SDP - SID-SMU Directorship Programme




Course description

The SID-SMU Singapore Directorship Programme (SDP) was launched in 2007, the first local director training programme with formal certification. The partnership brings together Singapore Management University’s academic excellence and strength in delivering executive programmes with the Singapore Institute of Directors’ strong network of business leaders in the corporate sector. Set within an Asian context, this unique six-module programme provides a 360-degree board-level view of key strategic areas and issues faced by company directors. It aims to enhance participants’ boardroom skills and update their knowledge and ability to lead in challenging times.

The programme is organised in two tiers. Participants can obtain an Executive Diploma in Directorship by completing all six assessable modules successfully. Alternatively, participants can obtain an Executive Certificate in Directorship by completing the first three modules successfully. The modules can be taken non-sequentially, providing scheduling flexibility. Graduates from the Programme may be invited to apply to become SMU Associate Alumni.

Course objectives

  1. Increased understanding of the role of company directors.
  2. Provide practical frameworks and strategies to effectively manage critical issues around risk management, corporate social responsibility (CSR), C-level succession planning and compensation, and more.
  3. Overview and development of  key frameworks for legal issues and prudent strategies to help boards navigate in today's litigious environment.
  4. Facilitate soft skills development for managing relations and challenging discussions among board members.

Course outline

SDP1: The Role of Directors: Duties, responsibilities and legal obligations.

  • Board structure, operations and responsibilities to stakeholders and of the board.
  • The role and duties of directors on a board, and directors’ inter-relationships.
  • Overview of the Companies Act and SGX listing regulation as it applies to directors and how directors can fall foul of this legislation.
  • Implications and consequences of a breach of director obligations.
  • Case studies for discussion and application.

SDP2: Assessing Strategic Performance: The board-level view.

  • The role and responsibilities of the board in the oversight of company strategy.
  • Understanding both organic and inorganic pathways to value growth.
  • The use of influence and persuasion to achieve desired strategic outcomes.
  • How to better structure board discussions to reach beneficial strategic outcomes, avoid common decision biases, and positively challenge management.
  • Case studies to understand the role of directors in charting board strategy and in conjunction with management.

SDP3: Finance for Directors.

  • Evaluation of the financial health of the company using accepted methods in financial statement analyses.
  • Understanding how to evaluate and make rationale financial decisions.
  • Identifying the different sources of funds for a company.
  • Dividend decisions and policies.
  • Effective investment decisions.
  • Integrated assurance framework and internal controls.
  • Creating long-term shareholder and stakeholder value.
  • Ensuring appropriate effective investment decisions.
  • Case studies to understand the financial implications of board decisions and whether these are aligned with company strategy.

SDP4: Risk Management & Cybersecurity Governance.

  • Understand the various lines of defense to ensure effective controls within the firm.
  • Identify early warning systems in place to alert the Board and senior management to emerging risks and assist developing strategies to anticipate and prevent crises from occurring.
  • Appreciate if the right risks being identified, assessed and managed- with a focus on quality over quantity.
  • Understand risk appetite/ tolerance levels set for the company and the impact of this on strategy.
  • Appreciate the level of oversight of crisis management and business continuity.
  • Establish the appropriate ‘tone at the top’ to reinforce and promote a risk aware culture.
  • Efficiently leverage cybersecurity to ensure business continuity and resilience.

SDP5: Governing Sustainability.

  • Understand how ESG expands your fiduciary and accountability duties in your role as steward of your company’s long-term success.
  • Ensure that the corporation can explain to its stakeholders what role it is playing in addressing societal and environmental challenges.
  • Understand how sustainable business practices result in improved financial performance for corporations.
  • Identify and prioritize ESG risks and opportunities and associated management KPIs.
  • Be ready to lead conversations and ask the right questions in and out of the boardroom by acquiring deeper ESG literacy.
  • Oversee how sustainability is taken into consideration in culture, processes and talent management.

SDP6: Effective Succession Planning and Compensation Decisions.

  • Roles and responsibilities of the nominating and remuneration committees.
  • Succession planning programme for the board and senior management.
  • Ensuring continuity of talent in key leadership positions.
  • Board performance evaluation.
  • Talent management.
  • Effective compensation plans to align with talent strategy creating shareholder value.
  • Executive compensation schemes and policies.
  • Directors’ risk/reward considerations and D&O insurance.
  • Case studies relating to the nominating and remuneration committees.

Target audience

Aspiring, newly-appointed and current board members, senior management of corporations, government and nonprofit organisations and senior partners of professional firms who interact with corporate boards and would like to understand the intricacies of board roles and responsibilities.

Course duration

6 modules (2–3 days per module).


Interactive classroom lectures by leading faculty and senior industry practitioners, with regional and global case studies discussion. Group interaction and simulations are integrated into the sessions.


Course Dates

Module 1 – The Role of Directors: Duties, Responsibilities & Legal Obligations
Run 1: 8 - 10 January 2024 (Mon to Wed)
Run 2: 6 – 8 May 2024 (Wed to Fri)
Run 3: 14 – 16 August 24 (Wed to Fri)

Module 2 – Assessing Strategic Performance: The Board Level View
Run 1: 5 – 7 February 2024 (Wed to Fri)
Run 2: 26 – 28 June 2024 (Wed to Fri)
Run 3: 23 – 25 September 24 (Mon to Wed)

Module 3 – Finance for Directors
Run 1: 13 – 15 March 2024 (Wed to Fri)
Run 2: 29 – 31 July 2024 (Mon to Wed)
Run 3: 14 – 16 October 24 (Mon to Wed)

Module 4 – Risk Management & Cybersecurity Governance
Run 1: 12 – 13 September 2024 (Thur to Fri)

Module 5 – Governing Sustainability
Run 1 : 28 – 29 October 2024 (Mon to Tues)
Run 2 : 29 – 30 October 2024 (Tues to Wed)

Module 6 – Effective Succession Planning and Compensation Decisions
Run 1: 21 – 22 November 2024 (Thur to Fri)


Course Fee

Leading to the award of
Module 1-3 (3 days per module)
SID members: $3,749.60 (incl. 9% GST) per module
Non-members: $4,185.60 (incl. 9% GST) per module

SID members:  $10,725.60 (incl. 9% GST) 3-module package
Non-members: $12,033.60 (incl. 9% GST) 3-module package
Executive Certificate in Directorship
Module 4-6 (2 days per module)
SID members: $2,703.20 (incl. 9% GST) per module
Non-members: $3,139.20 (incl. 9% GST) per module

SID members: $7,848.00 (incl. 9% GST) 3-module package
Non-members: $9,156.00 (incl. 9% GST) 3-module package
Module 1-6
SID members: $18,573.60 (incl. 9% GST)
Non-members: $21,189.60 (incl. 9% GST)
 Executive Diploma in Directorship


CPD hours

24 hours per 3-day module; 16 hours per 2-day module.
(120 hours total for the complete programme)

Register on SMU website        SID-SMU Directorship Programme Flyer