Qualifications For Directors
“The Institute of Directors Certificate and Diploma qualifications are delivered throughout the British Isles by a number of regional providers including Leeds Metropolitan University, the University of Salford, Loughborough University, University of Exeter, University of Glamorgan, Jersey International Business School & the Isle of Man International Business School.”
For over 10 years the Institute of Directors (IoD) have been offering a highly regarded professional programme of qualifications which are designed to provide Directors or aspiring Directors, be they Executive or Non-Executive of private and public companies (and indeed of non corporate private and public sector organisations such as professional partnerships, the armed forces, the Police, QUANGO’s, or local authorities) with the knowledge and tools they need to be able to provide effective direction (rather than management) to their organisations.
The Certificate in Company Direction
The first level qualification is the Certificate in Company Direction, which covers the core issues faced by every director. These include:
- An in-depth view of the role, responsibilities and legal duties of a director
- An understanding of the characteristics of an effective board
- Sound knowledge of financial terms and concepts
- Effective marketing strategies
- Human resources and employment law
- Leading and directing change
- The issues and processes associated with formulating strategic and business plans and achieving strategic leadership.
The Certificate is awarded after examination and entitles successful candidates to use the post-nominal letters Cert IoD.
The Diploma in Company Direction
Following successful completion of the Certificate in Company Direction candidates may progress to the Diploma level.
The Diploma aims to ensure that, in a range of challenging and realistic situations; delegates integrate and apply their learning from the Certificate when making decisions that affect the running of an organisation.
The Diploma builds on the Certificate with candidates proving that they can synthesize the separately/functionally introduced elements of the Certificate and apply them appropriately, to make sound decisions, in a corporately responsible manner. In so doing delegates are taught to identify and balance the risks associated with courses of action, whilst maintaining an ethos which is entrepreneurial and creative. The focus is on the individual director in the context of their board role.
Successfully passing the examination allows the use of the post-nominal description Dip IoD.
Qualification as a Chartered Director is not simply awarded on examination success, either alone or after an automatic period of “post qualification experience”.
Having passed both the Certificate and Diploma examinations, to be eligible for election as a Chartered Director candidates must be a full Member or Fellow of the Institute and have a minimum length of experience in a director role (or equivalent) of 3 years (if they have a recognised degree or professional qualification) or 5 years (if they do not have a recognised degree or professional qualification).
For either period they may have been working in a number of roles at director level, including non-executive positions (these must be consecutive) and their board (or governing body) must have at least three directors, it must meet formally at least 4 times a year, and it must focus on issues of direction and governance, rather than just on day to day matters. This last requirement can make it difficult for board members of subsidiaries to qualify. This is a top level strategic qualification not a technical one.
Candidates are asked to answer the following questions by providing a portfolio of evidence and experience upon which they will be examined by a peer group panel:
- Does your board take responsibility for creating entrepreneurial opportunities for the organisation, while ensuring that it has fully assessed the risks of projects and ventures?
- Are you, as a member of the board, knowledgeable about the organisation so that you can be answerable to stakeholders, yet able to stand back from day to day operations and retain an objective and long-term view? You will have to be able to demonstrate, or give examples of, this.
- Are you, as a member of the board, sensitive to short term issues affecting your organisation, and can you demonstrate how such issues are mitigated or dealt with in the context of the longer term? You will have to demonstrate how you have contributed to board decisions.
- Do you, or does your board, ensure that there is a regular review of external influences and issues that could affect your organisation, does it take action in relation to the information that is gathered? You will have to demonstrate your influence in this activity.
- Does the board exercise its responsibility to staff, business partners, stakeholders and society as a whole, while focusing on the needs of the business?
- Can you demonstrate that your role has an impact on the board's work and that through your role; you are able to lead change and/or influence outcomes relating to the organisation's direction?
Anyone who has gone through the process will tell you that it is a very demanding one and on a par with a doctoral viva examination - and it doesn’t end there. In order to retain their status Chartered Directors must undergo a closely monitored programme of continuous professional development. “Old buffers” put out to grass and to pick up fees for dozing through board meetings need not apply!
Chartered Directors have a proven dramatic and positive effect on the success of their organisations and are able to:
- Demonstrate to shareholders, stakeholders, clients and customers that their organisation is professional and successful.
- Operate at a strategic and tactical level to establish and sustain growth.
- Appreciate all aspects of effective business leadership and sound corporate governance.
- Improve the board's effectiveness and their personal contribution.
“Chartered Directors are the Kwik-Fit Fitters of Business – You Can’t Get Better – We’re The Ones To Trust!”