The conference and training provider has appointed Alison Kennedy to lead the new division as its director, supported by Phil Whitman as head of executive education.
SPD hopes the division will account for 25% of overall revenues in the firm’s next financial year, equating to over £1m.
Experts from the University of Salford, the Chartered Management Institute, the Institute of Directors and other organisations will provide training for leaders and managers in the public, private and voluntary sectors.
Courses will focus on practical skills such as finance, business law and strategic planning, and softer skills such as leadership behaviours, public speaking, negotiation and change management.
SPD chief executive Marc Davis said the move reflects growing demand as UK employers seek to engage their staff more effectively and to retain key talent.
He added: “For organisations to thrive and grow, they must be led with a clear vision and strong leadership ethos.
“We have developed the new division to equip current and aspiring leaders at every level – from junior managers to chief executives – with the skills they need to succeed.
“In a competitive skills market, it is imperative for employers to engage their staff effectively and develop their potential.
Courses and programmes will be held at the University of Salford and in London. The line-up includes the Certificate in Executive Business Administration along with SPD’s Aspiring Leaders and Aspiring Finance Directors programmes.
A new executive portal enables people to also learn online.