Course snapshot

The Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA) is offering a Diploma of Governance designed for the board members of Australian not-for-profit boards and committees, and the CEOs and other senior staff who work alongside them.

ICDA is an enterprise of Our Community which has been delivering high-quality, practical governance training and support for the Australian not-for-profit sector for more than two decades.

Entry to this qualification is limited to those individuals who:

- have vocational experience in a range of environments working with boards of governance, but with no formal qualification


have completed a Certificate IV in Governance


- provide evidence of competency in key core units:

  • Implement Board member responsibilities
  • Work within organisational structure
  • Analyse financial reports and budgets

To enrol in the course, you will need to provide some documentation showing how you satisfy one of these requirements. If you do not fit into one of the categories above, please get in touch to discuss your options - email or phone (03) 9320 6800.

To be accepted for enrolment into this course, you must also:

  • Have time to read, prepare and reflect on fundamental governance principles
  • Have the ability to attend and actively participate in a total of five days of training (three consecutive days + two consecutive days approximately one month later)
  • Commit to completing all competency-based assessment within 12 months of face-to-face training (you must complete one unit assessment per month)
  • Commit to transferring the knowledge gained to the organisation once the course is completed

If you would like to discuss your eligibility, contact us by emailing or call (03) 9320 6800.

Student Portal

You will have access to an easy-to-use, purpose-built Student Portal where you’ll draft and lodge assessments, view video content, contact and interact with your trainer, and engage with other students in your group.

Through the Student Portal, you will access and explore rich content relating to your studies, aided by our dedicated team of trainers and support staff who are on hand to provide guidance and support.

Hard copy course materials

We’re serious about sustainability. We won’t provide hard copies of course materials (course notes, slides, assessment questions etc.) All of this material will be available from the Student Portal. You will be able to access and download digital copies of all required documents.

Institute of Community Directors Australia website access

You will also receive 18 months free access to ICDA's extensive online resource centre for not-for-profit board/committee members and staff supporting boards.

The resource centre includes a Board Matching Service, an extensive suite of template policies, help sheets, a regular not-for-profit governance newsletter, and more.

You’ll also gain access to the Institute of Community Directors Australia’s Forum, where you can engage with other students and the broader ICDA membership, to explore the governance matters that are most important to you.

Assessment tasks

The course content consists of 12 units, each with 4 or 5 assessment tasks. Assessment tasks include written responses, shorter comprehension questions, active participation during scheduled on line tutorials, discussion board interaction, and gathering information for a portfolio. Students should plan to complete the assessment tasks of one unit every month, which will satisfy the requirement that all 12 units be completed within 12 months of commencing the course.

Scheduled virtual classroom

Along with the foundational videos and materials students will have access to online, students will also attend six scheduled online tutorials where they will participate in board simulations, role-playing exercises and engage directly with their trainer and other students in the class. These online live tutorials are scheduled in the first six months of the course.

The board simulations and exercises undertaken during the six scheduled live tutorials will be observed and assessed by the trainer.

Competency based assessments

The assessment tasks for each of the 12 units in this course are competency based. The aim of these competency-based assessments is to ensure that students have not only absorbed the content but are also able to implement actions. Where possible, we will ask students to think about how assessment tasks could be implemented in their own organisation.

Student support

During the time you are completing your assessments, you will have the support of your trainer and will lodge your work through an easy-to-use, purpose-built Student Portal.

You can expect the Institute of Community Directors Australia trainer and support staff to support and guide you through each stage of learning. In return, we expect you to apply yourself and to take advantage of the resources and information made available.

Participants who successfully complete the requirements of the ICDA Diploma of Governance will be eligible to use the post-nominals:

  • Dip. Gov. and,
  • FICDA - Fellow of the Institute of Community Directors Australia (while they remain a financial member of the Institute of Community Directors Australia)

People who complete the course (including minimum attendance requirements) but do not submit assessment, or do not complete the assessment satisfactorily, are still eligible for recognition via the Institute of Community Directors Australia, through the use of the post-nominal:

  • MICDA - Member of the Institute of Community Directors Australia (while they remain a financial member of the Institute of Community Directors Australia)

What people say...

“The Diploma has helped me mesh the legislated, strategic and operational functions of governance. I found the face-to-face teaching was perfectly supported by the course work, delivering immediate outcomes in both my professional and community endeavours.”
Alan, Business Manager, St James Lutheran College (QLD)
“The Diploma helped to make governance work for me - and hence helps to make it real and practical for the community I work with. The opportunity to share and work with others in similar situations and to learn with the excellent trainers is one not to be missed!”
Barbara, Community Strengthening Officer, South Gipsland Shire Council (VIC)
“I believe educators working in senior management roles would benefit greatly from this very practical and well taught Diploma.”
Graeme, Executive Principal, St Philip's Christian College (NSW)
“The number one thing I’ve gained out of the Diploma has been a much better understanding of the legislative and compliance requirements of the board. I’m confident now that I understand the various parts of good governance and compliance, and what I need to do to ensure we meet our requirements in those areas.”
Stephanie, Board Member, Youth Affairs Council of WA
“I undertook the Diploma to strengthen our organisation’s impact, increase transparency and to help build a best practice model we can share with the not-for-profit sector. Studying for the diploma was an excellent way to cement my current knowledge and practice and identify skills gaps.”
Rhyll, CEO, Western Chances (VIC)
“The Diploma brought together participants from a variety of careers and experience, making the classroom discussions highly personal. The course materials were very comprehensive and expertly used by our facilitator. The assessment tasks provided me with the opportunity to reflect on my experiences as a director and as an executive who has worked in both Not-for-Profit and corporate roles.”
Trent, Executive-in-Residence, St James Ethics Centre (NSW)
“The Diploma was terrific - it gave me a complete overarching framework; it matched what I was learning on the job and filled in gaps, such as understanding the importance of culture; it gave very useful templates and examples which I’ve taken out and used since. The course made me think and it improved my practice. I’m so pleased that I had the opportunity to do it and would strongly recommend it to others!”
Jocelyn, CEO, McAuley Community Services for Women (VIC)

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