Members of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand (IoDNZ) endorsed a proposal to establish a Chartered Directors programme at their AGM this week. I have been a member of the organisation for over a decade now. In that time, I have often wondered why directors are not categorised like doctors, lawyers and other professionals. There have been nominal membership levels in the past, but they have lacked credibility in the minds of many.
The Chartered Director programme has several categories of membership. Members will be asked to sign a commitment statement each year, and commit to continuing professional development (CPD). More information is available on the IoDNZ website. The programme sends a very strong signal, to members and the general public alike, that the cushy club atmosphere that some have enjoyed is now history.
I am a keen supporter of the programme, but have no doubt that some will react because they have the demonstrate competency to retain their post-nominal. For too long now, the only instrument available to hold directors in New Zealand accountable for performance has been legislation—the Companies Act, the Securities Act, et al.
If the programme is embraced as intended, directors will return to the classroom and seminar room regularly, to refresh their skills and learn new practices. Knowledge gained on courses like the "essentials" workshops, the Company Director's Course (*) and other more advanced courses should lift the competency and performance of directors and boards over time. The new programme should be good for the economy, as a new generation of more engaged and more competent directors make better decisions which, ultimately, should lead to improved company performance outcomes.
(*) Disclosure: I am a contracted facilitator on the Company Director's Course.
Thoughts on corporate purpose, strategy and governance; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.