CD(SA) Phase 3


The CD(SA) assessment is a peer review process that comprises three components, namely:


The CD(SA) Governing Body has the right to consider providing an applicant an exemption from having to write the Examination.

The evaluation is completed against the Director Competency Framework (DCF).

Please see schedule of fees and supporting documents available in document library below.

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Portfolio of Qualifications and Experience

Once the registered candidate submits their completed Portfolio of Qualifications and Experience (PQE), it is evaluated by a suitably qualified assessor.  The evaluation of the PQE can result in one of two outcomes:


Should the candidate be deemed competent, then the evaluation report is submitted to the Chartered Director Governing Body for approval.  The candidate is then recommended for participation in the Examination and the Peer Review Interview.


Should the candidate be deemed not yet competent, then the evaluation report will be sent to the candidate for remediation.  The candidate is allowed one opportunity to address the areas requiring remediation. 

The re-mediated submission is made to the IoDSA, evaluated and the final evaluation report submitted to the Chartered Director Governing Body for approval.

Should the candidate be deemed competent for the second submission, then the process pertaining to competent candidates applies.  However, should the candidate be deemed not yet competent, then they will need to (a) pay an additional fee for subsequent remediation of the PQE or (b) address the gaps identified in the evaluation through participation in additional training or work experience.


The Examination aims to assess the knowledge and insights underpinning the candidate’s experience as executive or non-executive director. The examination is written twice a year.

Format of the Examination

The Board Exam is written under examination conditions and is a 4 hour, open book examination and consists of two sections:

  • Multiple choice (50 marks) – 25 questions (2 marks each) based on the different elements comprising the knowledge and skill based of the designation;
  • Case Study (50 marks) – 5 questions worth 10 marks each based on a prepared case study.

Although you will be able to prepare for the exam by working through the case study during the week, you will not be able to bring any notes with you into the examination room. A "clean” copy of the case study will be provided to you for use during the exam.

The pass mark for the Exam is 60%. A sub-minimum of 50% needs to be gained in each section of the Exam.

Content of the Exam

The exam is designed to assess the knowledge and skills underpinning the competencies against which a Chartered Director is awarded. Details of the type of content included in the Exam are included in the Examination Guidelines for the Chartered Director Governing Body Exam (K). Although a textbook or material is not prescribed for the Board Exam, the outline provides an indication of the types of books, articles and material could be read in preparation of the exam.

Re-Writing of the Exam

A candidate that does not pass the exam is able to re-write the exam once in a 2 year cycle. However, should a candidate wish to re-write the exam a third time then this will be at an additional cost. A candidate that has failed three exams within a 2 year cycle will need to wait a year before being allowed to re-write the exam.

The Peer Review Interview is a compulsory part of the CD(SA) Evaluation Programme. The aim of the Peer Review Interview is to validate the contents of the PQE and to gain greater insight into the competencies of the candidate.

The Peer Review Interview will be performed by a panel of two (2) members duly appointed by the Chartered Director Governing Body. The panel will consist of suitably qualified executive or non-executive directors. Although not a requirement, the panel members should be qualified CD(SA)’s. However the Chartered Director Governing Body maintains the right to include experts in specific fields that might be required from time to time, depending on the candidate’s field of experience.

The Peer Review Interview dates are scheduled annually. Details of the venue and time are communicated to all parties well in advance.

The Interview lasts about 1 ½ hours and is managed using the Chartered Director Interview Guidelines. The questions used during the interview are agreed by the panel beforehand and the outcome of the interview is recorded using the Interview Report.

The interview is conducted as informally as possible – conversational more than inquisitorial. The aim of the interview is to flesh out the content of the Portfolio of Qualifications and Experience. It is an opportunity for the candidate to provide in-depth information about their experience and to make a good impression of them as person.

The interview aims to verify the candidate’s experiences in the following areas:

  • Responsibility and period served as a director;
  • Professional judgement;
  • Quality of experience;
  • Tasks of a board;
  • Obligations of a director; and,
  • Leadership abilities.

CD(SA) Documents

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
CD(SA) CPD Programme 2018 PDF (167.29 KB) Administration 2018/02/28
CD(SA) Handbook 2018 PDF (1.93 MB)  more ] Administration 2018/06/14
The Boardwalk Series 2018 PDF (236.66 KB) Administration 2018/01/23
CD(SA) Member Dates 2018 PDF (139.85 KB)  more ] Administration 2018/01/04
CD(SA) Annual CPD Declaration 2017 DOCX (37.21 KB)  more ] Administration 2017/11/06
CDSA National Register PDF (146.25 KB) Administration 2018/06/13
CD(SA) Profile Sheet DOCX (48.21 KB) Administration 2016/11/08
Getting started with PrivySeal - CD(SA) PDF (178.58 KB) Administration 2016/05/24