The Director Education Program
The Professional Director Certification Program is designed to ensure directors have the skills, knowledge, attitude and capabilities to fully contribute to the pursuit of excellence in corporate governance in the school board sector.
Specific objectives of the Professional Director Certification Program™ are as follows:
- To develop and implement a multi-tiered program which meets the training and development needs of new and renewing directors;
- To improve the confidence and capabilities of directors in their governance practices;
- To ensure a solid understanding of the fiduciary duties of directors;
- To ensure directors are both knowledgeable of and well positioned in an effective and appropriate governance system;
- To provide education in all aspects of governance: behavioural, cultural and structural; and
- To provide participants with a certification program that recognizes them as Professional Directors (Pro.Dir.©).
The benefits for the directors participating in the program are that by its end they will have:
- The skills and competence required to fulfill their roles as board members in the sector;
- An excellent knowledge of the function of corporate governance and how it operates within their business and organizational structure;
- A good knowledge of business finance and the tools and know-how to use financial information appropriately; and
- A good understanding of their own personal strengths and weaknesses and be able to continually develop themselves to meet their future needs.
The program is comprised of four separate 2-day long modules plus a comprehensive exam.
The program will be designed to ensure all current board members will be able to complete the Professional Director Certification Program™ within their current appointment terms. All modules will be custom designed specifically for the sector, and will include a mix of adult learning model delivery mechanisms including a major emphasis on experiential learning (e.g. behavioural simulations, case studies, breakout groups, board and chair practice sessions.)
The program is built on various adult learning models and techniques. These include:
- BGI Board Games™ and simulations
- Making use of a number of skilled faculty from Brown Governance, University of Regina, University of Saskatchewan, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, and others, including “Directors-in-Residence” – experienced Chairs, CEOs and board members who will participate in the modules to provide real-life applications, experiences and roundtable dialogue
- Experiential learning in board room behaviour, culture, processes, dynamics, questions and discussions
- Taking the participant through a series of scenarios and decisions that affect the outcome of a proposed problem
- Playing the role of a director in a school board setting
Module One: Governance and Strategy
- Ability to Articulate the Right Roles and Responsibilities of Board, Committees, CEO and Executive
- Ability to Establish a Clear Sense of Purpose Direction and Priorities
- Ability to Effectively Ensure the Accomplishment of Strategic Objectives
- Ability to Promote Innovation
- Ability to Deal Fairly with Stakeholders, Government, Management and Staff, Community
Module Two: Governance and Risk
- Ability to Oversee Management and Control of Resources
- Ability to Effectively Measure the Organization’s Performance
- Ability to Ensure Quality and Safety
- Ability to Effectively Communicate: Two-Way and Proactively
- Ability to Effectively Report— With Transparency, Clarity and Accountability
Module Three: Governance and Resources
- Ability to Receive Accurate, Complete and Timely Information at the Board
- Ability to Effectively Oversee Programs and Projects of the Organization
- Ability to Ensure Effective Oversight of the Financial System
- Ability to Ensure Effective Oversight of all Corporate Resources
Module Four: Governance and People
- Ability to Ensure Board and Management Function Effectively Together and Make Decisions Wisely
- Ability to Encourage the Best Mix of Board Members
- Ability to Ensure Accountability of the Board, Committees, CEO
- Ability to Change, Improve and Learn from The Past
- Ability to Conduct Business Ethically and Professionally, With Integrity
- Ability to Effectively Oversee Human Resource Policy and Development
Examination and Certification: Making it Official
The comprehensive examination will be administered online and will include material from all four modules of the program. Board members may choose to complete the four modules in the program, but then select to opt out of the exam, and therefore not obtain certification. It is required that each participant attends the entire four modules of the program, to be eligible to write the final examination and obtain certification.
Certification is viewed as a significant value-added benefit to the program, including a “take-away” benefit for participants who complete and graduate. Certification is viewed by many as a hallmark of a “best practice” director education program today.
Certification for this non-credit program will be provided by the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. In order to receive certification, the director must write a comprehensive final exam following Module Four. In order to maintain their certification, directors must complete a minimum of 30 hours of qualifying continuing governance education every three years.
Of course, the consistency and quality of the content and delivery of the Director Education & Certification Program is of the utmost importance to its value and the benefit of the certification, and as such:
- The program may not be substantially varied from delivery to delivery and from year to year.
- The program’s and exam’s educational and academic quality will be overseen by an Oversight Committee that would include representation from JSGS and BGI, including a strong academic presence.
The Partnership Delivering the Program
Brown Governance Inc. and The Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy have established a strategic partnership that specializes in designing and delivering world-class, university level, director education programs that are unique to broader public sector organizations.
Boards such as those in the health and education sectors, or any other group of boards with a public sector flavour, can now benefit from director education programs designed specifically for them. This has been made possible by levering the strengths of our two organizations.
Our approach is to bring organizations of a particular sector together and work with them to design a customized program. These programs not only meet the needs of training directors in technical and structural governance, but they move beyond the basics to addressing the behavioural and cultural aspects of good board governance. And, we don’t stop there. Most importantly, we ensure the particular nuances of a given sector including those aspects of public policy that other programs may neglect are a key component of our programs.
Our philosophy is to:
- Build on well established, foundational, principle-based governance practices;
- Design customized programs that meet the unique needs and regulations of a specific sector;
- Integrate the political character of board governance into each distinctive program; and
- Provide a university level, professional designation of Pro.Dir™ (Professional Director) for graduates of the program.
Brown Governance Inc.
Brown Governance helps organizations strengthen their governance practices. We understand your challenges and are trusted by leading organizations across North America because we have walked in your shoes as CEOs and Board members. We stand for being accountable, right in the moral business sense and values, and socially responsible trends. We employ a principle-based approach that empowers board members and senior executives who are responsible for governance. Our integrated portfolio of products and services delivers knowledge, expertise and advice based on a unique blend of experience and research. We offer governance benchmarking capabilities that reflect more than 21 years of research, as well as many years of dialogue with governance leaders. We will work with you to develop actionable steps that support the foundation of good governance: a credible, reliable, trustworthy, responsible and accountable organization.
Brown Governance Inc. has developed and tested a comprehensive principle-based governance system that has been adopted and adapted by award-winning, leading governance organizations including BMO Financial Group (Bank of Montreal) in Canada’s private sector, federal and provincial governments in the public sector, and the Directors College (a joint venture of McMaster University and the Conference Board of Canada.)
Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
The Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy is the only provincial policy school in Canada, housing a strong outreach and training team, with campuses at both the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan. Its unique three-part structure positions it to fulfill the intellectual and training requirements of the public sector, today and in the future.
The school is committed to the development of professionals and leaders in the Saskatchewan and Canadian public sector, addressing contemporary public policy and administration challenges in an academic environment renowned for innovation. The JSGS faculty offer high-level policy research and advanced education. Students from all over the world are taking Master’s and doctorate degrees in public policy under the guidance of faculty members. Through its outreach activities, JSGS provides quality training programs at the executive and management-level in the public sector. Training activities are led by experienced former public servants grounded in the knowledge of Saskatchewan’s political and policy environment. At all levels, JSGS is making important contributions to creating and maintaining a well-educated public workforce.