Competency Framework / Knowledge
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What I know

Knowledge of the essential practical and theoretical information required for good governance and how to apply it.

The core knowledge and understanding that a company secretary or governance professional needs can be acquired by:

The foundation that the qualification provides is only the starting point. The technical and regulatory understanding that company secretaries and governance professionals need is maintained through continuous professional development. Lifelong learning is essential for keeping technical expertise up to date as law, regulation, technology and market practices change continuously.

Communication, judgement and interpersonal skills are needed for the effective application of knowledge. These can include analytical skills, the ability to structure a discussion, summarise an argument, propose a solution or empathise and understand the position of others. These kinds of competencies are acquired through application, observation and experience. Soft yet important skills such as self-awareness, emotional intelligence and empathy underpin the application of knowledge.

Company secretaries and governance professionals are encouraged to understand and remain cognisant of the requirements of their particular organisation, horizon scanning for potential future changes.

Company secretarial and governance roles in all sectors, including charity and not-for-profit, also require commercial acumen to make the necessary connections between the organisation’s business model and the governance framework.

Key areas

There are four key areas:

Purpose and governance

Those who have the required knowledge of purpose and governance show an understanding of:

  • the organisation's legal structure and how it is applied

  • the purpose of the organisation and the communication and application of this purpose

  • the governance model, processes, procedures and practices in operation, including composition of the board and any board committees.

Culture, strategy and leadership

Those who have the required knowledge of culture, strategy and leadership show an understanding of:

  • the organisational culture and how this is reflected in day-to-day practice, incorporating its values and vision/mission statements

  • the strategy of the organisation; who sets it, how it is communicated and how it is implemented, overseen and developed

  • the leadership team and other significant influencers in the organisation, their roles and responsibilities and the theoretical practice of leadership applied in the organisation.

Environment and external stakeholders

Those who have the required knowledge of the environment and external stakeholders show an understanding of:

  • the sector in which the organisation operates

  • the external stakeholders of the organisation; how they impact and affect the organisation and how the organisation interacts with them

  • the environment and community within which the organisation operates, and the impact that the organisation has on this environment and community

  • the wider environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues that apply to the organisation and that the organisation can adapt to.

Finance, risk, regulation and compliance

Those who have the required knowledge of finance, risk, legislation, regulation and compliance show an understanding of:

  • financial reporting, statements and accounts and how the board and leadership teams use these to lead the organisation

  • the organisational approach to and appetite for risk; including reporting, assessment, systems and structures that support the governance of risk and how the board uses knowledge and manages risk crises

  • laws, regulations and reporting requirements of the organisation; how the organisation complies with these and where their monitoring of amendments or practical application and oversight sits within the organisation

  • the organisational compliance framework, noting that this may primarily be within the governance function, but other functions may have topic-specific or regulatory responsibilities, deliverables and oversight.

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