Director Professional Development

Enhance your individual development by tracking your professional learning activities.  




Commit to lifelong learning.

Director Professional Development (DPD) helps you to track your ongoing professional development throughout the year. Accrue DPD units by participating in an extensive range of activities.

Valuing your commitment to good practice in governance02:59

Director Professional Development (DPD) is defined as "activities undertaken to improve directors’ skills and capabilities" as identified in the Company Directors Corporate Governance Framework™. DPD is broken into units (DPD units) that can be accrued by engaging with the variety of offerings that the AICD provides.  

Who is it for?

Members (MAICD), Graduates (GAICD) and Fellows (FAICD) are required to accrue and maintain 60 DPD units over a rolling three-year cycle. DPD also applies to international members in the above categories. DPD does not have a bearing on membership grades or renewal for affiliates, retired members or Life Fellows.

For example, if you joined us in 2019, you have until your renewal date in 2022 to accrue at least 60 DPD units within that time frame (we recommend you aim for at least 20 units per year). We will ask you to confirm that you have fulfilled the mandatory DPD requirements upon renewal of membership.

How does it work?

You can accrue DPD units for both formal and informal learning that you undertake to improve your skills and capabilities as a director, and in some cases, where you contribute to the learning of others.

DPD units can be accrued by engaging in professional development activities through:

  • The AICD;
  • Other organisations of appropriate professional standing; and
  • Informal learning such as briefings, practical application and reflection, and professional reading (not just formal courses and events).

Professional development can be challenging, but recording your DPD units online is easy.

Recording DPD units online

To record your DPD units online, simply go to 'add and view DPD units' (login required, desktop only) and select ‘add activity’.

Most of the professional development activities you undertake with AICD (e.g. courses, events and webinars) will automatically display on this page. Other activities, including those undertaken with other organisations, can quickly and easily be logged using the ‘add activity’ button.

Maintaining your own record

Should you wish to maintain your own records, we recommend recording the name and type of the activity, the provider, which quadrant it relates to on the Company Directors Corporate Governance Framework and how many DPD units it is worth.

For activities completed with other organisations, you should also retain relevant documentation (e.g. certificate of completion) that may be required as part of the audit process (see below).

Awarding DPD units

For a full list of our activities and their DPD units, refer to our DPD unit values table.

You can use the unit values table as a guide to how many units you can accrue from undertaking professional development through other organisations. For a third party activity to be eligible, it must have a directorship or governance focus.

Audit process

DPD is a self-reporting system, subject to an audit process. A small number of members will be selected each month to determine whether, at the time of auditing, the relevant member fulfilled their mandatory DPD requirement. 

There are many ways you can develop your director skills and accrue DPD units, including our extensive professional development offerings, which cover information for different learning levels, sectors, and in a range of formats. 

The Company Directors Corporate Governance Framework™ sets out the areas of director, board and governance practice recognised in DPD. The framework has four quadrants, each subdivided into a number of topics representing the skill, knowledge and practice of directorship and governance.

Everyday ways to accrue DPD units

Here are some of the ways that members can accrue DPD units without any additional cost:

  1. Professional reading Reading the Company Director magazine, The Boardroom Report, complimentary publications available in our bookstore, professional journals and/or learning content from other appropriate organisations, as well as engaging in discussion within our member-only LinkedIn group, can all accrue a combined total of 10 units each year.

  2. Webinars and webinar recordings We host complimentary webinars and webinar recordings on a range of topics every year. The majority of our webinars enable you to accrue 5 DPD units. 
  3. Essential Director Update The member-only Essential Director Update and the International Essential Director Update events we hold each year (whether attended in person or viewed online) accrue 10 DPD units.
  4. Self-assessment Tool Using the Self-assessment Tool to further assist with your professional development planning accrues 5 DPD units per completed assessment (with a maximum total of 10 DPD units per year).

For international and regional members

There are many activities available for our regional and international members that don't involve travelling to Australian capital cities for our events or courses. We have a range of webinars and webinar recordings, online courses, reading resources and activities through external providers.

High-value DPD activities

Examples of AICD activities which accrue a high number of DPD units include the Company Directors Course (which accrues 50 units, plus 10 units after successful completion of the assessment) and International Company Directors Course (50 units, plus 10 units after successful completion of the assessment), and Boardroom Mastery (40 units).

DPD unit values table

For a full list of our activities and their attributed DPD units, please refer to our DPD Unit Values Table. You can also use the unit values table as a guide to how many units you can accrue from undertaking activities through other organisations.

Our members are eligible to accrue DPD units for practical experience and reflection.

We recognise that you may develop your skills and capabilities through seeking guidance on governance and directorship issues and by reflecting on your practical experience that contributes to organisational governance and performance.

At the AICD, we are encourage excellence in governance and performance. Our members are eligible to accrue DPD units for practical experience and reflection.

We recognise the learning experiences you have when you:

  • Seek guidance from others; and
  • Reflect on your practical experiences.

We believe this demonstrates your commitment and your application to contributing to greater effectiveness in your role, in governance practice and your organisation's performance.

The learning and insights you gain or develop through practical experience and reflection is recognised for DPD units where it:

  • Is aligned with the Company Directors Corporate Governance Framework™;
  • Contributes to new thinking;
  • Is actionable and influences your practice and behaviours;
  • Creates opportunities for you to grow and develop your capability; or
  • Involves active seeking, sense making and sharing of the knowledge that exists in the director community.

DPD categories

Learning through practical experience and reflection is recognised under two categories:

  1. Expanding your thinking (guidance sought on governance and directorship)

  2. Reflecting on valuable experiences (undertaking a reflective post-scenario review)

Expanding Your Thinking

Are you working towards a directorship goal? Do you need to deliver on a new project or initiative(s)?

We will recognise your activities that demonstrate a thoughtful process of sourcing input, knowledge and guidance from others with expertise in similar areas.

Whilst attending board meetings for directorships (paid or unpaid) does not qualify as professional development, we believe the process of reaching out to others offers learning opportunities and influences the quality of your decision making and performance.

To this end, we support and appreciate our members who:

  • Explore a range of alternative ideas and solutions in practising their roles.

  • Seek to develop capabilities as appropriate to their unique context.

  • Become aware of potential cognitive dissonance.

  • Remain open to evidence or information that may disconfirm an established position.

  • Seek to create mutual or reciprocal value in peer-to-peer exchanges.

  • Strive to enhance organisational performance.

What guidance is eligible?

We will recognise those who seek to enhance their performance by asking more questions, considering new thinking, broadening options and/or working through more diverse feedback before choosing a course of action.

DPD units can be accrued for guidance sought when there is clear intent to strive for excellence in governance and performance and a willingness to pursue continuous improvement or to challenge accepted wisdom that may be out of date.

This activity will accrue 5 DPD units. Please keep a record in case you are randomly selected for an audit.

See our template for seeking guidance and expanding your thinking for further information.

Reflecting on valuable experiences

The process of reflection supports deeper learning as individuals consider underlying values, assumptions, areas of potential bias, concerns and identify possible areas for improvement.

The option to accrue DPD units for writing a reflective review is similar to accruing units for publishing articles or delivering presentations on significant experiences in directorship or governance.

However, if you are unable to publish or present your experience (e.g. for confidentiality concerns or lack of opportunity), there is still great value in the process of recording the impact of your activities and lessons learned. Such reflections may contribute to your professional development and that of the wider director community (if shared with peers or within trusted networks without breaching privacy or confidentiality). Please contact our communications team if you would like to share your reflections with us.

A completed reflective review will accrue 10 DPD units. Please keep a record in case you are randomly selected for an audit.

For further information, please see our template for writing a reflective review on your valuable experiences.

Preparing for end of initial DPD foundation years.

You need to accrue at least 60 DPD units in your three-year period. Your first three-year period is known as your DPD foundation period. We recommend you aim for at least 20 units per year.

We will ask you to confirm that you have fulfilled our mandatory DPD requirements upon renewal of membership. To check when your DPD three-year period is please log in to the member area of our website.

Following the initial three-year DPD foundation period, you are required to maintain at least 60 DPD units on a rolling three-year basis.


We will select a small number of members each month to determine whether, at the time of auditing, the relevant member fulfilled their mandatory DPD requirement.

If you have completed 60 DPD units of activity through us which is recorded automatically, you will have fulfilled the audit requirements and will require no further action.

If you have undertaken DPD activity through a third party or which cannot be verified through us, you will be contacted by an AICD representative who will assist you in the process for providing your evidence of that activity as proof of participation. They will also assist you with identifying activities that will best suit your professional development pathway that will attract DPD units.

In the event that you have not met your DPD requirement, under your current membership level there will be a 'period of grace' with the opportunity to make good your DPD deficit plus maintain your 60 DPD unit obligation prior to your next member renewal. Your dedicated membership partner will provide you with extra support to plan your professional development pathway during this time. You have a one-off period of grace. You will be subject to a compliance audit three months prior to renewal.

A member who cannot demonstrate compliance after the period of grace has lapsed, will be able to renew their membership at the Affiliate level.For more information about DPD, please contact us.



Do you have further questions about DPD?

We have compiled a comprehensive list of questions and answers to help guide you with your Director Professional Development.

Need help?

Contact us for any queries you have about AICD membership, services and advocacy work.


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