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Pandemic Impacts the Boardroom as Required Skills and Expertise for Directors Undergo Shift


“Continuous professional development is even more important post-COVID because the scope of governance is evolving,” says the IoD’s Maura Quinn CDir as latest enrolment dates for its Chartered Director Programme announced.

Research by the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Ireland has found that business leaders believe that, post-pandemic, strategy is still the most important skill required by all directors on a board. Strategy is a key component of the IoD Chartered Director Programme, while other elements of the programme include company finance, leadership, and governance.

Interestingly, IoD research has also found that the other required skills and expertise for company directors have undergone a shift during the pandemic, with ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance), innovation, cyber security, and digital all increasing in importance. The aforementioned two IoD research surveys were conducted during the pandemic and almost one year apart (2020 and 2021) by IoD Ireland. 

Furthermore, in the IoD’s most recent research (Q4 2021), when asked, ‘How often do you update your governance/regulatory knowledge through training, webinars, factsheets, etc, to ensure you are up to date with the latest requirements of being a board director?’, 45% of business leaders selected the option ‘any opportunity when I have the time’.

The IoD’s highlighting of the findings comes as the organisation announces the latest enrolment dates for its flagship Chartered Director Programme, starting in September 2022.

Commenting on the shift in required board skills and expertise, Maura Quinn CDir, Chief Executive, Institute of Directors (IoD) in Ireland, said:

“Our research has found that continuous professional development is even more important post-COVID, because the scope of governance is evolving to meet changing times. There has been a shift in relation to requisite board members’ expertise and experience and it is important that all directors are cognisant of this and keep abreast of what boards are looking for in order to meet the highest and evolving standards of good governance.”

Maura Quinn’s comments come as the IoD announced a comprehensive and diverse number of professional development courses and workshops aimed specifically at company directors, including the latest details for the September 2022 intake of its flagship Chartered Director Programme, which has been running since 2008.

Maura Quinn added: 

“Our Chartered Director Programme is the gold standard of director training, and the IoD is the only body in Ireland that provides the full designation and recognition as a professional Chartered Director (CDir). It is a challenging and rewarding programme, incorporating a Certificate and Diploma in Company Direction. Furthermore, in anticipation of the increased demand from directors and business leaders for further knowledge and insights on ESG for their boards, we will be running our second online course on ESG titled, ‘Leading Sustainability: What Directors Need to Know and How to Do It’, beginning in March. Throughout 2022, we will also be delivering a series of workshops on key governance areas for directors.”

For more information, visit the Chartered Director Programme website page, and for more information about our director training, visit the IoD website.