Welcome To The Directors' Academy

"Achieving Excellence At Board Level"

Do You Want To Be A Confident and Effective Director?

Do you want to make a positive contribution at board level? 

The Directors' Academy was created for you


Join The Directors' Academy today and we'll help you prepare for your directorship, and continually improve your knowledge, awareness and expertise.

There is no charge to join and you can cancel at any time

Richard Winfield

The Independent Authority
on Director Development

"Welcome to The Directors' Academy, where you find all the resources you need for a successful career as a director. Check out the Director Development Journey below for multi-media distance learning resources you can access at any time in any place. Study them once and then return at any time to revise or prepare for a special meeting."


“I recognise that for a busy executive like you keeping up to date can be a chore if it requires setting aside extensive special study times. And it can be counterproductive to try to absorb too much all at once.


"That's why our international programmes for directors have been designed in chunks of no more than 20 minutes - they can be consumed while you take a coffee break or listen in the car or on the train. And with audio, visual and print components, they appeal to all learning types.”

Features To Make Your Progress Easy

Small Chunks

Our resources for board directors are designed in small chunks so that you can learn over a cup of coffee or when travelling to or from work.


Our resources for directors are available as multi-media, in print, audio and video formats so they appeal to any learning style.

Timed Delivery

The CPD for Board Directors programmes are delivered on a regular basis, so you are reminded to learn in small chunks.

FREE Resources When You Join
The Directors' Academy

Instant access to more than 20 free videos,
weekly webinars and these FREE reports

Director Due Diligence

essential Due Diligence: The 7 Things You Must Do Before Joining Any Board.

This comprehensive 20-page FREE GUIDE shows you how to avoid joining the wrong board and ensure you only take on responsibilities you are willing to accept.


Director Induction Checklist

All directors should receive induction on joining the board.

A well designed and delivered induction programme enables you to maximise your contribution to the leadership of the organisation in the shortest possible time.

10 Habits of Highly Effective Directors

What makes the difference between a mediocre director and an effective directors is your behaviour. And the best way to guarantee effective behaviour is to develop good habits.

Discover 10 habits that will increase your effectiveness.

Professional Development Planner and CPD Record

This year planner and record document contains an introduction to CPD, self analysis and planning exercises and monthly record charts.

The Director Development Journey

​Courses and resources for directors

Academy Membership

Academy membership is FREE.


Join to gain access to free resources and learn about the director development programme.


As an academy member you keep up to date with the latest developments, new courses, resources and events so you can be more confident, more effective - with less risk.

Foundation Programme

Directors need to think and act like directors, improve their strategic thinking skills and understand their roles and responsibilities as directors.


The 26-module foundation programme covers the fundamental behaviours of directors and boards.


It has been designed to provide an introduction to the role of director and has already been completed by more than 1,368 people. In order to get you started on your journey, we only charge a nominal £5!!

New Director's Induction Pack

As a director you are responsible for obtaining the information you need to become as effective as possible in your new role within the shortest possible time.


That's why we have produced this comprehensive information pack - including a new director's induction checklist so that you can easily ensure you address all relevant issues

The Essential Directorship Masterclass

The Essential Directorship Masterclass is a 40+ module multi-media programme covering the skills, attitudes and knowledge required to provide you with the comprehensive foundation needed to become a successful and effective director.


Study the programme in your own time and then refer to individual modules when you need to revise your knowledge or prepare for a particular event.

Directors' Discussions

There is so much we can learn from the knowledge, experience and inspiration of thought leaders and business practitioners.


For the Directors' Discussions we are approaching a comprehensive range of individuals who we believe will provide you with just what you need to enliven and enlighten your journey home.


All episodes are 20 minutes or less - just right for a coffee break or short journey.

Evergreen Webinars

As part of our commitment to keeping Academy members up to date with changes and developments, we broadcast occasional webinars. Many of these continue to provide ongoing value.


They cover a range of director development and corporate governance subjects, as well as drawing on programmes we deliver to international audiences.


You can subscribe to these for a one-off fee.

Invisible Coaching - the art of natural coaching

Learn to think like a natural coach - an essential skill for all directors, managers, sales people, parents, teenagers, and all!


Brefi Group's breakthrough programme, featuring Coaching on a Credit Card, teaches the art of natural coaching.


It is simple, easy to learn but a powerful system that teaches you to coach while you use it.

How to choose a facilitator

Many people who contact us have not used a facilitator before and, often, are acting on behalf of others.

This video programme and 35-page comprehensive guide to choosing a facilitator explains what a facilitator does and why you might need one, including some examples of facilitator-led events.


It has been designed to help you understand how to go about choosing a facilitator so that when we speak next you already have a clearer idea of what you are looking for and have the beginning of a brief for us to respond to.

Coaching Resources

Coaching is a powerful tool for influence and communication. 


It is an essential skill for all managers, sales people, parents, teenagers and all.


That's why we are pleased to provide you with this additional source of free resources, new programmes and special offers as part of your Academy membership.

Swipe Files Solutions

Keeping a swipe file is a common practice used by advertising copywriters and creative directors as a reference of ideas and projects. Every coach or trainer should have one too.


For more than thirty years I have been collecting ideas, developing handouts for clients and designing questionnaires. They have accumulated on my hard drive until there are nearly 400.


Now I'm making them available to you. You can use them for inspiration. You can also cut and paste them, redesign them or use them unchanged.

What happens next?


When you subscribe to The Directors' Academy, you'll receive login details by email.


These give you access to our free resources and an option to subscribe to the other courses on the Director Development Journey.


You will receive a personal invitation to take advantage of our very special Foundation Programme at the special price of only £5.00 to encourage you to make an immediate start.


However, we sincerely hope you will soon wish to trade up to our signature programme for new, aspiring and established directors: The Essential Directorship Masterclass.


When you have laid the foundations of your knowledge, then the next step is to further develop your skills and keep up to date. Our CPD for directors programme is specifically designed to fulfil the Continuing Profession Development (CPD) needs of directors. 

News about Brefi Group and The Directors' Academy

Established more than 30 years ago, Brefi Group specialises in senior management and director development.

Richard Winfield

Founder of The Brefi Group

“Welcome to the Brefi Group. With more than three decades studying corporate change and talent management internationally, we provide an integrated package of strategy consulting, executive coaching, facilitation and training of the highest quality.


We look forward to discussing how we can help you and your team become more confident, more effective, more quickly.”

Brefi Group was launched in 1983. We are now 36 years old and operate internationally, serving new directors and boards, and reviewing corporate governance practices and behaviour.


We provide one to one executive coaching, individual workshops and residential integrated programmes. We have delivered management and director development workshops for organisations in the USA, UK, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.


Our programmes are interactive and combine behavioural psychology, executive coaching and management consultancy processes.


Regardless of your organisation's field, size, or international location, we can provide you with a customised solution to your training and development needs.


However, many people prefer to learn in their own time, at their own pace and with the freedom to return to lessons for revision or further consideration. They also like to know that lessons will be continuously updated to reflect changes and events.


That's why we have launched The Directors' Academy learning portal. 

Our Vision

Boards of directors providing strategic, moral and ethical leadership to transform the world's economy.


Mission Statement

To provide directors and boards with products, services, events and information to enable you to make your most effective and satisfying contribution to your organisation and to society.


Beliefs and Values

  • With the right leadership each and every individual has the potential to achieve more.
  • As individuals and organisations are aligned and discover their potential, corporate performance improves.
  • As individuals are aligned and discover their potential, they impact positively on the wider society.

Services for Directors and Boards

More than 30 years' record of training and development for
senior managers, directors and corporate secretaries.


Regardless of your field, size, or international location we can provide you with a customised solution to your training and development needs.



"We approached the exercise with an element of cynicism - after all, we know the business better than others right? How wrong we were. Through careful and thorough pre-meetings and detailed analysis thereafter, Richard brought together the strengths and exposed the weaknesses in the organisation. The resulting clear actions have improved business no end."
Nigel Payne, Chairman, Hangar8


"Thanks for the two days if your valuable assistance and expertise. The structure was most successful and in your quiet and diplomatic way you kept us on track. It was a most worthwhile exercise and we really progressed our strategic thinking."

Kevin Foo, Chairman, Victoria Oil and Gas


“Thank you for facilitating our meeting last week.

It's amazing how much clarity and harmony can be achieved by an hour or so of quality interaction and reflection. Great feedback from the team and raised levels of enthusiasm for new monthly meetings. Neil has already organised the next one in the Midlands.

Thanks again for your expert intervention.”

John Skivington, Director, LHC


“Richard was a very capable facilitator who understood the brief that we set. He facilitated from a position of knowledge and experience, but did not impose this on the group; he kept the meeting flowing and managed the time well.”

Ann Bentley, Director and member of global board, Rider Levett Bucknall


“Having an external facilitator enabled people to say the things that concern them that possibly they would not raise normally. Everyone felt listened to and that what they had to say mattered. By agreeing processes/the way forward and having individuals take ownership and others supporting that person in their ownership has really helped move the organisation on. 

“It has brought things to the surface, made difficult conversations easier to have and really cleared the air, if not necessarily on the day with all the follow up work that happened after. “Our direction, operationally and strategically is a lot clearer now that we are all singing from the same hymn sheet!

Paula Fowler, Managing Partner, Fisher Jones Greenwood


“This project was well organised with the right mixture of internal and external input. All member feedback has been positive and for the first time we have individual and organisational development plans, which are already being implemented.

“Richard Winfield listened to our requirements and delivered a quality process, which he managed professionally from beginning to end.

“The fact that we have positive feedback from all our members and effective outcomes speaks for itself. A very well managed project.”

Chris Almgill, Chairman, Worcester Community Housing


“Thanks for a stimulating two days, which has resulted in my senior management team reviewing the way they work, plan and implement. The biggest change has been in how they work together as a team! We are now already using 10 minute brainstorming sessions very productively. We are very pleased that a number of important business issues have been identified and already worked upon with the next steps clearly identified. In summary, excellent.”

Roger Randall, Managing Director, Biomet UK.


“Thorough, competent, knowledgeable and an excellent communicator capable of articulating his knowledge in a well paced manner.”

Richard Pearce, Birmingham City Council


"The retreat organised by Oando PLC and facilitated by Richard was extremely professional. The team enjoyed the retreat and followed through actions has changed their behavior. The facilitation style was very easy to follow and interesting. The outcome of the retreat was also used to develop the outline of the Quarterly Management retreat."

'Demola Ogunbajo, Manager, Avaizon Consulting, Nigeria


"Thank you very much for delivering the training for NF Gold team.
"We enjoyed working with you, and I was personally very happy to see how responsive you were in adjusting the program when required. We went through a lot of material, and I am convinced that the participants will be able to recall and hopefully apply many of the techniques presented in the sessions."

Dejan Popovic, Director, New Frontier Group, Austria


"The day exceeded our expectations and a great deal emerged which will be very valuable going forward. You brought a refreshing and innovative approach to the day and the personality profiling which you did in advance and used to illustrate board behaviours was inspirational."

Peter Maskell, BHSF, UK


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Register now and gain access to courses, resources and events to help you in your career as a director

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