Company Directors' Course

The Company Directors’ Course is essential for developing your director skills and making a step change in your performance at the board table.

Plaza with people

Course description

The Company Directors' Course (CDC) is the benchmark for directors and senior leaders reporting to boards. It is also a pre-requisite to becoming a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors.

In the week-long CDC course you explore the director's roles and responsibilities with other directors.  Each day you participate in board simulation exercises, bringing to life case studies that highlight the unpredictable nature of business and the human nature of directorship. You improve your decision-making  ability in the boardroom.

The benefits of this course extend beyond governance skill building. Previous attendees have developed strong networks in the governance community. They report personal growth and confidence in their directorships and an acceleration in their careers after taking the course.

See article  So you want to be a director? by Cathy Parker for Management Magazine in which she investigates CDC as the key prerequisite for directorship.

Course options

CDC is available as residential and non-residential  courses. The content is the same for both courses.


Accommodation is included as part of the price. You stay on location for the week. The advantage is a full immersion course with the chance to continue discussions and networking with other participants in the evenings and prepare for the following day. 

Register for CDC residential


Accommodation is not included as part of the price. You return home each day after the course. This suits participants with family and evening commitments.

Register for CDC non residential

CDC is challenging. We strongly recommend taking the full week off from work or other responsibilities regardless of whether you take the residential or non-residential course options. 

We had a great set of speakers who spanned the breadth of competencies required of directors. Plenty of opportunity to put the concepts into practice through director simulations throughout the week. Not to mention the great group I was with...
- Michele Frey CMInstD, Napier

Course content

CDC is a simulated board exercise. On a given day, you work with 4-5 other board members addressing a scenario such as company solvency. In the afternoon, you test your assumptions and decisons with the full group and compare to New Zealand case studies on solvency. 

Topics covered during the course include:

Best practice corporate governance
  • Corporate governance principles, rules, and protocols
  • Governance skills
Strategy in the boardroom
  • Strategy and strategic thinking
  • The board and strategy development
  • Monitoring and reviewing implementation
  • Refreshing strategy and innovation
Finance and the board’s role
  • High-level meaning in financial statements and reports
  • 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
  • Risk management concepts
  • Risk appetite

Who should attend

Directors and senior executives with at least one to five years' experience of working on or with boards, and a sound knowledge of business finance.

Completion of the Company Directors' Course is prerequisite to becoming a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors.

If you are unsure whether you meet the prerequisites for the Company Directors' Course, please call the Governance Development team 0800 846 369.

Good education is essential, and for governance it is no different. It is important to embed the core principles of governance, understand what they mean, and be able to successfully implement them in any board situation. The IoD facilitators all had “hard hat” real board experiences they were able to share with us.
- Mike Lay CMInstD, Leeston