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Professional Certification and Training

Professional Certification and Training

With the constant changes in regulations and requirements, continuing education for directors is vital. So, too, is the need to prepare aspirational directors for their understanding of roles, duties and issue management.

BoardWise provides several options for professional certification to serve on boards.

Board Professional Expert Certification®

Become an exemplary board leader by taking this four level series, which includes two of training per level:

Level One: Professional
These two days focus on understanding corporate governance, its purpose, director accountability, governance principles and models, board oversight, roles and expectations, board relationships, committees, leadership and checks and balances in responsibilities.

Level Two: Senior Professional
These two days address expertise required for directors, including knowledge, information, standards, regulations and reputation. It reviews codes of ethics, integrity, best practices and disclosure obligations. Participants evaluate where boards can go wrong through misalignment, conflicts of interest, power issues and how to read early signs of trouble. This module introduces the requirements and methods to meet them, including annual board evaluations, qualifications for diversity within the board and what best practices can be adopted to improve board contributions to a company.

Level Three: Expert Professional
These two days consider the impact of board interactions on success. It looks at the role of the board in: corporate strategy, evaluating execution, committee work, working relationship with management, and reporting and disclosure to the company, its shareholders and publics. It reviews the latest issues and solutions to managing shareholder rights and engagement.

Level Four: Board Leader
The final two days address governance in an international setting. Directors of multinational companies have obligations to understand regulatory and compliance requirements which differ by country. This module considers the various institutional frameworks across countries. It also addresses the board’s economic governance role. It looks at strategies to address favorability with institutional investors. It review the director’s role in foreign investments, SRI funds and meeting eligibility for investments according to the new corporate indices for environmental, social and governance responsiveness.

The curriculum includes a mix of interactive, case-based learning, online sessions and facilitated group learning designed to stimulate rigorous thinking and practical knowledge.

The program is endorsed and certified by the United Nations UNITAR training program. Participants – for each level they pass --receive a dual certificate from UNITAR and BoardWise, the global governance firm which designed and delivers the program.

By completing this certification program, participants will:

  • Understand and prioritize roles and responsibilities
  • Understand the economic, regulatory, legal, reputation and fiduciary responsibilities
  • Learn about best practices for evaluating company financial and strategic performance
  • Develop working knowledge of fundamental financial and auditing metrics, strategic questions to explore with auditors, CFOs and consultants
  • Improve committee effectiveness and contributions
  • Consider ways to improve board mix, meeting effectiveness, relationship with shareholders and stakeholder and increase overall corporate reputation.
  • Compare practices and ideas with director colleagues from other companies who participant.

Governance Success: Effective Private Company Boards and Directors© Certification Program

Privately-held and family–owned businesses share special needs for corporate governance success.

BoardWise provides a 4-day professional certification program which addresses the key issues to successfully prepares directors in corporate governance from the special viewpoint of private and closely-held companies. This engaging, dynamic program includes two modules of two days each, available quarterly. Participants who complete the two sessions (4 days) receive a certification endorsed by two organizations: the United Nations UNITAR training and certification organization and BoardWise.

Who Should Attend?

Board directors and C-level executives who report to boards of privately or closely-held companies will benefit from this program.

What to Expect

The program is highly interactive and uses the popular methods of case-based learning and role-playing simulations. Contemporary cases and actual situations are used to stimulate group discussions. The program includes a test at the end of each module. Participants must receive 80% or better to qualify for the certification.

Program Outline

Our fundamental program includes:

Module One: Introduction to Corporate Governance

Module Two: The Board’s Role in Strategy and Innovation

Module Three: The CEO, Board and Shareholder Dynamics

Module Four: Boards and Big Decisions

Customization to meet special company and industry needs is available as well.

Why This Program?

Taught by world-class global experts in corporate governance, you will:

  • Understand and improve the value and effectiveness of your board;
  • Learn the latest in governance issues and how to manage them;
  • Prioritize board roles and responsibilities;
  • Understand the economic, legal, reputation and fiduciary responsibilities of directors;
  • Learn about best practices for evaluating company financial and strategic performance;
  • Improve committee effectiveness and personal director contributions;
  • Consider ways to improve board mix, meeting effectiveness, relationships with shareholders and stakeholders and increase overall corporate reputation;
  • Compare practices and ideas with director colleagues from other companies who participate;
  • Become a more effective, knowledgeable leader in corporate governance.

Please refer to our website for locations and dates of our certification programs.

Class offering dates and locations will expand as warranted, so please check the website for current updates on offerings at

Specialized Programs and Seminars

In addition to certification training, BoardWise provides specialized global programs on late-breaking governance issues. Directors can learn from seasoned, expert public company directors who have the knowledge and experience to keep directors in dynamic, high-growth companies current.

For example, you may participate in our HOT TOPICS IN GOVERNANCE WORKSHOP SERIES, our online webinars with partners BoardProspects and Proformative, and our international workshops with our partner, Deloitte in Viet Nam.

Diverse and Targeted Programs

We also design customized programs to address virtually all important board governance topics, bringing together international colleagues together to meet and demystify these complex governance issues. The curriculum is based on the Case Method, which provides a stimulating mix of real-life situations, group work and personal reflection. Course sections are comprehensive and complete, and cover areas as diverse as:

  • Board design, roles and responsibilities
  • Development, policies and practices
  • Dynamics and best practices in board evaluation
  • Crisis and risk management
  • Stakeholder and governance involvement
  • Oversight and director liability
  • New realities in corporate governance
  • Legalities and ethics
  • Individual board style and ways to increase personal influence
  • Remuneration and compensation.
Maximize Your Own Potential

Board membership is more than simply fulfilling a function. It is an extraordinary opportunity to apply your knowledge and expertise in a dynamic and changing environment. Workshops are designed to help you maximize your own potential – and the potential of the boards on which you sit. It is your opportunity to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the intricacies and excitement of board involvement and commitment.

Schedule announcements for programs appear in the Events and Registration section of our website. For more information, please refer to the program brochure. Members of our Boardwise qualify for a 15% discount on the program fee.

Customized Programs

BoardWise offers customized programs for corporations with specific interests and needs, including key topics such as, development of internal executives for board roles, enhancing board team effectiveness, mitigating risk, improving strategy and innovation, optimizing brand value and shareholder returns.

Through strategic alliances with global institutions, e.g., NACD, Stanford and the Deloitte Training Center, BoardWise also offers collaborative forums and seminars for directors about governance updates as well as for pre-IPO companies to help prepare for governance changes.

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Research Reports, White Papers and Monthly Newsletters

BoardWise publishes a bi-monthly online newsletter on current governance topics, recommendations and spotlights. It also writes and sells research reports and publications regarding governance trends, best practices and standards, based on the findings from accurate, objective data collected across industries and countries.

Board Evaluations

BoardWise offers an affordable, valuable board evaluation service, called BoardScan. It holds an exclusive license for its best-of-breed board evaluation software tools. These reliable, secure, online tools are used for compliance evaluation and to measure the impact of governance practices on corporate performance and reputation. The evaluation is strictly confidential and the findings are reviewed by only the board of directors.

The evaluation system is a SaaS, on-demand software method. The advantage is that is it not people- intensive, without consultancy billing hours. Thus, a company can spend far less annually for fully compliant, global data and a private review of findings and recommendations by seasoned governance experts, rather than the traditional premium fees a year from consulting and executive search firms that offer limited analyses.

Best- in- Class Board Evaluations

In many countries – including the US and European nations – it is mandatory for companies to conduct annual board evaluations to meet stock exchange listing requirements and national and banking code regulations. In most other countries - including China – it is recommended as a best practice. If your company registers entities outside of its country headquarters, it must comply with the evaluation requirements within that country. Further, recent regulations require companies to disclose specific content in their proxy filings related to data from these annual evaluations. Most recently, institutional investors make it a condition of investment that the company upholds this practice.

Conducting annual evaluations is considered a best practice for all companies. Smart public and private companies worldwide monitor their board performance through a discipline of candid self-assessment. Regular board evaluation correlates positively with improved board contributions in key areas, including clearer strategy, more competitive corporate performance, CEO succession and improved risk oversight, according to the National Association of Corporate Directors.

For a review of the range of approaches to board evaluations, see our published article: Board Evaluations: From Bogus to Brilliant.

A formal, objective board evaluation process can help a board:

  • Identify strengths and weaknesses and help introduce changes than can improve value to the company, its stakeholders, and the company’s customers;
  • Continuously improve board effectiveness over time – developing both good leadership and strong relationships, management and ethical values;
  • Hold directors accountable and responsible for their performance and also ensure that performance in financial matters, as well as non-financial matters, can be made more rigorous, more quantitative and more clearly relevant;
  • Tailor the board and committee composition to best meet corporate objectives;
  • Better align the board with the company’s long-term sustainable growth, risk management and investment strategies;
  • Provide an objective method for board member communication about its impact, performance, expectations and responsibilities;
  • Demystify the board process and improve board transparency with shareholders, stakeholders and society. This will also help with the director’s advisory, networking and fiduciary role for decisions related to strategy, governance, outlook, brands, customers, markets, productivity, motivation, potential, sustainability and stakeholder discussions; and
  • Add credibility with shareholders and stakeholders, regarding the board’s functioning and reputation.

Further, a solid evaluation can improve board group dynamics.A challenge many boards face is how to work effectively as a team, when each individual’s styles can be so different. Based on global research with more than 10,000 executives and directors, BoardWise designed the Board Style Indicator© tool to assist boards with how to optimize team effectiveness. Individual directors complete a 20-minute confidential, online self-assessment that helps them understand their own unique board style and how to strengthen their overall effectiveness within a board. Based on the combination of styles within a full board, the modeling also evaluates the overall pattern of styles represented within a board and addresses how to improve group balance, committee and board leadership and effective board performance.

This assessment is particularly valuable for: 1) newly formed boards to quickly understand how to work well together by leveraging known strengths, 2) boards looking for ideal succession candidates who will balance out existing board members’ styles, 3) boards in mergers or acquisitions that must recompose committees based on new combinations of talent.

Board Evaluations Can Increase Your Credit Rating!

Members of credit associations, e.g., the Shanghai Services Trade Association will incorporate in their credit assessment whether companies complete an annual board evaluation each year. Those companies which do will receive acknowledgement in their credit rating assessment. Further, companies will receive a governance rating score, based on their engagement to improve their overall governance. Members who participate in the annual board evaluation process will receive a higher credit rating, based on their commitment to governance improvement standards.

Advisory Support Services

BoardWise offers advisory services to companies seeking ways to improve their overall governance. In particular, it offers IPO companies guidance to help them become board-ready, and companies registering entities in new countries which seek counsel before filing, to ensure they comply with requirements early on.

BoardWise runs pre-IPO readiness workshops for companies that wish to learn what is needed for transition. It also provides in-depth IPO readiness support consulting services. Please refer contact us to discuss your customized needs.

Often times, companies discover they need special technical assistance to address topics that emerge from a board evaluation. This may include legal counsel, accounting, compensation, operational improvements, director searches, corporate reputation improvement or risk mitigation.

Strategic Partner Support

To protect against any conflict of interest in its board evaluation work, BoardWise does not directly offer direct audit, legal or remediation services. Instead, it has a well-established set of partners to whom it can refer a board to assist them. These include:

Pre-IPO Governance Preparation

Preparing to take a company public includes making sure the company meets governance standards. We work with company boards and executive teams to implement acceptable governance protocols, including board structure, composition, director required qualifications, committee creation and membership, board processes, policies, practices and accountabilities.

This consulting service can range from three to six months, depending on the existing governance processes within a company. Contact us to schedule a time to meet and discuss how the consulting applies to your situation.

Governance Conferences
Each year, Boardwise serves as a sponsor for annual governance conferences for members to attend and stay abreast of current governance trends, changes and leadership topics globally. Keynote speakers from BoardWise offer new insights and offer ideas for the future.


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