NACD Fellowship

NACD Fellowship


NACD Fellowship provides a director-education roadmap for continuous learning, so directors are always ready for tomorrow’s boardroom, whatever it may bring. NACD Fellows stay ahead of emerging issues and abreast of leading boardroom practices. NACD FellowshipThe Gold Standard Director Credential® is recognized by investors, regulators, and the director community. Become a Fellow, enjoy the benefits, and join a growing network of directors.


Becoming an NACD Fellow

Your path to NACD Fellowship begins with an NACD Foundation Course. After attending the course, build on your foundation by earning credits to achieve Fellowship. NACD's wide variety of director-education programs and events, both in-person and online, award credits toward Fellowship. Once you’ve earned your credits, maintain your credential by earning credits annually.

Board Leadership Fellowship

The NACD Board Leadership Fellowship empowers experienced and rising board leaders with a pathway of continuous insights, boardroom intelligence, and leading boardroom practices.

  • Step 1: Request an invitation to NACD Master Class.
  • Step 2: Complete six (6) Skill and four (4) Collaborative Fellowship credits within one year of attending Master Class.
  • Step 3: Maintain six (6) Skill and four (4) Collaborative Fellowship credits annually.

Governance Fellowship

The NACD Governance Fellowship* provides new and aspiring directors with a solid foundation in corporate governance, so that they have the confidence needed to lead in the boardroom from day one.

  • Step 1: Complete Director Professionalism® or Virtual Director Professionalism in 2019.
  • Step 2: Complete four (4) Fellowship credits within one year of attending Director Professionalism (in person or virtual).
  • Step 3: Maintain four (4) Fellowship credits** annually.
  • **These credits can be any combination of Skill or Collaborative Fellowship credits.

Review your Fellowship transcript for a history of your completed NACD courses on your path to achieving or maintaining your credential. View the latest 2020 NACD Event Calendar.

Please note: In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, all 2020 NACD Fellowship cycle dates have been pushed back to December 31, 2020. Check your Fellowship portal or contact with any questions.



If you took Director Professionalism (in person or virtual) in 2019 with the intention of becoming an NACD Governance Fellow, you must complete your four (4) credits within your year cycle to become a Governance Fellow. Please be aware that the NACD Governance Fellowship program will sunset on December 31, 2020.

Members who are Governance Fellows are encouraged to participate in NACD Directorship Certification. All current and rising NACD Governance Fellows who are eligible to bypass the prerequisite course may go straight to the exam. Upon passing the exam, directors will become NACD Directorship Certified™. View eligibility criteria.

If you are currently enrolled in Virtual Director Professionalism®, you will meet the prerequisite for certification upon successfuly completion of the course and you'll then be able to apply and schedule your exam. If you have any questions, please contact