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IoD Competency Framework

Four delegates working together

The IoD Director Competency Framework, the only framework of this kind for directors, is designed to promote and champion the highest standards of professional competence on the part of directors and equivalent leaders of companies and other organisations.

We have developed the framework based on consultation with high-performing directors and boards, alongside research and best practice distilled from the IoD’s extensive experience of working with people in senior management roles and leaders around the world for more than 110 years. It sets out the skills, knowledge and mind-set that a director needs to perform effectively as a board member.

Within each of the three dimensions (Knowledge, Skills and Mind-Set) you’ll discover a set of core competencies and actionable standards enabling you to assess your strengths, identify areas for performance improvement and plan your professional development.

What is a competency framework?

A competency framework aims to provide guidelines for a wide range of working behaviours, usually based on the core values of an organisation.

Developing a competency framework helps to define a set of mind-set attributes (e.g. independence or professionalism), skills (e.g. communication or leadership) or knowledge (e.g. strategy or finance) that are desirable traits for individuals working for your organisation.

IoD Director Competency Framework

Click above to view competency framework

© Institute of Directors 2016. The INSTITUTE OF DIRECTORS words and associated logos are trademarks. All rights reserved. No reproduction or modification without written permission of the Institute of Directors.

Who is the Director Competency Framework designed for and how can it be applied in my organisation?

This framework provides an accessible, measurable and achievable guide to the knowledge, skills and mind-set required to perform effectively as a director and to successfully lead your organisation – whatever your sector, industry or location.

Whether you are an aspiring or practicing director, an organisational leader, a member of the board or are responsible for HR and learning-and-development within your organisation, the Director Competency Framework may be applied in a number of ways to add value and enhance performance:

  • Self-assessment to identify areas of strength and define areas for improvement
  • CPD and ongoing learning
  • Career planning and professional development
  • Board evaluation to determine performance and balance of competencies
  • Selection and succession planning for boards seeking new board members
  • Performance measurement and 360° assessment

The Director Competency Framework is built around three dimensions

  1. Knowledge – the director’s understanding and appropriate application of essential practical and theoretical information
  2. Skills – the expertise that a director brings to their role
  3. Mind-set – the attitude and disposition that shapes a director’s responses and behaviour

Each of the 15 competencies is defined by a clear purpose and a set of demonstrable standards

Although experience is an important route to gaining professional competence, the IoD’s experience shows that high-performing directors take support, guidance and training at various stages of their career.

Competencies may be achieved through a combination of experience and informal learning, as well as through formal training and IoD qualifications.

Comments, questions and permissions

If you have any feedback on the framework or require guidance in terms of its application please contact our Professional Development team at or call us on 020 776 2601.

Any reproduction or modifications of the framework must be approved in writing from the Institute of Directors. To make an enquiry, please contact our Professional Development team at or call us on 020 776 2601.

Contact us

For more information about the Director Competency Framework and how the IoD's courses, qualifications and director development services can help you and your organisation, please contact:

020 7766 2601

Professional Development

For media enquiries including comment and interview requests, please contact:

PD Team