Brown Governance Inc. and the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy have established a strategic partnership that specializes in designing and delivering world-class, university level, director education programs that are unique to broader public sector organizations.  Boards such as those in the health and education sectors, or any other group of boards with a public sector flavour, can now benefit from director education programs designed specifically for them.  This benefit has been made possible by leveraging the strengths of our two organizations.

Our approach is to bring organizations of a particular sector together and work with them to design a customized program.  These programs not only meet the needs of training directors in technical and structural governance, but they move beyond the basics to addressing the behavioural and cultural aspects of good board governance.  And, we don’t stop there.  Most importantly, we ensure the particular nuances of a given sector including those aspects of public policy that other programs may neglect, are a key component of our programs.

Our philosophy is to:

  1. Build on well established, foundational, principle-based governance practices;
  2. Design customized programs that meet the unique needs and regulations of a specific sector;
  3. Integrate the political character of board governance into each distinctive program; and
  4. Provide a university level, professional designation of Pro.Dir™ (Professional Director) for graduates of the program.


Brown Governance 




The Director Education & Certification Program is designed to ensure directors have the skills, knowledge, attitude and capabilities to fully contribute to the pursuit of excellence in corporate governance in the public sector.


Specific objectives of the Director Education & Certification Program are as follows:

  • To develop and implement a multi-tiered program which meets the training and development needs of new and renewing directors;
  • To improve the confidence and capabilities of directors in their governance practices;
  • To ensure a solid understanding of the fiduciary duties of directors;
  • To ensure directors are both knowledgeable of, and well positioned within, an effective and appropriate governance system;
  • To provide education in all aspects of governance: behavioural, cultural and structural; and
  • To provide participants with a certification program that recognizes them as Professional Directors (Pro.Dir.©).

The benefits for the directors participating in the program are that by its end, they will have possess:

  • The skills and competence required to fulfill their roles as board members in the public sector;
  • An excellent knowledge of the function of corporate governance and how it operates within their business and organizational structure;
  • A good knowledge of business finance and the tools and know-how to use financial information appropriately; and
  • A good understanding of their own personal strengths and weaknesses and be able to continually develop themselves to meet their future needs.

The program is comprised of four separate 2-day long modules plus a comprehensive exam.  All modules are custom designed specifically for the public sector and will include a mix of adult learning model delivery mechanisms, including a major emphasis on experiential learning (e.g. behavioural simulations, case studies, breakout groups, board and chair practice sessions.). The modules include:

  • Module 1: Governance & Strategy
  • Module 2: Governance & Risk
  • Module 3: Governance & People
  • Module 4: Governance & Resources

The program can be designed to ensure all current board members are able to complete the Director Education & Certification Program within their current appointment terms. 


Certification is viewed as a significant value-added benefit to the program, including a “take-away” benefit for participants who complete and graduate.  Certification is viewed by many as a hallmark of a “best practice” director education program today. Our consistency and quality of the content and delivery of the Director Education & Certification Program enhances the value and the benefit of the certification. The program’s and exam’s educational and academic quality will be overseen by an Oversight Committee that would include representation from JSGS and BGI, including a strong academic presence.


The program is built on various adult learning models and techniques.  These include:

  • BGI Board Games™ and simulations
  • Making use of a number of skilled faculty from Brown Governance, University of Regina, University of Saskatchewan, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, and others, including “Directors-in-Residence” – experienced Chairs, CEOs and board members who will participate in the modules to provide real-life applications, experiences and roundtable dialogue
  • Experiential learning in board room behaviour, culture, processes, dynamics, questions and discussions
  • Taking the participant through a series of scenarios and decisions that affect the outcome of a proposed problem
  • Playing the role of a director in a public sector organization
More Information

For more information on the Director Education & Certification Program, please contact:

Wynne Young, Director, Outreach & Training
Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
Telephone: (306) 585-4230

Andrea Geisbauer, Manager, Outreach & Training
Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
Telephone: (306) 585-4923

Kendra Gellner, Governance Training Program Coordinator, Outreach & Training
Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
Telephone: (306) 585-5637

For more information on our Executive Education Programs, please view our fact sheet.