Why NACD Certification?


Excerpt from NACD Directorship Magazine

Over the last two years, NACD has worked hard to define a new standard for director education in response to the convergence of a fast-moving, dynamic business environment with changing expectations for the role of the board. This recent cover story details the advent of NACD certification, the process in which it was created, and the power behind the program.


Becoming NACD Directorship Certified™ distinguishes you as a director. The program is designed first and foremost as a framework for continuous learning. It equips certified individuals with the baseline knowledge, skills, and abilities they need to contribute to the boardroom dialogue on day one. If you are an experienced director, certification will provide a comprehensive way to highlight your commitment to staying current on the latest information and insights necessary to contribute effectively in the boardroom.


Directorship is no longer an honorary position—it is a profession. Experienced directors must demonstrate that they are keeping on top of the emerging issues and trends impacting financial performance, disrupting business models, and changing the competitive landscape. New directors who bring relevant skills must also show that they understand the unique role and responsibilities of the board. Directors at every level must show that they can oversee a host of issues affecting strategy and risk, including corporate transformation, organizational culture, cybersecurity, and long-term value creation. This program provides the cornerstones for this knowledge, backed by comprehensive coursework and a robust study guide and exam that tests for the baseline knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to serve confidently on a board.


Whether you’re focused on establishing your directorship skills, furthering your directorship career, or staying relevant, becoming certified is a tangible mark of your growth and advancement.


Hundreds of directors from all over the United States were involved in envisioning, developing, and pressure testing the exam based on their real-world experience and with an eye toward the most relevant baseline knowledge, skills, and abilities that they would want prospective colleagues to demonstrate.


Annual proxy statements in the United States must include a description of the qualifications of board candidates up for reelection. Being NACD Directorship Certified™ will be a sign to shareholders that you have committed to your ongoing professional development as a director, and will distinguish you in a board search.


Being a certified director will help you to compete and to engage with a global community of directors, where exam-based certification is already in practice.  


NACD is partnering with Pearson VUE, part of Pearson, the world's largest learning company, to bring you the convenience of nearly 300 testing centers worldwide.


As the recognized authority leading over 21,000 board directors, NACD is the ideal organization to convene this certification program. The content for the course, the study guide, and the exam were curated from over 40 years of best-in-class NACD education programming.