About Us

In February 2003, The Conference Board of Canada joined with the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University to create The Directors College,* Canada’s first university accredited corporate director development program.

The Conference Board of Canada has a long track record in director training, governance research, and the organization of learning events. It has developed and tested a principle-based governance model, whose competencies form the basis of programs of The Directors College.

The DeGroote School of Business at McMaster has demonstrated expertise in developing and implementing adult learning models, executive education, governance research, substantive content, and professional accreditation.

The Directors College founders and sponsors bring their national and international expertise in strong corporate governance to the program, improving the capability of corporate directors.

The Directors College Chartered Director* program was developed using the components of excellence in board governance, codified in The Conference Board of Canada’s principle-based governance model. These principles guide leaders in the development of governance guidelines and the implementation and evaluation of specific governance practices, appropriate to their organization.

The Directors College curriculum recognizes both the “technical and structural” (rules-based)and the “cultural” (principle-based and behavioural)sides of directorship. It raises the bar for professional standards and the dynamic relationship between corporate governance and corporate social responsibility.

*The Directors College, Chartered Director, C.Dir., The Board Simulation, Human Resources and Compensation Committee Certified, H.R.C.C.C., Audit Committee Certified, and A.C.C. are official marks of McMaster University.

The Conference Board of Canada’s Principle-Based Governance Model

What our graduates say?

“The Chartered Director program provided me with a solid foundation in governance which built my confidence to comprehensively serve as a director. The exceptional content and educational process enhanced my curiosity, courage and ability to ask the right questions on crown, non-profit and corporate boards.”

Victor T. Thomas, C.Dir., H.R.C.C.C., Vice Chair, SaskEnergy

“I thought the entire program was very well developed and comprehensive. You never know what to expect when you sign-up for these programs and this exceeded my expectations and was a great learning opportunity.”

James Scongack, C.Dir., Vice-President of Corporate Affairs, Bruce Power LP

“I found the Chartered Director Program to be an excellent forum to understand how strong governance complements effective management. The ability to create and execute an effective strategy is significantly enhanced by a robust process inclusive of board engagement where the right questions are asked and expected outcomes are identified. I truly enjoyed the setting which fostered a strong level of interaction that was supported by quality presentations and material. As CEO of a Shared Service Organization set to deliver benefits to its members, I see the advantage of having a number of our board members participating in this program.”

Tony Di Emanuele, MBA, C.Dir., President and CEO, Mohawk Shared Services

“I found the Directors College to be an excellent survey of the important matters of which a director must be aware in today’s corporate environment. The quality of the presentation and materials was first-rate and the perspectives gained were invaluable. I would highly recommend the Directors College.”

The Honourable John Manley, P.C., O.C., C.Dir., Former Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister

“The changes that impact corporate governance are establishing a pattern of increased accountability for the delivery of long-term value to customers, shareholders, employees and society. Proper corporate governance is now being defined to include knowledge of critical elements such as risk management and the measurement of strategic performance. At the end of the day, each board will be judged on its ability to effectively deliver value, rather than on its structure. The Directors College innovative program fills a unique and important gap in providing knowledge and insight as to how this expectation can be met. CMA Canada is pleased to be a sponsor of this timely initiative.”

Steve Vieweg, C.Dir., Director, Executive Development, I.H. Asper School of Business – University of Manitoba

“As an organization focused on educating corporate secretaries, the ICSA believes in furthering the potential of board members to better contribute to building effective governance structures. Given the key role of directors and corporate secretaries in applying proper boardroom practices, corporations need to ensure that these individuals meet a professional standard. The Directors College curriculum covers all the formal regulatory issues for directors and also addresses the informal skills of building effective and appropriate relationships with senior management. We see significant benefits to this program and ICSA is pleased to endorse it.”

Lynn Beauregard, President, Canadian Society of Corporate Secretaries

The Directors College has developed a director education program which goes well beyond the fundamentals to address the structures and the behavioural components of principle-based governance. I am proud to be associated with the Directors College and I am honoured to lend my name to the College’s graduate award.

Gilbert Bennett, Director and Former Chairman of the Board, Canadian Tire Corporation Limited

“Our strategy is to raise the horizons and potential of directors by deepening and enriching their knowledge and application of advanced skills. Increasing the effectiveness of existing directors and broadening the pool of potential directors will contribute to the professionalism of boards across Canada.”

David Beatty, Managing Director, Canadian Coalition for Good Governance