This month, the Appointments Commission launches its new 12-month induction programme for chairs and non-executives.

The programme includes reading material, a new induction pack, a two-day residential course and online training opportunities. There is a strong emphasis on networking opportunities throughout the programme.

Chris Dye, the commission's director of marketing and training, said: "One of the key recommendations from our strategic review was that induction should start as soon as new chairs and non-executives are appointed and continue throughout their first year in post.

"The workings of the NHS, its financing, policies and governance are complex and take time to understand. This new programme will give new board members a much better start and support when they need it.

"The introduction of online training will also give chairs and non-executives the opportunity to access learning material when it is most convenient for them."

For information on the induction programme, visit www.appointments.org.uk