Education going global

Monday, 01 September 2014


    Company Directors offers a range of educational tools to support directors and senior executives working across countries, cultures and regulatory frameworks.

    In addition to a growing number of Australian Institute of Company Directors members living outside Australia (around 1,200 people), there is an increasing amount of members based in Australia who are now operating internationally. Working across countries, cultures and regulatory frameworks is exhilarating, but can be challenging. Company Directors has developed a learning pathway (see Figure 1) to help directors clarify their roles and come to grips with issues commonly encountered in a global context.

    In June this year, Company Directors piloted a new International Foundations of Directorship program (IFoD). The program offers a comprehensive and global view of governance, strategy, risk and finance as they relate to directors. Designed especially for senior executives and directors working across regulatory, cultural and social borders, this program is an ideal introduction or refresher to international governance and has been designed as a precursor to the more comprehensive five-day International Company Directors Course (ICDC).

    “The variety of participants delivered a truly global perspective and I found the frank and open discussion added greatly to the insights I gained from the sessions. The facilitators also provided useful checklists, practical tips and takeaways and the course delivers a holistic approach to being an effective company director in an international setting,” says participant Lawrence Kwan MAICD.

    The next program will be offered in Singapore in November 2014.

    Now in its sixth year, the ICDC remains the only program of its kind. Held as a residential course over five intensive days, it continues to provide participants with a thorough understanding of their roles and responsibilities when operating internationally. The course is ideally suited to directors, chairmen, managing directors, senior managers and executives of international public, private, not-for-profit and government organisations who are working across regulatory frameworks or are engaging in business with an Australian organisation.

    “The intensive ICDC is the most valuable program I have undertaken in more than 30 years of work and professional development,” observes Geoff Barbaro MAICD, general manager of the Australasian College of Physical Scientists & Engineers (ACPSEM). “The depth of the materials, the expertise of the presenters and the mix of the participants all contributed to an outstanding experience, both in developing my capacity as an international director and in showing us better ways of understanding business, and organisational and social cultures globally. The combination of the practical program design and the insights based on the experiences of both presenters and participants provided the perfect platform for an intensive program. It was a demanding and focused but immensely enjoyable and worthwhile experience.”

    The next course will be offered in Bali from 20-25 November 2014.

    Region-specific programs

    As part of the broader international offering, Company Directors also tailors courses to specific regions. Now in its second year, the Fiji Director’s Course is an example of such a course developed specifically for directors operating in a particular jurisdiction.

    “As a nation going through significant change, promoting the values of good governance and fiduciary duty in both the private and public sector, the Fiji Director’s Course could not have come along at a better time,” reports Nigel Skeggs MAICD, managing director of Port Denarau Marina.

    “Over the three days we were educated and challenged by very knowledgeable lecturers who not only disseminated the knowledge, but also encouraged us to apply said lessons directly into the boards that individuals are actively on. It was an opportunity to develop ideas, strengthen ties within the business community and discuss issues pertinent to effectively performing our duties on a board within the local context and legislation.

    “I thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking to participate at the boardroom level or who are currently sitting on boards.”

    International events

    Company Directors now has an international division with responsibility for delivering both the education and events program globally. With a focus on offering relevant and contemporary information and networking opportunities, the international director briefings are provided to members and guests predominantly located in the South East Asian region, the Pacific and China, but also include ad hoc events in London and other global cities. Recent topics include Developing your Director Career, The Role of the Director on a Subsidiary Board and Cultural Context in Board Decision- making. These briefing topics reflect not only the information needs of the membership, but also offer a unique opportunity for networking with other directors in the region and from other countries.

    Remote Learning

    In addition to face-to-face programs, Company Directors provides global professional development through webinars and e-learning courses. All webinars are recorded, ensuring they can be experienced anywhere, anytime. The annual Essential Director Update is also now accessible by webinar and will be supported by an e-book publication of the booklet distributed at the live sessions. For the second time we will be offering an International Essential Director Update webinar for those operating across borders. Both webinars are free and available to members only.Stay in touch

    Other activities offered to international members include a quarterly newsletter and a dedicated member relations executive who is able to address the unique needs of the global diaspora which makes up the international division. We look forward to hearing from our international members. Full details of all these events and courses can be found on the international page of our website.

    Upcoming webinars

    Essential Director Update: 5 and 10 November, 10 DPD units.
    International Essential Director Update: 10 December, 10 DPD units.
    Subsidiary Boards: 7 October, 5 DPD units.

    E-learning courses

    The Role of the Board: 5 DPD units.
    The Role of the Director: 5 DPD units.
    Governance in Action: 5 DPD units.
    Effective Board Meetings: 5 DPD units.
    Conflicts of Interest: 5 DPD units.
    Reporting to the Board: 5 DPD units.
    *New* Interpreting Financial Statements: 5 DPD units.

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