Boardroom Apprentice

Boardroom Apprentice

Relate NI is a participant in the Boardroom Apprentice program.

Below our most recent apprentice, Nikki, as well as our Chair, Aidan, speak about their experience of the program and the impact it makes to individuals and to Relate NI.

You can find out more about the application process over on the Boardroom Apprentice website.

Nikki Armstrong, Relate NI Boardroom Apprentice 2021/22

I had a strong preference for a placement with Relate NI so I was thrilled when I found out I would be joining the Board for the year.  I am passionate about Relate NI’s mission of supporting healthy relationships and it was important to me to put my time and energy into an organisation that aligned with my core values.  An apprentice can get a good foundation in what it means to be a board member through the Boardroom Apprentice learning days, but the real-life experience you can get through your host board is invaluable and if you can get that in an area that matters to you, that you care about, then the whole experience is much more meaningful.  Ultimately, I believe you will do a better a job.

From first contact, Aidan (Chair) and Duane (CEO) were welcoming and enthusiastic about me joining the team and the Boardroom Apprentice programme generally.  I was lucky enough to be able to attend my first board meeting face to face and it was immediately clear to me that the trustees on the Board had a great way of working.  The environment was informal, but always professional and the input of Relate NI staff valued.  The trustees were knowledgeable and efficient, but also friendly and human.  I can see why the Board wins good governance awards!

An apprentice can learn a lot from working with this Board.  The Board members are excellent at what they do.  They are forward looking and innovative, whilst always maintaining good governance standards and keeping the focus on the organisation’s key purpose.  Relate NI is a charity and a company so you will become familiar with the terminology and governance requirements of both.  This is also a particularly exciting time to be a part of Relate NI as it is the organisation’s 75th anniversary, which will be celebrated with a policy conference.  There has been much reflection on how the organisation has transformed in this time to meet the changing needs of the public, especially in response to Covid, and the Board will be continuing to consider plans for growth and innovation of service.


Being the Boardroom Apprentice in Relate NI has been everything I hoped it would be and more.  I cannot recommend it enough.


For more information on the Boardroom Apprentice program, visit

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