagship publication for trustees

step on board process

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.

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:


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.

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 attending the Step on Board Open Programme, 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. 

Programme fee

Standard £1300 + VAT
NCVO members £1240 + VAT

As well as making a difference to society, you will also be taking all the skills you gain as a trustee back to your employer. They may wish to cover the costs of the programme themselves, so it's worth exploring this option with them.

Course dates

We run regular open programme briefing sessions. The next sessions are:

  • 16 September 2019
  • 7 October 2019
  • 30 October 2019
  • 26 November 2019
  • 14 January 2020

Session overview

This session is the first stage in our Step on Board Open Programme. Most people who come to this session go on to the programme’s second stage – the diagnostic and matching service – where we explore your skills, interests and motivations and offer opportunities that match these.

By the end of the session you will have a good understanding of:

  • what’s expected from you in a trustee role
  • what boards are your best fit
  • what the rewards and liabilities of trusteeship are.

The course covers:

  • facts and myths about the voluntary sector and how charities operate
  • what being a trustee involves
  • what the diagnostic and matching process entails and how to secure a role.

Further information

Enquire about the Step on Board Open Programme using our short form.

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