(By Peter Cross)Last week, I was invited, with 16 others, to help review a Competency Framework being proposed by the Institute of Directors. I commend this initiative, aimed at raising the bar. While competency of itself does not guarantee that any director will be effective, it is a move in the right direction.
During the wide-ranging discussion, several participants suggested that governance should be professionalised, like medicine, accountancy, law and several other professions. I support these calls—strongly. Why? Well, stories like this get under my skin. While the majority of directors fulfil their legal and ethical responsibilities well, sadly there are a few bad eggs that discredit governance in the public's eyes.
The mechanism would be relatively straightforward, involving perhaps:
entrance tests (competency, references and interviews)
maintenance of professional standards (on-going education)
periodic re-registration (two- or three-yearly)
tiering (a general registration, and a higher level for directors of large, widely-held or publicly-listed companies)
a disciplinary tribunal (with teeth and a propensity to act)…
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