Mentoring Circles Topic 4: Competence
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Competent directors carry out their duties successfully, effectively and efficiently. Competence implies knowledge, skills and ability to do what is required. Personal development is thus core to ongoing competence. King III requires directors to be behaviourally and technically competent, as well as being competent in terms of governance.


Challenges can arise for Boards when individual directors are extremely competent technically, but lack governance and/or behavioural competencies. The inverse applies too. Determining areas for training and development can be problematic, as can assigning the required time for Board development.


Director competence poses opportunities and difficulties for extremely small and extremely large organisations. In small organisations, the required competence might not be available at Board level. In very large companies, monitoring an appropriate mix of competencies can become problematic.



King Code of Governance principles (King III)

  • Principle 1.1: the board should provide effective leadership based on an ethical foundation

Key Focus Areas

The actual individual problems to be mentored will be raised during the Circle. The following are intended to serve as thought-starters only:

  • What are the most challenging areas for Board competence: technical, behavioural or governance?
  • What are the biggest hurdles to ongoing personal development in all competency areas?
  • Are competencies related to sustainable development adequately represented at Board level?
  • Is the behavioural competence of potential directors assessed during recruitment processes?
  • What are the biggest gaps in director competence, and how should these be addressed?
  • How should competence be assessed at Board level: as individual directors, as a group, or both?