Foundation Course

NACD Director Professionalism®

For those looking to become NACD Directorship Certified™, NACD’s renowned Director Professionalism course serves as the prerequisite foundation course for the certification program. 

New and aspiring public company directors will gain real-world and real-time insights into boardroom fundamentals in today’s dynamic business environment.  

If you are an experienced director with significant board experience or have already taken NACD Director Professionalism, you may be eligible to skip this course and go right to the exam.  Learn more about eligibility and exceptions.

Offered frequently throughout the year and also online, you will be able to select your preferred course during the certification application process. The price of Director Professionalism is included in the Complete Certification Package fee.

2020 Director Professionalism Schedule

March 2-4 | Miami, FL | Four Seasons Miami

March 30-Apr. 1 | Grapevine, TX | Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center

Aug. 25-27 | Rancho Palos Verdes, CA | Terranea Resort

Dec. 7-9 | Orlando, FL | Four Seasons Orlando

Your Schedule | Online | Your Location 

Program Format

Through panel discussions, case studies, and keynote presentations with experienced directors, you’ll benefit from real-world and real-time insights into board effectiveness and the evolving role of key committees in today's dynamic business environment.

Small-group peer exchanges will offer dynamic Q&A on the unique governance challenges and emerging issues facing public, private, and nonprofit boards—and ample time for networking.

Learning Objectives

This comprehensive course provides a robust foundation in the fundamentals and leading practices essential to boardroom effectiveness in today's dynamic corporate governance environment. All course participants gain awareness of the board's core responsibilities and critical areas of director knowledge established in the NACD Director Education Framework.

This comprehensive course provides a robust foundation in the fundamentals and leading practices essential to boardroom effectiveness in today's dynamic corporate governance environment. All course participants gain awareness of the board's core responsibilities and critical areas of director knowledge established in the NACD Director Education Framework.

  • Learn from seasoned directors how to gear your unique skills, business knowledge, leadership capabilities, and breadth of experience to become a more strategic asset in the boardroom and position yourself for future board seats

  • Prepare for board meetings with best practices for agenda setting, onboarding, executive sessions, and planning the board calendar, as well as techniques for healthy board dynamics

  • Develop renewed insights on the most meaningful metrics for understanding and analyzing financial performance

  • Understand the critical roles and expanding requirements of key board committees—Nominating and Governance, Compensation, and Audit—where the heavy lifting is done on the board

  • Gain real-world insights for effective oversight of short-term and long-term strategy at different points in the company's lifecycle—from acquisitions and joint ventures to the IPO

  • Deepen your understanding of the board's role in risk oversight and fiduciary responsibilities to address and limit director liability

  • Increase the board's effectiveness in talent oversight and board/C-suite relationships, including CEO compensation and succession planning to information flow

  • Practical tools for horizon and scenario planning emerging trends and disruptors, including cyber and technology, changing demographics, geopolitical shifts, and the latest developments on Capitol Hill

  • Create a strong, effective, and proactive communications plan for investor and shareholder engagement during and outside of proxy season