How to self-assess

How to use the IoD New Zealand Director Competency Framework to guide your professional learning.

The New Zealand Director Competency Framework is structured under four key director attributes, that combined inform governance best practice. Individual directors will have strengths and weaknesses across the four attributes.

To ensure that your chosen professional development activity is governance-related, and addresses the particular areas you wish to strengthen, test the activity against the following statements:

To self-assess, ask:
How well do I...?

To assess an activity, ask:
Does this activity strengthen my ability to...?

Strategic and governance leadership

  • Distinguish governance from management, understand and perform governance functions and engage with shareholders, management and employees as a governance representative
  • Demonstrate strategic/big picture thinking
  • Contribute constructively to strategic change management
  • Understand and adapt to the political context of the day and actively maintain interactions and political awareness at a strategic level
  • Contribute to/drive strategy formulation, direction, implementation and communication and the (re)development of organisational culture based on the vision and strategy
  • Establish and maintain specific sector knowledge and apply it at the governance level
  • Understand and comply with fiduciary responsibilities and legal framework

Informed decision making

  • Apply critical thinking to analyse, assess, evaluate, distil and question information
  • Use conceptual reasoning to recognise trends and exceptions, interpret data and provide relevant commentary
  • Apply decision making criteria and understand consequences and cause and effect
  • Maintain a strategic focus and apply understanding of strategic key performance indicators to the decision making process
  • Set reporting requirements by specifying what information is required for decision making and commit to analysis and informed decision making by pre-reading board papers, seeking further information when required and digesting information in preparation for discussion

Business acumen

  • Apply business/commercial knowledge to influence business growth
  • Focus on results, monitor and evaluate strategic performance in order to achieve outcomes
  • Draw and continuously build on own proven business performance
  • Apply knowledge of business principles
  • Recognise trends and opportunities, increase own awareness of market dynamics and the business operating environment and contribute to competitive organisational positioning
  • Understand the business drivers and establish and maintain own market awareness and industry specific knowledge
  • Demonstrate fluency with a range of financial concepts
  • Identify, assess and manage risk
  • Understand brand equity, what the brand represents, is customer focused and has a marketing orientation


  • Identify and engage with co-directors, management, key individuals and stakeholders to establish and maintain effective relationships
  • Utilise verbal and non-verbal communication techniques to structure concise and articulate messages that are delivered and received completely
  • Use relevant communication channels and strategies and adhere to associated policies and protocols