Getting Started

Follow these simple steps to be NACD Directorship Certified® and advance your governance career. 

1. Determine your eligibility. 

At this time, NACD Membership is required to become NACD Directorship Certified. If you are not yet an NACD Member, learn more about joining at

Sitting for the certification exam requires prerequisite course work or equivalent directorship experience. For those requirements, view Eligibility Criteria.

2. Apply for NACD Directorship Certification®.

During the application process, you will be able to select your prerequisite course. If you meet the prerequisite minimum for directorship experience, you are permitted to bypass the course and move to the next step in the NACD Directorship Certified® program by scheduling your exam.

We are now accepting online applications.

Need assistance in the Certification process?

Contact your Board Advisor or email

3. Prepare for the exam.

Upon confirmation of your certification application, you will receive the NACD Directorship Certification Study Guide®. At a minimum, NACD recommends that candidates schedule at least four (4) weeks to prepare for the exam using this guide and other NACD materials. You may consider using these resources:

  • The NACD Library – Enhance your proficiency in the full range of certification topics. You can begin by looking through the NACD Resource Centers.

  • The NACD Collection of Blue Ribbon Commission Reports – Read an in-depth analysis of major governance topics that helped inform the certification program.

4. Take the exam and leverage your certification.

You will receive your official test results from the Pearson VUE Testing Center upon completion of the exam. Once you pass, you can begin to set yourself apart by using your new credential.

5. Keep up with your certification. 

Not only is recertification required to maintain the certification, but it also helps credential holders continue to enhance their directorship knowledge.

To learn more about maintaining your certification, view recertification requirements.