Getting Started

Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be on your way to advancing your directorship career by becoming NACD Directorship Certified™.

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™.

Online applications opening soon. We are now accepting preregistrations.

During the application process, you will be able to select your prerequisite course. If you meet the prerequisite minimum for directorship experience, you will be given the opportunity to bypass the course, and you can proceed right to scheduling your exam.

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 in addition to 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 – These reports offer in-depth treatment of major governance topics and 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, it also helps credential holders continue to enhance with directorship knowledge. 

To learn more about maintaining your certification, view Recertification Requirements.