The IoD Chartered Director programme has just celebrated its 20th birthday
Developed to give business leaders the skills to perform at the very highest level, the programme blazed a trail for effective governance in the UK and far beyond.
Gerard Hargreaves was the IoD’s Head of Director Development during that period. He recalls: “there had been a lot of debate about corporate governance and the professionalism of directors.
“There was a general feeling that the position of company director needed to be recognised as a role in its own right and had to be given a special status. The IoD wanted to help directors think and act more professionally. Scandals had happened because of a lack of governance.
With this in mind, the institute’s Professional Development department devised its Chartered Director programme. “It was, and still is to this day, all about supporting a leader to make the move from manager to director,” Hargreaves says, noting that the IoD first had to seek approval from HM Privy Council to give the qualification chartered status.
“That was a long process,” he recalls, but this made serving as a director “a profession in its own right – alongside that of accountants, surveyors and lawyers”.
Chartered Director Today
While the core of the original syllabus has been maintained, today’s programme is in the final stage of a process designed to give both serving and aspiring directors the tools they need to be effective in their roles, wherever they may be in the world. To become a Chartered Director you have to complete the IoD’s Certificate in Company Direction and the Diploma in Company Direction, all of which can be carried out in a number of locations across the UK, including Birmingham.
“The IoD Chartered Director programme was the ideal complement to other professional development training that I have done to date. The programme highlights the importance of clear and high integrity governance; whether you are a Director working for a FTSE or AIM listed business or an organisation in the third sector. The courses also provide a great networking opportunity as you learn alongside fellow experienced professionals from a diverse range of backgrounds.
I thoroughly enjoyed the learning - despite the exams! - and would recommend it to anyone seeking to become a better business leader.”
Ian Graves, Chief Executive of PeakGen Power Ltd
“As a Fellow of the IoD who was about to embark on a portfolio Non-Executive Director journey, the Chartered Director qualification was a natural next step to consolidate my experience and enhance the contribution and impact that I could make as an independent member of a Board.
The qualification is structured in a flexible pathway through the Certificate and Diploma examinations, whilst also recognising prior learning and practical experience in the assessment phase. I chose the intensive route which suited my learning style and timeline goals.
The guidance and delivery of the subject matter by the tutors was outstanding and although it was hard work, there was an element of fun. It was a very proud moment when I was admitted as a Chartered Director after only 10 months!
Being able to use the CDir FIoD designation means that organisations are able to place reliance on the consistent approach and integrity that is associated with the Royal Charter status of the qualification.
I would encourage colleagues to take this journey as it’s not just an academic exercise but provides self-reflection and personal growth opportunities. It has positively shaped the next phase of my career.”
Joanne Kennedy-Reardon, Found & Director of Rock DJ Consulting Ltd