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Leadership Development

The Niagara Institute

The Niagara Institute, a division of the Conference Board, was established in 1971 to enhance the quality of Canadian leadership-in business, government and non-governmental organizations. The institute's programs are highly concentrated, engaging and student-focused-attracting leaders from across Canada and around the world.

We equip leaders with the essential leadership competencies needed to achieve organizational results. Each year, thousands of employees from hundreds of organizations turn to Niagara programs for their leadership development.

More than half of the top 100 companies named by the Financial Post are Niagara Institute clients; and 20 of the top 25 are our clients.

The Directors College

The Directors College is a joint venture between The Conference Board of Canada and the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University founded in 2003. The Directors College offers Canada’s first accredited corporate director development program. Find more information on all our accredited programs. The College is built on three pillars: Forward Thinking [Know], Values-driven [Be] and Change Enabling [Do].

  • We will emphasize a forward thinking governance agenda in our activities to be shaped by the Thought Leadership work of the Conference Board of Canada, the DeGroote School of Business, our faculty, and corporate partners
  • We will ensure that our activities provide a values-driven experience for our program delegates that align with the principles set out in our Code of Conduct.
  • We will endeavor to help our delegates develop the change-enabling behaviors needed to put what is learned in the classroom, into practice, in the boardroom.

“The Director’s College Code is not another prescriptive list for what to do or avoid doing. It is rather designed to work back from the needs, expectations, and principles of stakeholders, to help directors engage issues with a clear understanding for getting to resolutions or decisions that are inherently trustworthy as well as effective.”

—John Dalla Costa, founding Director of the Centre for Ethical Orientation and Faculty of The Directors College

The Directors College Six Fun Facts

  1. The Directors College is a joint partnership of The Conference Board of Canada and the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University—giving access to thought leadership from both.
  2. Our signature Chartered Director (C.Dir.) Program is residential–to maximize networking and learning among peers.
  3. The final module for the C.Dir. program is a board simulation–completely unique to The Directors College.
  4. Apart from the board simulation, C.Dir. program modules do not need to be taken in sequence—giving you program flexibility.
  5. We now offer The Directors College programs in Vancouver, B.C.–in partnership with the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.
  6. The specialized Audit Committee Certified (A.C.C) Program is the only accredited audit program in Canada–making it truly one of a kind.

Signature Program

The Chartered Director (C.Dir.) Program covers the full range of formal rules and practices that directors need to know about in their role as stewards of corporations. As well, the program examines the “behavioural” side of directorship—the human dynamics that influence a board and its decisions. This program is offered across Canada in the following cities: Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Vancouver.

Specialized Programs

Audit Committee Certified (A.C.C.) Program Taught by seasoned audit committee chairs, academics and advisers, this program helps you perform effectively on board audit committees. As a program participant, you not only learn the audit and financial aspects of the audit committee’s responsibilities, you also gain a deep understanding of the management components and relationship tactics involved in committee effectiveness.

Human Resources and Compensation Committee Certified (H.R.C.C.C.) Program This program is an exclusive education opportunity for senior HR professionals and board directors. It teaches board directors and senior corporate officers about the role of the board HR and compensation committee in aligning an organization’s HR processes, risk and culture, to its chosen business strategy.