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Boards can be complex. Directors must understand their role to make a lasting impact and fulfill their fiduciary obligations to the board they serve. The first step is to gain an appreciation for the principles of board governance.

The ICD-Rotman Governance Essentials Program (GEP) is an intensive two-day program focused on the key accountabilities, responsibilities and critical skills of board directors. Developed with the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, the GEP equips participants with the fundamentals of board governance through team-based learning, enhancing their contributions to board discussions and boosting their effectiveness as directors.

Who Should Participate?

This course is for newly appointed board directors and senior executives seeking to gain a deeper understanding of governance in the boardroom.

This course provides a learning environment that balances diversity, experience, and the ability of participants to contribute positively within the group. There are no admission requirements for this program however, space is on a first come, first serve basis.

Key Benefits

  • After completing all components of the course, participants will:
    • Understand the fiduciary responsibilities of directors and boards
    • Understand the duty of care expected of directors in board decision-making
    • Recognize the many applications of the generative, strategic, and fiduciary governance models
    • Better understand the dynamics of group decision-making in a boardroom environment
    • Increase understanding of governance best practices to be better prepared for board meetings
    • Have the opportunity to learn alongside and from director peers
    To increase awareness of governance principles, participants will gain a deeper understanding of the responsibilities and duties of the board director while developing the required skills to serve more effectively.

ICD-RBC Foundation Scholarship

  • Board members or executive directors of a registered charity, whose mission is to enhance the outcomes for the community the organization it serves, are invited to apply for the ICD-RBC Foundation Scholarship.

    The scholarship covers GEP enrollment costs, providing access to the highest levels of training, leadership capabilities, and insights from industry leaders and peers through Canada's leading foundational board governance education program.

    There are a limited number of scholarships for the 2023 academic year. Please visit Apply Online for current offerings.

    Applications are evaluated based on merit, need and the impact of governance education on the registered charity. Preference is given to equity-seeking organizations that serve the underrepresented.


This program includes two live, instructor-led online sessions, delivered over two consecutive days. Attendance at the live sessions is required for successful course completion. The GEP includes breakout group exercises, case studies, Q & A with instructors and other experts, and interactive discussions.

Participants will receive readings and other resources that must be reviewed independently in preparation for the live sessions.

Current Offerings

    City  Course Code Instructor Led Session Application Deadline Session Time
    Online GEP 71 November 20-21, 2023 October 23, 2023 10 a.m. to 6:30 pm ET
    Online GEP 72 December 14-15, 2023 November 16, 2023 10 a.m. to 6:30 pm ET

Program Faculty

Richard C. Powers Headshot
Nouman Ashraf Headshot
Loren Falkenberg, PhD Headshot
Margaret McKee, PhD, ICD.D Headshot
John Oesch Headshot


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