Frequently Asked Questions
Have Questions? We've got answers.
With so many Board education programs out there, what makes this one special?
Good question. Firstly, know that we strive to make an impact so you can make an impact. Yes, there are many Board education and certification programs out there - but they are not all created equal. Most programs solely focus on Board operations or require you to read through countless case studies... but is this truly increasing your boardroom effectiveness or elevating your chances of appointment? Not likely. Our unique program integrates the important parallel learning streams of modern Board architecture and operations alongside modern Board Candidate packaging principles to get you appointed. Additionally, most Board certifications are local or regional - commonly by country. This limited lens keeps them mired solely in governance models linked exclusively to that territory’s ethos and disclosure laws (micro viewpoint). When a Director or Board does not complement this with equal focus on expanded strategy and innovation – the larger, integrated global picture (macro viewpoint) – this can easily minimize the Director's and the Board’s effectiveness. Our Board education and certification course infuses micro and macro Board teachings to make you "globally viable." Why get a regional Board certification when you can go global?
What is the best registration option for me?
We offer our registrants 3 course options. These include 1:1, Group, and On-Demand. All of these options leverage the same learning materials on the same learning platform with the difference being the incorporation of 1.5 hours of live sessions with a Board expert in each of the 12 Session modules (see the comparison chart on the main course page). In the 1:1 model, a registrant is able to cater all live time directly to their specific needs (career path, future plans, remedial areas, next steps, etc.). In the Group model, registrants have the ability to learn from others' questions, network, and participate in a group atmosphere. Although the On-Demand version does not offer live time, all lesson summaries are delivered via recorded video sessions directly in the program.
How long has the program been around?
The original program started in 2012 as a senior executive and Board Director coaching offering with clients around the world. With the success of the program, growing mostly from referrals, the program was expanded internationally into a formal Board education course in 2018 for both aspiring and experienced Directors. As the course further matured, the IBDC.D global certification was added in 2020 along with the online learning platform launched in 2021. Today's program is fully evolved and provides an in-depth Board education and certification program recognized globally.
Is the IBDC.D certification well known?
Absolutely. In addition to the large number of course graduates, along with many current course registrants, we boast an incredible presence in public, private, and nonprofit boardrooms around the world. The IBDC.D credential also appears yearly in many public company proxy statements when providing biographical information on their Directors. Additionally, we have a global network of Board education & certification partners who represent our course in countless industries and verticals.
How does the IBDC.D course and certification support diversity and inclusion?
The IBDC.D credential has evolved to represent the pinnacle in international Board Director education & certification and our program is open to all participants in any region. In addition to numerous lessons throughout the course directly focused on the topic of diversity and inclusion, we have also catered our pricing models to welcome historically underrepresented portions of the global population into the program and ultimately get their seat in the boardroom.
How do I keep my IBDC.D certification active?
Program graduates receive their IBDC.D certification valid for a period of 3 years following their successful course completion and graduation. Within each 3-year recertification period, 15 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits are required for demonstrated ongoing professional development and to keep your designation active. (See the 'Program Brochure & Curriculum' on the main course page for more details on earning your CPEs). Although there is a small recertification fee every 3 years, it is worth noting that the majority of our CPE credit opportunities, offered both internally as well as through our global network of education and certification partners, are free! No yearly membership fees. No pay-per-credit. Just ongoing learning! You also have the ability to submit CPE credits for your own Board-aligned actions. Be sure to see our popular Loyalty Program which waives your recertification fee in the current 3-year recertification period when referring 3 course candidates who sign up for any of the course registration options.
How does an employer, Board, or organization where I am a Board Candidate verify my IBDC.D credential?
We have made this process very easy! Simply direct the person or group responsible for verification to send a request to the email Credentialing@PfisterStrategy.com for current certification status (completed, active, inactive). There is also a reference and link to this on the main course landing page if you prefer to send the requestor there.
How much time is required to complete the program?
As with anything worthwhile, you will need to dedicate yourself to this program. The course curriculum includes a deep, curated library of expert articles, video lectures, recorded webinars, Board Candidate packaging templates, and many other informational reference materials designed to make the lessons impactful and easily implemented. The program is divided into three phases, each with a total of four session focus areas. Registrants should expect to dedicate the following amount of time to successfully complete the program: Total of 12 sessions (1 each week for 1:1 & Group, at your own pace for On-Demand): ~1.5 - ~3.5 hours per session for preparation and prework. For 1:1 and Group option, + 1.5 hours for each live session summary lecture and overview. Short 20-minute test following the completion of each of the 3 phases. Final exam taking approximately 1 hour at the completion of all 3 phases / all 12 sessions.
How long do I have access to the course materials?
Starting from your course registration date, you have a full 365 days to access the course and all its lessons. Additionally, know that you have the ability to download all course materials and templates at any time (excluding the video lessons due to file size). Many of our course registrants love the ability to download the content for future reference as well as the ability to complete lessons while traveling without internet access.
Can one course truly cater to both aspiring and experienced Directors simultaneously?
We answer this question with a confident and emphatic "yes!" The truth is that both aspiring Directors and experienced Directors require much of the same training (or re-learning) to be successful as modern-day Directors into the future in their roles. As much as it pains us to say it, even so-called experienced Directors have a lot of deprogramming and reprogramming required based on their experiences. This course is intentionally designed and curated to not be too fast for aspiring Directors and not be too slow for experienced Directors. All Director background levels take away meaningful and implementable lessons to apply in their roles and become viable modern Board Directors and Board Candidates.
Is there a membership fee or do I have to "join" your organization?
No way. We don't work like that. Most Board education and certification organizations force you to become a member, pay a yearly membership fee, and then additionally pay for each and every CPE credit you are required to earn. Sound familiar? For us, it's not necessarily about revenue, but more so about making an impact globally. There is no reason that a Board education and certification program (like ours) can't be affordable and impactful at the same time. Our organization Values demand it.
How is the course kept updated and modern?
We make frequent updates in the course to keep it current. Some examples include additions to articles and case studies where recent court rulings have been made, adding of video lessons on new and relevant challenges facing Directors, and extra inputs from experts in numerous fields.
Can my organization or company cover the cost of the course?
Absolutely. Many individuals and groups do exactly this by proposing their continuing education goals to their organization for expense appproval. Continuous learning (also covered in the course) is paramount for today's leaders and Directors to make the proper impact in the boardroom and within the organizations they serve.
Is the IBDC.D program accredited?
By our deliberate design, the answer is "no." Why did we take this route? A non-accredited course can produce practical skills over a much shorter time frame with the ability to apply your new skills to your role much sooner. You will also find you can cut out a lot of the extraneous content you would otherwise have to study via a longer course and walk away with the skills and knowledge to apply these in real life more quickly. Additionally, there is a reason our prices are so affordable! Accreditation has the nasty habit of drastically increasing course and credentialing costs for registrants - something we simply won't put up with, especially as it relates to our commitment to diversity and inclusion (see previous FAQ on this topic). Know that this accreditation decision in no way undermines or lessens the impact our unique course makes with you - our student. With decades of input, expertise, and experience at your fingertips in this course, you will likely come away asking yourself why IBDC.D is not the organization reviewing and certifying other Board courses...
Does the IBDC.D organization help Directors in the course to get placed/appointed?
Not exactly, as IBDC.D is not a placement organization. Our parent company M. A. Pfister Strategy Group does, however, make a significant number of Director Candidate introductions and referrals to our clients where we are serving in a consulting & advisory capacity (i.e. building a Board's Nominating Committee processes) - leading to dozens of Board appointments yearly. These recommendations are reserved for those course graduates of the 1:1 program and we do not receive any fees or compensation for these referrals and appointments.
Have more questions? Email us at info@PfisterStrategy.com