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Get on Board

The Canadian Board Diversity Council (CBDC) Get on Board Governance Education Program prepares you for the boardrooms of tomorrow.

Affordably-priced, our program is designed to help men and women be effective directors of public sector corporations, large national non-profit organizations, and mid-cap/small-cap companies. Get on Board is designed to complement existing governance education programs.

Ideal program candidates include board-ready and high-potential employees or current directors. Get on Board is offered at two levels depending on your leadership and/or board experience.

Get on Board will help you hone business and leadership skills, expand your network, and learn more about operations, finance and risk management. Our curriculum also features modules on Unconscious Bias and Diversity in Governance.

To ensure a high-quality, individualized learning experience, classes are capped at 35 students.

Series Levels

Level I

The 4-session 20 hour series is for individuals in management or professional roles with little or no board experience who are interested in serving on a not-for-profit board. Participants will come away from the program with a solid foundation in board governance and practical knowledge on how to get on boards.

Level II

The 5-session 27 hour series is for more experienced directors. Ideal candidates have 10+ years of management/professional experience and small/medium not-for-profit board experience, who are interested in joining a complex, national not-for-profit, Crown Corporation, Advisory and/or small/medium private company board. The curriculum is grounded in experiential learning including case studies and a mock board meeting.

As of fall 2015, Level II participants will be granted certification upon completion of the program requirements: Fellow in Board Governance (FBG). With board experience and our new credential, FP500 directors have told the Council that our graduates will be well positioned for corporate board service.

Why the Get on Board Program?

First-Rate Education Preparing Participants for the Boardrooms of Tomorrow

Develop a strong foundation on the role of boards, governance principles, and how to be an effective board member through excellent course content and materials.

Diverse Learning Environment

Immerse in an experiential learning environment, which includes several case studies and the preparation of a board résumé. Embedded in the curriculum are modules on Unconscious Bias and Diversity in Governance. In the fall 2015, CBDC will launch a new Level II module, Leading the Boardrooms of Tomorrow, which will include a mock board meeting.

Top Instructors

Receive instruction in an intimate learning environment from top-rated, experienced board members, academics and other governance professionals who will provide you with hands-on individualized guidance.


Participate in the most affordably-priced governance education of its kind in Canada.

Access to Recruiters

Acquire key tools for pursuing board positions; understanding board recruiting processes; preparing a board résumé; and developing an individual board career action plan. Gain the opportunity to access the prestigious executive search firm Odgers Berndtson, and for Level II session participants, have your board résumé sent directly to them.

Alumni Network

Join a large and growing network of 900 program graduates and be connected to our 56 Founding and Corporate Members. Add top business leaders from the governance community and highly skilled colleagues from a broad range of sectors and professions to your network.


Receive certification upon completion of the Level II program requirements: Fellow in Board Governance (FBG). This certification acknowledges the learning and experience the candidates have completed, and positions them well to lead the boardrooms of tomorrow.

‘Get on Board’ Graduate Appointments:

Lori Martin elected to Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation, April 2015

Laurie Copithorne elected to Canadian Foundation for Dietetic Research, November 2014

Guy Flavelle elected to Canadian Egg Marketing Agency, March 2014

Kim Koster elected to Invest Toronto, February 2014

Dawneen Boyle elected to Unity Charity, December 2013

Christie Stephenson elected to Board of Canadian Centre for International Justice, 2013

Julie Jai, elected to the Board of St. Joseph’s Health Centre, October 2013.

Patrick Merz, elected to the Board of ALS Society of Alberta, April 2013.

Jennifer McGill, elected to the Board of VOICE for Deaf Kids.

Ellis Perryman, elected as President of Urban Financial Services Coalition.

Kumee Rao, elected to the Board of the Canadian Mental Health Association.



"Diversity in Canada’s boardrooms is critical to enhancing corporate innovation and fostering a resilient economy. CBDC’s “Get on Board” Program makes an outstanding contribution to developing a pipeline of board ready candidates. The Intermediate program was an excellent opportunity to connect with a diverse cohort of directors committed to strengthening their governance skills and knowledge."

Christie Stephenson
Manager, ESG Evaluations & Research

"The Get on Board program speakers and facilitators are extremely knowledgeable with valuable experiences to share with participants. It has been an extremely interesting learning experience and continues to feed desire to learn more about Board Governance. I have already been able to take some of the best practices back to my board, which were accepted and are being implemented."

Lucy Coschignano
Vice President and National Manager, Service Excellence, Aon Canada