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Directors’ Training and Development

All Directors have the opportunity for ongoing development and support via:

  • a programme of visits to the Support Centre, Distribution Centres, stores and Autocentres;
  • reviews with the Chairman to identify any training and development needs;
  • advice on governance, regulatory and legislative changes affecting the business or their duties as Directors from the Company Secretary;
  • access to independent professional advice at the Company’s expense; and
  • membership of the Deloitte Academy, a training and guidance resource for Boards and Directors.

Board Evaluation

A formal and rigorous Board effectiveness review is conducted on an annual basis. This includes an assessment of the effectiveness of the Board,

FY19

Internal Evaluation

FY20

External Evaluation by Lintstock

FY21

Internal Evaluation

FY20 External Evaluation Process

Step One

Surveys

Design the review content to ensure that the specific needs of the Board are addressed and allowing questions to be framed around key corporate events.

Issue online surveys to the Board members.

Step Two

Interviews

One-to-one interviews held with each Board member, facilitated by a pre-prepared briefing note.

Step Three

Presentation

Lintstock delivers a report and facilitates discussion at the Board around the results and to provide further context concerning the output.

The findings identified by the FY20 external review were as follows:

Topic FY20 outcomes
Strategic plan The Board mentioned that continued delivery and clear reporting of the progress against the delivery plan is essential throughout the year.
NED programme

The introduction of a NED programme to ensure the best contribution from the NEDs.

Quality and structure of Board meetings The Board highlighted the importance of getting out and about to the different locations around the Group, and to split some of the Board and Committee meetings over two days. This would allow more time for location visits and ensure time is available to receive the required number of management presentations.
Quality of Board packs The Board felt that more focus is required in Board papers to ensure the Board is able to effectively monitor the progress on delivery.
Culture and talent Being a people-driven, service-based business, the Board felt that a renewed review of our culture was necessary to ensure that it evolves and remains fit for the future. The Board will also monitor the talent within the business and the implementation of appropriate succession planning.
Board training All Board members to update on training they have received.

FY19 findings

The findings identified by the FY19 internal review were as follows:

Newly established Board Delivery of the strategy Response to regulatory changes
FY19 outcomes There have been significant changes during the period starting with the appointment of Keith Williams the new Chair, followed in October by Loraine Woodhouse joining as the new Chief Financial Officer and in March by Jill Caseberry as Chair of the Remuneration Committee. Given these new appointments, the Directors felt that it was too early to evaluate the Board’s performance as a whole and therefore their responses focused instead on the need take the correct steps to ensure that the Board is fully integrated with the business and so becomes as effective as possible during the coming year. Achieving this is regarded as being of particular importance in relation to the delivery of the new Strategy. The new Strategy is intended to be transformational so that the business is in the best possible place to thrive in future years. The Board recognises that the Group has to differentiate itself from purely online retailers and therefore the continued growth of the services business is of particular importance. The Board is fully aware that the way the Strategy is the executed will be crucial and so will ensure that all investment choices will be rigorously assessed. The Board has identified that their ongoing training will be particularly important this year. This is especially so given the significant changes in the regulatory landscape for strategically important new areas (such as the provision of financial services to customers) and also in regard to the impact of the new UK Corporate Governance Code. The Board intends that regular updates and training will be provided to it throughout the year.
Progress made in FY20 In June 2019 the Board agreed to appoint an external
company to undertake a forward-looking Board
evaluation. A number of companies were approached
to provide a proposal, and Lintstock was appointed.
We have progressed the Strategy to increase our
focus on the delivery of services to customers. The
acquisitions made in the period of McConechy’s and
Tyres on the Drive, which will develop our garage
network and our Halfords Mobile Expert offering, are
consistent with our aim of offering customers a wider
choice of how and when they receive their services
from us.
Throughout the year the Board has been kept
regularly updated on corporate governance
developments such as the obligations in relation to
Section 172, the requirement to set out a Company’s
purpose and the importance of explaining a
Company’s Culture. In addition, all Directors have
spent additional time in the business this year so that
they gain a better understanding of the operations
and the challenges faced by colleagues.