The CDC a lasting legacy

Saturday, 01 February 2014


    Our flagship Company Directors Course gets the thumbs up from past participants and those involved in developing and delivering it.

    The Company Directors Course is attended by a wide variety of participants for many reasons – whether to extend and build on a fledgling director career, act as a catalyst for a change in career direction from an established executive career or even to build on one’s knowledge of governance in a new role that requires reporting to a board.

    A survey conducted last year by Company Directors revealed the course delivered to all these types of participants. The survey picked up resounding satisfaction and recognition of the course, finding that more than 98 per cent of participants recommended the course to others.

    Every year, the Company Directors Course undergoes an intensive review. Changes to legislation and regulations are reflected in the course materials as they arise throughout the year. The Company Directors Course Update is a two-day course for past participants to renew and refresh their governance knowledge. It is an opportunity to catch up on the changes since the participant last undertook the course.

    Behind the scenes, there are several professional directors, subject-matter experts and education-design specialists working to develop and deliver the flagship course.

    We asked a range of stakeholders to reflect on their involvement and the benefits the course has delivered. Here’s what they had to say:

    Dr Katherine Woodthorpe FAICD, deputy chairman of the Curriculum Portfolio Committee, observes: “The Company Directors Course is a valuable learning experience for aspiring directors and those who have served on boards for some time.

    “It brings together the full range of topics and issues that confront directors in the increasingly complex role they undertake.

    “I undertook the course soon after starting on my first listed board and it gave me the confidence to hold my own in board meetings and relate to experienced directors peer to peer.”

    Sally Murphy, a senior education product manager at Company Directors, adds: “The high calibre of our contributors is reflected in the course content and its delivery. Helping the course come to life – for example, through the development of resources such as the integrated case study – is a great experience as we see the positive feedback and reflection from participants on how this enhanced the learning experience for them.”

    Virginia Hickey FAICD, a core course facilitator, notes: “I think one of the most important things participants gain from the course is a ‘hook to hang things on’. Participants often intuitively think there are better ways of doing things in the boardroom, but don’t always have the language or theory to convince other board members. For example, if a director is trying to persuade the board it should be more accountable or less operational, he or she can draw on good practice examples and governance guidelines provided in the course. This gives their voice more ‘carry’, empowers them and ultimately improves board practice.”

    Similarly, Stephen Marsden MAICD, Finance facilitator, module writer and reviewer, says: “I find the Company Directors Course unique. It’s like undertaking a mini MBA. The course exposes directors and aspiring directors to a variety of topics, content and facilitators that provides an excellent overview of the skills required of a director in today’s business environment. I also witness and experience networking opportunities to meet other like-minded professionals from a variety of backgrounds.”

    Dr Andrew Refshauge FAICD completed the Company Directors Course in 2005. He says: “My experience has been enhanced by the context the Company Directors Course provided and my decision-making improved by the focus that the course gave me. I am always using what I learned in the Company Directors Course in every board meeting and encourage those around the board table to enrol.”

    Dr Amanda Bell FAICD, who completed the Company Directors Course in 2010, notes: “I elected to attend it in a different city to where I worked to meet a broader range of participants. I am still in contact with the people I met, some of whom now hold non-executive positions in listed companies. The course was challenging, comprehensive and delivered by engaging experts who made some of the drier aspects of governance approachable and interesting. I became a better board contributor as a result and I still rely on the skills and knowledge learnt.”

    Renaye Peters FAICD, who completed the Company Directors Course in 2005 and the Company Directors Course Update in 2013, adds: “I gained new insights into the role of a director and the responsibilities of a board. The Update allowed me to explore and ask questions based on nearly a decade of experience and current issues I was facing.
    “Both courses provided invaluable insight into my own relationship with the board as an executive. Due to the effect it had on my career, I always recommend the course. I believe it gives great preparation for being a director, but equally gives executives great insight into the relationship they have with their CEO and board.”


    The Company Directors Course is offered frequently across Australia in a range of formats including, among others, our five-day residential program, self-paced program and In-Boardroom. Enrolment in your preferred location and format is possible by visiting our website:

    The Company Directors Course Update will be offered. See below for locations and dates for this course:

    Enrol now at:

    Get involved
    If you are interested in getting involved with Director and Board Development at Company Directors as a contributor, writer, reviewer, facilitator or marker, please contact your division office for further information or email us at:

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