Steps to Becoming a Programme Director

(3 minutes to read)

Being self-employed can be such a rewarding lifestyle choice in terms of the amount of experience and additional skills that you will gain along the way. If you want to become a programme director then there are few steps that you will need to take, such as seeing how you go as a team leader first, practising good people management and testing your multitasking skills

With the contracting sector continuing to grow, it seems that the self-employment route has never been as popular as it is today.

It’s easy to see why this is the case when you consider the numerous benefits that come with this way of working.

For example, as a contractor you can expect to:

  • Have a much better work / life balance than other workers
  • Experience greater freedom and flexibility compared to your permanent counterparts – this means working when you want, being able to choose where you work and taking holiday days as little or as often as you wish (although, just remember that you won’t get paid for this time off!)
  • Be able to charge a daily or hourly rate much higher than a permanent employee in the same role. It’s also worth pointing out that your individual skills and experience could result in your rates being even higher.
  • Claim back expenses that are made for the running of your business, which can then reduce your tax bill at the end of the tax year.
  • Gain so much in terms of skills and experience by working with a number of clients in various environments.

How can I become a programme director?

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Although the definition of a programme director generally differs from role-to-role, you can usually expect to oversee the co-ordination and administration of all aspects of an ongoing programme – planning, organising, staffing and leading will be the skills needed in order to achieve such a role.

If this is your dream job, then here are a few tips on how to become a successful programme director:

  • Work as a team leader first

As mentioned, going to a programme director role can be quite daunting because it can be such a change from your previous experiences. This is where it can be really useful to try and work as a team leader first, that way you can start on the ladder leading you gradually to your dream job role.

Volunteering yourself in managing projects will only help to increase your experience and develop those all-important skills that you will need for the future.

  • Practice your people management skills

A programme director will work with such a variety of people with diverse backgrounds and personalities. You need to ensure that you can connect with a wide range of people in order to communicate what you want and need from each individual you work with.

You will be expected to liaise with and persuade stakeholders, as well as lead and manage people so it is definitely worth getting started on those people management skills as soon as possible.

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  • Know when to entrust others

As you step further away from your previous roles, it’s easy to feel the need to carry on helping in these areas, however, as you continue to progress in your career, you need to take a step back and learn to delegate tasks.

  • Learn to multitask

As discussed earlier, the role of a programme director is a busy one full of different tasks that will be going on at the same time, for example, you will need to oversee multiple projects and programmes that are taking place simultaneously, as well as ensuring everything runs as smoothly as possible with planning, organising and monitoring.

You will most definitely need to make sure that you have incredible multitasking skills, while at the same time managing keeping a level head and stress to a minimum.

  • Look for useful training courses

Self-development is not only a useful tool for you, but will also ensure employers are aware of how committed you are to moving your way up and achieving your goals.

Look out for training courses that can be useful for developing the right skills needed to better yourself and increase your success.

  • Gain as much experience as possible

You need to find what works for you and the type of manager you will become and the best way to do this is through experience.

By starting out as a team leader and then working your way up to project and then programme management, this will help you to discover your talents, as well as any weaknesses that you can then pinpoint and work on.

To find out more about making the move to contracting please call Sophie on 01442 795 100 or email

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Why Dolan Accountancy?

Dolan Accountancy was set up by Simon J Dolan, the man behind the well-known brand SJD Accountancy. With over 25 years experience in the contracting marketing, Dolan Accountancy has the heritage, reputation and credibility you can trust. Working closely with our sister company, Contractor Umbrella, it means we can offer one low cost, fixed fee package at £105 + VAT per month. This gives you the flexibility of using both our Limited Company Accountancy Services and our award winning Umbrella Service, for one inclusive cost. We don’t believe in tiered packages or hidden extra fees, instead we aim to give you everything you need, including:

  • Free Company Formation – This is where it all begins. Once you have decided on an available name, we will form your company free of charge (if using our accountancy services) and it will be ready for you to use in as little as three hours.
  • Free use of Contractor Umbrella – With changes in Public Sector IR35 Legislation we understand that sometimes you are required to contract via an umbrella company. We will keep your limited company ticking over, while you work margin free via our sister company, Contractor Umbrella.
  • A Dedicated Accountant – Your accountant will be there for any company or personal tax advice that you require. We will never outsource work, even to internal teams.
  • Free Access to FreeAgent – The founder behind the multi award winning FreeAgent platform was one of Simon’s first clients, therefore it only seems fitting that we offer all of our clients access to FreeAgent, free of charge.
  • Free Business Banking – We have decided to waive our commission so our clients can use Tide free of charge for the first year.
  • Unlimited IR35 Status Reviews – We will review all of your contracts for IR35 purposes and provide you with our professional opinion as to its status.
  • Free Registered and Director’s Service Office Address – Sometimes you just don’t want your home address on display at Companies House. When you sign up to our accountancy services, we will offer the use of our address as an alternative.
  • Your Business and Personal Taxation Needs – This includes Company Accounts, Director’s Personal Tax Return, VAT Returns, Payroll, Corporation Tax and Dividend advice, to name just a few.
  • Same day payments- We offer same day payments as standard providing funds are received into our account by 9am, for no additional fee.

If you’d like to find out more about how Dolan Accountancy can help you and your business, please give us a call on 01442 795100 or email or