Chartered Director

The professional qualification for directors

Chartered Directors lead organisations whether in the private, public or third sectors, at the highest strategic level. As a Chartered Director you can demonstrate the expertise and integrity needed to meet the challenges of business today. If you are looking to enhance your skills and improve your organisation's performance, Chartered Director is the professional qualification you need.

Benefits to you and your organisation

Chartered Directors have a dramatic and positive effect on the success of their organisations and are able to:

  • Demonstrate to shareholders, stakeholders, clients and customers that their organisation is professional and successful.
  • Operate at a strategic and tactical level to establish and sustain growth.
  • Appreciate all aspects of effective business leadership and sound corporate governance.
  • Improve the board's effectiveness and their personal contribution.
  • Enhance their career prospects as an executive director or non-executive director.

What are the criteria for Chartered Director?

  • You must be a Member or Fellow of the IoD.
  • Demonstrate the requisite knowledge by passing the IoD Examination in Company Direction.
  • Demonstrate a minimum of three years' acceptable experience as a director.
  • You must either sit on a board, or have done so, with regular board meetings with a minimum of three directors.

Must I undertake any study?

Not necessarily, however you must pass the IoD Certificate & Diploma exam in Company Direction to qualify for C Dir. The Certificate exam assesses the six courses of the IoD development programmes.

If you choose, you do not need to take any courses (no study route), or less than the six courses (partial study route) and progress straight to the Certificate exam. Following this exam, there is a mandatory Diploma course and exam.

The IoD recommends you study all six courses (study route) in preparation for the exam. It offers the leading director training in the UK and will help improve your personal contribution and your board's overall performance.

The Board Basics knowledge test will help you assess your knowledge and make a decision on whether you need to study or not.

If you already have an IoD Diploma in Company Direction, and are eligible, you should register for Chartered Director now.

How long does it take to qualify as a Chartered Director?

If you choose to study for the IoD Diploma in preparation for the exam, your course attendance will be a total of 12 days (which includes 3 days of post-course e-learning). The majority of candidates complete this, and the exam, in six - nine months. Thereafter, the Chartered Director stage takes one or two months and involves completing a summary of your experience and a one hour interview.

What areas does the examination cover?

The exam assesses the IoD Company Direction Programme.

  • The Role of Company Director & the Board
  • The Director and the Law
  • Finance for Non-Financial Directors
  • Strategic Business Direction
  • Effective Marketing Strategies
  • People Mean Business
  • Leading and Strategic Change

When is the exam?

The exam is sat three times a year in April, August and November.

Where do I have to go to take the exam?

The exams are held at a number of venues both in the UK and overseas, depending on demand. In recent years, the IoD have held examinations in 10 major cities in the United Kingdom and also in Australia, Singapore, Germany, USA and Zambia.

What is the format of the exam?

The examination, which lasts three hours, consists of 60 multiple choice questions, testing the full range of the syllabus of the IoD development programmes and some fundamental cognitive skills. Several questions will relate to a chosen case study. A successful candidate must obtain both an overall pass mark and also reach a satisfactory level in each of the main subject areas. Those who don't reach the required percentage will be allowed to retake the examination. Areas of shortcoming in the exam will be indicated.

If I pass the exam, do I get an IoD Diploma in Company Direction?

No, all that the exam pass shows is that you have the requisite knowledge to become a Chartered Director. If you want an IoD Diploma in Company Direction, you will have to undertake the full study route.

I am not a director at the moment but I am seeking some non-executive positions. However, I have several years experience as a director, am I eligible?

To qualify for Chartered Director you do not necessarily have to be a current board director. However you must demonstrate at least three years experience as a director in the recent past and gain an appropriate board position within one year.

I am a director of a small company, am I eligible for Chartered Director?

Yes. As long as you can demonstrate a minimum of three years experience as a director, have regular board meetings and your company has at least three directors. There are Chartered Directors from the public and third sector too.

I do not have a degree or professional qualification. Can I still qualify as a Chartered Director?

Yes you can still qualify as a Chartered Director. You will need to demonstrate seven years experience at board level if you do not have a degree or professional qualification.

I am a non-executive director, am I eligible?

There is no distinction between the executive director and the NED for election to C Dir. Being a Chartered Director and a non-executive director is a clear demonstration of your ability and integrity.

I do not know any IoD members or Chartered Directors to act as my proposers, how can I register?

The IoD is happy to accept non IoD members as proposers so long as they are known to the candidate in a professional role such as a fellow director, MD or chairman or professional advisor.

How much does it cost?

It depends on your study route, and the associated course costs. In addition the Chartered Director application costs ÂŁ500 exclusive of VAT.

Non-Executive Director

The Cadbury report said that a Non-Executive Director should bring independent judgement to bear on issues of strategy, performance, resources – including key appointments and standards of conduct. Of course, in law, there is no distinction between executive and non-executive directors – both have the same legal duties, responsibilities and potential liabilities even though the non-executive director is not as fully immersed within the business of the company. However the NED must show the same commitment.

The Non-Executive role is to provide an independent and objective critique, to have the knowledge and experience to challenge the opinions of the Executive Board Directors should this be required. They should be impartial and add value to the business by merit of their wide-ranging experience, high calibre track record and personal qualities.

Cadbury also said of the Non-Executive that they are persons who apart from director’s fees and shareholdings are independent of the management and free from any business or other relationships that could materially interfere with the exercise of the independent judgement.

Both the Cadbury and Hampel reports stress that the board should include independent non-executive directors of sufficient calibre and number for their views to carry significant weight in the board’s decisions.

The Stock Exchange’s Combined Code advises that the balance of executive and non-executive directors should be such that no individual or small group of individuals can dominate the board’s decision taking. Non-executive directors should comprise not less than one-third of the board.

Derek Higgs, independent business adviser, said non-executive directors should come from a wider pool of candidates, get more training and take a more important boardroom role. In addition, he argues that at least half of board members should be independent of management and work to improve their relationship with shareholders. He also recommends separation of the role of chairman and chief executive, and says the latter should never become chairman in the same company. At the presentation of his report, Higgs said his new code would 'not provide a cast-iron guarantee that nothing will go wrong' and that it is a guideline rather than a 'prescription'. Furthermore, Sir Robert Smith recommended that an Audit Committee be formed with regard to appointing auditors, reviewing financial statements and internal financial controls and said that this committee should be made up by at least 50% independent non-executive directors.

While much of the comment and discussion on non-executive directors tend to focus on listed companies, it is important to note that they can also make a valuable, albeit somewhat different, contribution to private companies. Indeed, there are a growing number of private companies, including relatively small ones that are now actively searching for the “right” non-executive director.

Intervallum Limited can provide your business with an Independent Non-Executive Director with many years Main Board experience, multi sector knowledge and professionally qualified to the Institute of Directors Chartered Director level.

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