The Value of a Governance Qualification

The Value of a Governance Qualification

The majority of board candidates I speak to have a Governance Qualification. If you don’t, then you are not comprehensively ‘dare(ing) them to appoint you’. 

Long time members of Board Direction will confirm that a big part of what we emphasize on your CV, and in our thought leadership, is your previous experience & success in serving on a board. Whether it was a paid or unpaid role or whether it was on a Not for Profit board or a Government role, these two elements (amongst others) carry a lot of weight when applying for future board roles.However, whilst the importance of this experience cannot be ignored, it is not everything. In a competitive appointment environment (it is very competitive) and when Chairs are only wanting to appoint the ‘perfect’ board member, having a formal Governance Qualification is becoming more and more a ‘must have’ for board candidates.

Two Options

There are two organisations providing Governance Qualifications that I advise you to consider. Both are highly regarded by Chairs & Non-Executives:

  1. The Company Directors Course, presented by The Australian Institute of Company Directors
  2. The Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance, presented by The Governance Institute of Australia.

The Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance from the Governance Institute of Australia is an accredited postgraduate course that sets the standard for entry into a profession in governance and  includes tailored public and private sector subject options.The course also includes a dedicated subject on Risk and Compliance, skills that are required from more and more board members, in fact, arguably these are the most important elements for any board member to grasp. Having not only the Diploma but especially this subject to add to your CV, can go a long way in setting you apart from other applicants vying for the same position.

More Advantages to Studying with the Governance Institute

One of the reasons I particularly like the The Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance is that it is the only education pathway that can lead to membership of both the Governance Institute of Australia and the International Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA). Again, membership of both these organisations can be of incredible value when applying for a board role.

If you would like to study during 2017, enrol now with the Governance Institute and acquire an internationally approved and accepted governance qualification.

Six Reasons to Get a Governance Qualification

There are six reasons you should enrol for either one of the above mentioned courses:

  1. Adding governance training to your CV, will demonstrate your commitment to Board work.
  2. It doesn’t matter how long you have served on Boards, governance training is likely to teach you things you don’t already know.
  3. If you do have previous Non Executive experience, governance training will likely serve to confirm (and formalise) the things you already know – if not refresh your memory!
  4. Like an MBA, it might just be the difference between being appointed or receiving that apologetic email or phone call – after all when all things are equal, a board is more likely to appoint a professionally qualified candidate than someone who is not qualified.
  5. The cohort you complete the course with are your peers and may provide a strong network for you. Everybody knows that the value of a strong network cannot be over-emphasized in your search for a Board role.
  6. Your Governance Training will form part of your pitch to a Board as to why they should appoint you. It is certain to help you ‘dare them not to appoint you‘.

Still Not Convinced?

I speak to people who are trying to or have succeeded in being appointed to a board on a daily basis. Conservatively, 75% of them have completed some form of Governance Qualification. It is a ‘club’ that you need to be a part of if you are serious about developing a board career and contributing effectively to the governance of an organisation.

If you don’t already have a relevant Governance Qualification, do consider getting one as soon as possible and dare them not to appoint you.

About the Author

David Schwarz is CEO & Founder of Board Direction – Australia’s leading board advertising and non-executive career support firm. He has over a decade of experience of putting people on boards as an international headhunter and a non-executive recruiter and has interviewed over one thousand non-executives and placed hundreds into some of the most significant public, private and NFP roles in the world. He has been described as Australia’s leading board recruitment expert, is a published author, a regular speaker on the board appointment process and runs Board Search Masterclasses across Australia. He is one of Australia’s Top 10 LinkedIn users with over 20,000 connections. Email: Contact@boarddirection.com.au

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