Director Education Framework

Director Education Framework

The standard for corporate director education.

In the spirit of helping corporate directors foster boardroom cultures that are focused on continuous improvement, long-term value creation, and strengthening investor trust and public confidence, NACD has established the standard for director education.

The establishment of a standard in director education creates much-needed clarity about the knowledge and competencies directors should develop to become high-performing board leaders. This new approach to director education defines effective board leadership in relation to increasing expectations for director performance in a dynamic and constantly evolving business environment.

Using its proprietary framework, NACD's standard creates the most comprehensive director knowledge pathway—from awareness to insights to mastery.

NACD's Director Education Framework maps core responsibilities of the board to critical areas of director knowledge that are essential to a director's ability to lead with confidence in the boardroom.

Core Board ResponsibilitiesAreas of Director Knowledge and Competency

Board Governance, Structure, and Function

Board Role and Structure

Director Duties and Liabilities

Board Operations and Process

Committee Roles, Responsibilities, and Activities

Ongoing Board Responsibilities and Activities

Financial and Managerial Decision Making

Talent Oversight

Strategy Oversight and Planning

Risk Oversight

Shareholder Considerations

Shareholder Engagement

Corporate Transformations

Emerging Issues

Perspectives on the Horizon

With 40 years of experience in developing leading and next-level boardroom practices, NACD developed this framework with input from leading corporate directors—including highly experienced members of NACD's education program faculty, governance thought leaders, institutional investors, and other stakeholders. The framework draws on NACD's extensive library of proprietary research, including findings and recommendations from our 23 Blue Ribbon Commission Reports, guidance from NACD's Advisory Councils, and our Key Agreed Principles for Corporate Governance.

Building on the cornerstone of our mission—to identify, interpret, and deliver insights on critical board issues—the NACD Director Education Framework helps directors

  • stay current on leading and next-level boardroom practices;
  • ensure their decisions and judgments are based on sound interpretations of the current and future environment
  • understand emerging issues, so that they can engage management in knowledge-based discussions about associated opportunities, risks, and challenges
  • reinforce their reputations as effective board members, even in times of great challenge; and
  • continuously improve their performance as individual directors and as part of a boardroom team.

From a practical, individualized perspective, NACD will use the Director Education Framework to help directors chart their own personalized roadmap for learning and development as they journey to become high-impact board leaders. Further, NACD is using the framework to redesign its more than 50 director education programs.

By taking a comprehensive approach to advancing exemplary board leadership, the NACD Director Education Framework serves as a model that all organizations providing director education can follow.

NACD will make the framework available to all organizations that provide corporate governance education under terms and attribution to NACD. In this way, the framework can elevate the value of all director education programs—helping to strengthen governance practices and promote sustainable, long-term corporate success.