Company Directors' Course

A fundamental week long course for directors and senior executives who have governance experience and have been in their roles for at least a year.

50 CPD points

If you’re serious about developing your director skills, seeing a step change in your performance at the board table or becoming a Chartered Member, the Company Directors’ Course is essential. You’ll explore director roles and responsibilities, participate in an in-depth board simulation brought to life through relevant case studies, and immediately improve your decision-making in the boardroom. This week long course is available as a 'live in' residential and non-residential option.

Course/workshop category: Fundamental course

Duration: Course commences Sunday at 3:00pm and concludes Friday at 3:30pm

Our renowned residential course format, running successfully for over 30 years, is a learning experience free from daily distractions. It offers the best opportunity to learn and network with high performing peers from across New Zealand, while engaging in informal discussions invaluable for your learning, helping to make truly lasting connections.

We also offer a non-residential course format for the Company Directors’ Course.

The course comes alive through discussion, debate, challenging conversations and case studies, with board simulation exercises highlighting the unpredictable nature of business and the human nature of directorship. This course is facilitated by directors who are willing to share their personal experiences and hard-earned wisdom.

Content covered

  • Best practice corporate governance
    • Corporate governance principles, rules, and protocols
    • Governance skills
  • Strategy in the boardroom
    • What is strategy and strategic thinking
    • The board and strategy development
    • Monitoring and reviewing implementation
    • Refreshing strategy and innovation
  • Finance and the board’s role
    • What are the financial statements and reports telling you at a very high level?
    • Interpreting the reports
    • Financial planning
    • Making investment appraisals
    • Understanding company valuations
  • Directors and the law
    • A director’s legal obligations, liabilities, and mitigating legal risks
    • Directors’ and officers’ insurance
  • Board dynamics and culture
    • Role of the board in developing culture, ethics and values
    • Corporate social responsibility
    • Board dynamics
    • Leadership and CEO succession
    • Board and CEO review
  • Risk governance
    • Key risk management concepts
    • Risk appetite

Who should attend?

To attend the CDC we recommend the following:

  • you are a director with at least 1 – 5 years experience as a director on a board, or working with a board – for example as a CEO, CFO or managing director
  • you have a sound knowledge and understanding of business finance.

Completing the CDC is a pre-requisite to becoming a Chartered Member of the IoD.


Hear what others say about the Company Directors' Course.

The accommodation cost for this residential course is included in the price.

Members: $8,650 Non-members: $10,600

Members: $6,850 Non-members: $8,585

Not a member? Join online to receive the member rate.
Standard membership is $525 incl GST plus $150 (incl GST) joining fee.

Finance pre-requisite

The CDC requires a sound knowledge and understanding of business finance. In fairness to other delegates and to enhance your learning experience, we recommend that unless you have a financial qualification you take the finance skills assessment test and attend the Finance Essentials course prior to attending the CDC if you need to up-skill. 

Start test

Pre-course reading

You will be provided with pre-course reading. Please allow adequate time to review a set of board papers which you will receive approximately two weeks before your course start date.

If none of the residential course dates suit your schedule, you may be interested in checking the non-residential schedule to see if a more suitable time exists.

Certification requirements

You will be required to attend each session to gain certification. In order to receive the certificate in Company Direction the delegate must attend all course sessions and board meetings, attend all organised dinners and not miss more than an hour of any other activity. If a delegate breaches any of the above course certification prerequisites they will not be eligible for certification. Compassionate consideration will only be considered should it affect your study ability (illness, injury and bereavement) and will be granted at the discretion of the IoD.

If you feel you will not be able to meet these requirements, it may be worth considering attending a non-residential course which has slightly different completion requirements.

Course information

Everything you need to know about the Company Directors' Course - Residential.

“The course solidified the knowledge I had gained on the job and even filled a few gaps. If anyone is serious about being a professional director this course is a must do.” – testimonial from a CDC attendee

Adrenalin’s publisher Cathy Parker recently attended the Institute of Directors’ Company Directors’ Course, and one of her key take-outs was that the closing question of any board meeting should be: "Did we add value?”
Read article

Published in Management magazine, May 2018 issue -  

Our facilitators

Company Directors' Course facilitators include:

  • Zoe Attwood GAICD, MBA, MInstD

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    Zoe is a Professional Director who has been working in governance since 2000, successfully serving on the Boards of private and listed companies, government entities, research institutes and not-for-profit organisations. She has held governance positions in both New Zealand and Australia.  She has also been an active Member and Chair of several subcommittees including finance audit and risk, governance and science.  Zoe facilitates governance training for both the Institute of Directors (IoD) NZ and the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). Zoe has had an international senior executive career across many industries, specializing in science and technology, innovation and commercialisation.  She has held global, leading roles with Owens Illinois, Dairy Australia Ltd, Bonlac Foods Ltd / Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd and Fletcher Challenge Forests. She has worked extensively across food and beverage industries around the world, including 34 years in agriculture/horticulture, 21 of those years in dairy. Zoe is currently a Director of SealStone NZ Ltd and a Committee Member of the IoD Bay of Plenty branch.

  • Paul Connell CA CFInstD

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    Paul is an independent director with extensive experience as a consultant, executive and director in a variety of industries. Since 2000 he has been a director of a number of listed companies, private companies and public entities.

    He is chair of the Accreditation Council, Bobux International Limited and independent chair of the Environmental Protection Authority’s audit and risk committee. Paul is a director of ETEL Ltd and Telarc Ltd. He is and has been appointed to the boards of WEL Networks Ltd and Ultra Fast Fibre Ltd. 

  • Juliet McKee QSO, CFInstD

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    Juliet is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors and has held over 20 board directorships in a wide range of sectors, with state-owned enterprises, private and publicly-listed companies and not-for-profit organisations. Juliet’s consultancy firm delivers corporate governance training, policy advice and strategic planning workshops to a wide variety of clients in New Zealand, the Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Juliet was awarded the Queen’s Service Order and the Commonwealth Medal. She is an honorary fellow of the School of Government at Victoria University.

  • Mark Odlin CMInstD

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    Mark is a partner at Buddle Findlay.  He joined Buddle Findlay in 2002 and has been practising law since 1995.  Prior to working with Buddle Findlay, Mark worked as in-house counsel at T-Mobile UK.  He regularly advises boards and management on governance issues – including boards of listed companies, council controlled organisations, trusts and public issuers.  Mark is currently a director of Isight Properties Limited which operates the Christchurch Eye Surgery facility and Buddle Findlay's in-house IT services company, Lawtech Services Limited.

  • Hamish Stevens MCom (Hons.), MBA, CA, CMInstD

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    Hamish is an Auckland based independent director and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors. He is an experienced board chair and holds several board committee chair positions.  Hamish is currently chair of East Health Services, Evolve Education Group and The Kennedy’s, and a director of Marsden Maritime Holdings, Northport, Pacific Radiology Group, Pharmaco, and Counties Power.  He is also the Independent Chair of the Waikato Regional Council Audit and Risk committee.  Prior to his governance career, Hamish held senior executive positions within some of New Zealand’s largest companies, including Tip Top Ice Cream, Heinz Wattie’s, and DB Breweries. Hamish has an M.Com (Hons.) and MBA from the University of Auckland and is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand.

  • Richard Westlake MA, CFInstD

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    Richard has facilitated programmes for the IoD for more than 10 years and has more than 25 years’ experience as a director and board chair. He is based in Wellington and is currently chair of New Zealand Home Loans Limited and Co-op Money NZ, the financial technology business that supports New Zealand’s credit unions and manages most of New Zealand’s non-bank ATMs. He is also a director of RCBC Bank, one of the largest banks in the Philippines.

    Until June 2019, he was Chair of Careerforce Industry Training Organisation and he has recently stepped down from nine years as the first independent director of the Dairy Goat Co-operative (NZ) Limited. Among his other roles, Richard was a founding independent director of Kiwibank Ltd and he has chaired several other organisations, including Intergen Ltd, Standards New Zealand, two SOEs, the New Zealand Telecommunications Forum and Canterbury Opera.

  • Denise Bovaird BCom, FCA, MInstD

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    Denise Bovaird has had a number of governance and risk management roles. She is currently the Chair of Surf Lifesaving Northern region .  She has been a director on the board of the Real Estate Agents Authority and a Commissioner on the Earthquake Commission and  has chaired the Audit and Risk Committees of both these Crown Entities.   She has served on the Board of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants  and was the chair and President  in 2017.  Denise has had a number of corporate and consultancy risk management roles over the last 20 years and is now a risk management consultant with Navigatus Consulting specialising in strategic and organisational risk with private and public sector clients throughout New Zealand. She has a passion for assisting clients to establish risk management frameworks that add value to their organisation and help achieve strategy.  Denise has developed the Institute of Directors Risk Essentials course and facilitates a number of risk and strategy sessions.

  • Giselle McLachlan CFInstD

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    Giselle is an experienced company director, chair, CEO, and is a governance specialist. Her industry roles have been varied, from the agricultural sector through to being a partner in a law firm, and General Counsel for New Zealand’s largest insurance company. She has held several board roles but notably served as a director for four years on the Earthquake Commission, including its audit committee. Amongst other chair roles Giselle chaired the Audit Committee for the Institute of Financial Advisers and a GP practice, Health Central Ltd.

  • Silvana Schenone

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    Silvana is a corporate partner at MinterEllisonRuddWatts, experienced in advising clients on a range of M&A transactions and is recognised as a leading adviser in her field. Silvana has a remarkable international background, born in Chile, of Chilean mother and Italian father, and having worked in New York, Chile and New Zealand. Silvana is a Member of the NZ Takeovers Panel, appointed by the Governor General. Silvana is the author of Duties and Responsibilities of Directors and Company Secretaries in New Zealand, the most up to date text, referred to by the directors’ community in New Zealand, on this very important topic. Silvana holds a Master in Laws from Harvard University, with distinction in corporate law and governance. Silvana is a member of the Latin America New Zealand Business Council, Global Women and a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars in connection with M&A and corporate topics, diversity and leadership.

  • Nick Dangerfield BCom, FCA, CMA, MInstD

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    Nick has a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Economics) from Canterbury University and is a fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants as well as being a qualified cost and management accountant. Nick has had over 25 years’ experience in senior finance management positions and has also held the role of General Manager Operations. Nick also does Training for Chartered Accountant Australia and New Zealand in the areas of Finance for Non-Financial Managers and Professional Ethics. Nick has held a number of directorships and chairmanships in both the SME market and not-for-profit sector. He is currently Treasurer of PARS, Chair (Audit & Risk) and Board Member of NZ Cancer Society as well as member of the Tauranga Te Papa Rotary Club.

  • Lynda Carroll CMInstD

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    Lynda has over 19 year’s governance experience including as a chair and deputy chair. She has led Remuneration and Performance, and Nominations subcommittees and been a member of Finance and Audit, Fundraising and Sponsorship, and Future Operating Environment sub-committees. Lynda’s governance experience has been gained within the wider state, private and not-for-profit sectors.  She is currently on the New Zealand Army Leadership Board, the New Zealand String Quartet Trust Board, and a lay member on the Social Workers Registration Board Professional Conduct Committee. Lynda is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors. Lynda has led her own consulting company for the past 22 years, working across New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific and the UK. Prior to this Lynda was Development Dimensions International's Managing Consultant for New Zealand.

  • Alastair Hercus BA (Hons), LLB, CMInstD

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    Alastair is a partner with Buddle Findlay in Wellington and has practised corporate and public law for over 25 years, advising a variety of public and private sector clients on corporate governance and directors' duties. He has specific expertise in the health and primary sectors and is an expert on cooperative and mutual company structures.  Alastair is currently Deputy Chair of Medical Assurance Society Ltd and a member of MBIE’s Risk and Assurance Committee. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of Cancer Trials New Zealand.  He has served on the board of Buddle Findlay, chaired the Latin America New Zealand Business Council, and spent nine years as a diplomat at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

  • Catherine McMillan BCom (Hons), CA, DipTchng, MInstD

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    Catherine has experience in the public sector, corporate business and education, in both senior management and governance roles. She has her own consultancy business which focuses on professional and executive education, strategy development and business re-structuring. She has held governance roles in a variety of organisations and is a trustee with CORE Education Charitable Trust and Te Kōhaka o Tūhaitara Trust. In addition, she sits on the Christ’s College Board as the Christ College Old Boys Association representative.

  • Craig Rust NDB, NDA, CA, MInstD

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    Craig is a fully qualified Chartered Accountant and member of both the Chartered Accountants of New Zealand / Australia and the Institute of Directors (IoD). Craig provides ongoing Director, Chair and Advisory Board services, including regularly facilitating director level training for the IoD since 2009 around the topics of Governance, Finance and Strategy. Craig has worked as a Chartered Accountant, including in a Senior Management capacity at PricewaterhouseCoopers and received the 2005 Young Accountant of the Year Award for the Southern Region.

    Executive and Directorship roles over the past 25 years in the food, data, technology, business development, education, and engineering sectors have resulted in many years of governance, strategy and organisational development experience.

  • David Sutton MInstD

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    David is a Partner at KPMG in Auckland and leads Governance and Risk services nationally.  He works with a wide range of Boards and organisations in an advisor capacity across a number of sectors.  David has been a key facilitator for the Institute of Directors and supports the Company Directors Course, Audit & Risk Committees Course, and Risk Essentials.  From a governance perspective he has held a number of Director roles.  Before KPMG, David led the Risk, Internal Audit, and Compliance teams at Telecom for five years reporting directly to the Board.  Prior to that, David was in a similar role with Fisher & Paykel Appliances where he was also the secretary to the Audit & Risk Committee.   He has also worked extensively overseas with Shell Corporation and Microsoft Corp.  David is a fellow of the Institute of Internal Auditors of New Zealand and was New Zealand Internal Auditor of the Year in 2011.

  • Mike Wood BE, FEngNZ, CMInstD

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    Mike Wood is a highly experienced consultant with Broadleaf Capital International, providing risk management advice, training, and cost and benefits risk assessments for a wide range of public and private sector organisations. He is a past chairman of the New Zealand Society for Risk Management. His work has taken him to Australia, the Middle East and Canada, where projects have included risk assessments for substantial civil and electrical infrastructure, mining, and oil and gas projects. Mike also has extensive governance and strategy experience in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sector and is currently the deputy Chairman of the Wellington City Mission, and a trustee of the Youth Cultures & Community Trust and the Ignite Sport Trust

  • Geof Shirtcliffe, MInstD

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    Geof is a corporate and securities partner at Chapman Tripp.  His principle expertise is in corporate transactions (M&A, joint ventures, takeovers and restructurings), equity capital markets (listed and non-listed) and corporate governance. Geof is a previous member of Chapman Tripp’s national board and current member of its Audit and Risk Committee. He also sits on the Partnership Admissions Committee and previously chaired the Incomes Committee. He also sits on the Partnership Admissions Committee and previously chaired the Incomes Committee.  In addition, Geof is a board member of the Orpheus Choir, chair of the Wellesley College board of trustees and a past president of the Law and Economics Association of New Zealand.

  • Kevin McCaffrey B Soc Sc, M Mngt, CMInstD, FCS

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    Kevin was formerly a Partner in PwC with leadership roles across the Asia Pacific region. His competencies are in Governance, Strategy and Change Management across a range of industry sectors and countries. In 2006 he completed a Master’s degree in Governance and launched his own firm Effective Governance Ltd. In 2015 Kevin joined EY Advisory and now leads the Governance practice in Oceania. He currently serves on range of commercial and NFP boards.

  • Carol Scholes CMInstD

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    With over 30 years of management experience in commercial and not-for-profit organisations in New Zealand and Australia and eight years in CEO roles, Carol specialises in helping organisations understand their vision, improve their systems and build teams to achieve success. As a consultant, Carol has provided board and executive coaching, mediation, facilitation and strategic planning with corporate, government and not for profit organisations. Her specialities are leading change, governance, financial management and conflict management. Carol has a Bachelor of Business in Human Resource Management, a Graduate Diploma in Dispute Resolution (Mediation), and Certificate IV in Executive Coaching, is a qualified trainer using accelerated learning techniques, is a Master NLP practitioner, International Master Coach, Master Clinical Hypnotherapist and a certified mBit coach. Carol is an accredited coach with the International Coach Federation, a member of the NZ Association for Training and Development and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand.