AFM is keen to support the development of aspiring, new and experienced leaders across the mutual sector, and we have a range of programmes designed to help equip members with the tools they need for effective career progression.

You’ll find a brief outline of our offering below and a full description, along with dates and costs, in our 2024 brochure, HERE. Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions or need further information.

Board Director Development

To be an effective, value-adding member of the Board, Directors must develop elevated skills and approaches specific to the needs of their organisation. AFM’s options for Board Director Development give Members the opportunity to review and address real-world scenarios and learn from experiences of peers within the Financial Mutual and Friendly Society sector, providing access to professional, value-adding facilitation.

The Role of the Director

A 1-day course designed for new and current Executive and Non-Executive Directors who will benefit from developing a more thorough understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a Director. The course runs 3 times a year, is tailored in respect to a Mutual organisation or Friendly Society, and serves as a stand-alone course or as an introductory module to the more in-depth 5-day Board Director Development Programme that commences in September.

  • Course dates: 16 April 2024;  26 June 2024; 5 November 2024
  • Timings: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Board Director Development Programme

A 5-day programme (spanning 9 months) that takes an action learning approach tailored specifically for financial mutual organisations. It is designed to provide an enriching learning experience for Executive Directors and Non-Executive Directors, enabling them to develop, through practical experience, the foresight and strategic capability required to facilitate success in the Boardroom.

The programme’s focus on exploring and shaping thinking around practical, workplace challenges equips participants with the essential skills needed to be an effective Board practitioner. It expands the individual’s thinking to help create innovative, value-enhancing and sustainable solutions for competitive advantage.

Participants must have already completed the Role of the Director course (or equivalent) before undertaking this programme.

  • Programme dates: 18 Sept 2024 – 13 Nov 2024 – 29 Jan 2025 – 26 March 2025 – 4 June 2025
  • Timings: 9.30am – 4.30pm

Masters Degree in Strategic Leadership

We are also pleased to offer again the Masters’ degree in Strategic Leadership, an award-winning venture between AFM, the Building Societies Association and the School of Business and Economics at Loughborough University.

Since the programme started in 2015, 123 students have joined the MSc and 83 have graduated after three years of hard but rewarding study, many of them with merits or distinctions. A number of BSA and AFM Member firms see the MSc as a valuable part of their leadership development programmes. Many students have gone on to be promoted within their own organisations and have also gained a valuable and lasting network of mutual colleagues.

For more information, please download the 2024-27 Brochure.

Mutual Leadership

Our Mutual Leadership development programme is designed to appeal to busy managers and emerging leaders in AFM member organisations. The programme builds on a well-tested formula operated across the mutual sector globally, via our international sister, ICMIF, and is delivered through a mixture of in-person and remote sessions. Modules cover:

  • the fundamentals of leading with purpose
  • leading teams in a complex world
  • leading strategically in a complex world
  • activating strategy in mutual organisations
  • peer to peer consultancy
  • translating your learning into value

The programme fee includes a complimentary ticket to the AFM Annual Conference and 1-night accommodation at the Conference hotel.

Dates for 2024 (timings and venues tbc):

Session 1 – Wednesday 20th November – in person
Session 2 – Monday 25th November – remote
Session 3 – Wednesday 27th November – remote
Session 4 – Friday 29th November – remote
Session 5 – Wednesday 4th December – in person

Stepping Up

Stepping Up is aimed at new managers and supervisors, or those facing a big step change in their responsibilities, and is delivered through a series of six 1-day, in-person workshops, that target all the essential elements needed by managers today. 

The programme fee includes a complimentary ticket to the AFM Annual Conference and 1-night accommodation at the Conference hotel.

Dates for 2024 (timings and venues tbc):

Session 1 – Thursday 18th April
Session 2 –  Wednesday 22nd May
Session 3 – Wednesday 19th June
Session 4 – Thursday 18th July
Session 5 – Wednesday 21st August
Session 6 – Thursday 12th September


If you have additional suggestions for how AFM can support leadership development in the sector, contact [email protected].

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