Customised executive education is booming, yet British businesses and public sector organisations are wasting up to £75m a year in poorly conceived and delivered programmes that are not achieving their aims.

Such are the conclusions of a report from the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. The Saïd school is included in the Financial Times custom programme rankings for the first time this year.

According to the report, 61 per cent of organisations develop senior staff through commissioning tailored courses, a market estimated to be worth £120m a year.

However, only 35 per cent of HR directors and 21 per cent of other executives believe their current training and development programmes are meeting corporate strategic objectives.

The Saïd Business School report is based on the results of two in-depth telephone surveys conducted by Benchmark Research to discover the views of both the HR departments commissioning the development programmes and the executives who participate in them.

It discovered that while 69 per cent of senior executives view executive education as very important or critical to strategic success, in only 11 per cent of cases would the chief executive or other board member take a central role in commissioning a programme.

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