Castries, St Lucia — Last year, the Saint Lucia-based Caribbean Governance Training Institute (CGTI) introduced a certification program called the Chartered Director (C.Dir) qualification, involving an optional three-hour exam based on a three-day course covering all aspects of board governance. In mid-March, CGTI took the C.Dir training to the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), where 30 executives participated in CGTI’s first activity held outside Saint Lucia.
According to Dr Chris Bart, founder of CGTI, “It’s not easy being a good corporate director these days. There are three essential qualifications that all directors must meet if they are to properly do their job. I call them the three C’s of great governance: Competence, Curiosity and Courage.”
Equipping directors with the first C – competence – is the primary vision of CGTI, a collaboration between the founder of the Directors College at McMaster University and Milestone Development, the training and development company based in St. Lucia.
The aim of CGTI is to deliver the information, research and skills required by directors serving on any type of board, be it corporate, educational or non-profit. In the past year, dozens of professionals from around the region have participated in two conferences on governance fundamentals, a brand new initiative in the Caribbean which has elicited enthusiastic testimonials from delegates.
The chartered directors program provides board members with the framework to effectively oversee the CEO, constructively engage with management of their organisations to help set and execute strategy and ensure the financial integrity of financial (and other) reporting systems. CGTI’s mission is to equip the directors of Caribbean organisations with the latest tools needed to help them excel in the boardroom, and the C.Dir accreditation is the first building block in that process.
According to Anton Faessler, president of the Turks and Caicos Banking Co Ltd, the three day Caribbean Governance Training Institute C.Dir programme is “a very intensive, engaging and well-researched and documented training course concentrating on the core issues enhancing personal knowledge.”
“I attended a corporate governance training seminar with our chairman in St Lucia in early 2014. It inspired me to start a… self-evaluation process of our board and to start a conversation about corporate governance and risk management,” stated Oswald Simons, deputy chairman of the TCI Financial Services Commission. “I am pleased that the remainder of our board joined our chairman and myself (in Turks) and completed this more advanced version of director training. We are all leaving refreshed and full of ideas to improve our board functions.”
According to Lisa Charles, co-founder of CGTI and managing director of Milestone Development, the pressure on the modern Caribbean board of directors to perform at the highest level is enormous, and the days of having a casual approach to corporate governance are numbered.
“The C.Dir programme is based on Dr Bart’s international research and experience, but includes many examples and scenarios from the Caribbean region, so we are delighted to bring the course to Turks and Caicos and the response has been phenomenal. The CGTI approach is to deliver the highest quality training by international experts, and to offer the chartered director certification in locations around the region for all candidates who want to further their governance education,” she explained.