Policy Governance® Professional (PGP) Program

IPGA’S PGP program is the only program available that leads to a professional designation denoting the possession of a high standard of Policy Governance knowledge and expertise.   It is accessible from anywhere in the world to English-speaking participants who have a good internet connection.   As an international organization, IPGA aims to offer the program in other languages wherever this can be made possible.

The program aims to meet the needs of those who want to ensure they are equipped to play a leadership role in the application of Policy Governance principles and practice.

Registration for 2016-2017 is now closed.

2017-2018 registration will open in Spring 2017!



WHO IT’S FOR Consultants, board members and staff who wish to play a leadership role in applying Policy Governance principles and practice in the non-profit, for-profit and/or public sectors.
WHAT YOU GET Recognition from the Policy Governance leadership community that you have a high standard of Policy Governance knowledge and expertise. 
WHAT YOU NEED TO INVEST  Over the period Oct 1, 2016 to May 26, 2017 you will need to attend 9 webinars/discussion groups.  Each session is on a Saturday mornings Eastern time and lasts for 2 hours.  In total, you will need around 5 hours per week for participation in group sessions, individual tutorial time and personal study time.

Yes, it is, if you are:

  • Interested in acting as an internal or external consultant in Policy Governance
  • A Member/Director of a Governing Board* interested in Policy Governance
  • A Board Officer on a Governing Board interested in Policy Governance
  • A CEO who is accountable to a Governing Board using Policy Governance
  • An Administrator on whom one or more Governing Boards rely for high-level support using Policy Governance
*The term “Governing Board” is used above to distinguish boards that have full accountability for an organization from boards that are advisory.
Competencies and Learning Outcomes
The overall competency that the PGP program seeks to develop is the ability to play a leadership role in the application of Policy Governance principles and practice.  

This overall competency is broken down into sub-competencies and then into Learning Outcomes which are delivered through a curriculum based around seven Learning Units.

The PGP program Competencies and Learning Outcomes are derived from:

oThe latest IPGA Consistency Framework created in consultation with Miriam Carver.  For further information, click here.

o Consultation with participants in the Policy Governance AcademySM who are applying to be “grand-parented” into the PGP program (details available from

Consultation with participants in the 2015 and 2016 IPGA Consultants’ ForumsCurriculum


The PGP Program curriculum is delivered through seven Learning Units:

Unit 1 - Foundations of Governance

Unit 2 - Policy Governance Principles and Architecture

Unit 3 - Policy Governance: Roles, Documentation, Processes, Competencies

Unit 4 - Policy Governance in Action

Unit 5 - Building the Ownership Connection

Unit 6 - Varieties of Policy Governance Application

Unit 7 - Representing Policy Governance to The World 

The review the Outline Curriculum click here.



The PGP program consists of seven units of learning delivered through:

  • Reading and Writing Assignments
  • Webinars
  • Group Discussions
  • Individual Tutorials 
  • Individual Mentoring
  • A Final Certifying Exam



All Unit Tutors will be persons who have participated in the highest level of publicly available Policy Governance training and have at least 5 years’ experience of supporting Policy Governance implementation in a variety of settings.  

The IPGA Professional Education Committee select tutors for each unit using the following criteria:

  • overall length and depth of experience in supporting Policy Governance implementation
  • variety of experience
  • extent of their Policy Governance education 
  • evidence of teaching skills (highest weighting). 

The PGP program is to be accredited by IOEE (Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs) – a UK based body that accredits organizations to deliver qualifications and certify individuals around the world.  For further information, click here.


Tuition Fees:

The cost of the PGP program including access to relevant technologies is:

IPGA Members: US$2,700.00 

Non-members:  US$2,950.00 (including a one-year IPGA membership).

Payment Schedule:

$1350 is due for IPGA Members on or before September 15, 2017.

$1600 is due for Non-Members on or before September 15, 2017. 

The balance is due by January 15, 2018.   

Other Costs:

Participants should also allow around $300 for purchase of reading materials.  See more about Reading under Entry Requirements below.

Tax Receipts:

IPGA is a 501 3c non-profit organization and tax receipts can be provided on request.

Cancellation Policy:

Prior to October 31st you may cancel with a full refund less a $150 administrative fee. Between November 1 and January 31st you may cancel without paying the second half of the fee.  No refunds after Feb 1st but 50% of the fees can be applied to the following year's program. 



The PGP program provides the opportunity to network closely with peers and teaching staff.   Tutors will be available throughout their units to answer queries and provide support and will have two one-on-one tutorial/feedback sessions with participants over the course of their unit.  Peer group support will be encouraged through online and offline discussion.  

PGP participants will also each have a mentor assigned by the Program Director who can support them with regards to their relevant sectoral and/role interests.  

Tutors and mentors will be provided with guidance about IPGA’s expectations regarding the provision of a positive learning environment  


PGPSM participants must meet the following entry requirements:

a. Evidence of Ability to Complete the Program:

Before joining the program, all participants must provide evidence of:

i. At least two years’ relevant experience as a board member, CEO, board support (for example board clerk or administrator) or board consultant

ii. Having been actively engaged in developing and operating board processes using Policy Governance

iii. Ability to comprehend and write English to a degree-level standard

b. Reference:

Before joining the program, all participants must provide a name of either a) a board Chair or b) someone who has completed the Carver Policy Governance AcademySM who is willing to affirm the above.

c. Reading: 

All participants are required to have read the following before the start of Unit 1 of the program:

i. Boards That Make a Difference: A New Design for Leadership in Nonprofit and Public Organizations, 3rd Edition, John Carver 2006, Jossey-Bass

ii. Corporate Boards That Create Value: Governing Company Performance from the Boardroom, John Carver with Caroline Oliver, 2002, Jossey-Bass

If you do not already have these books and are an IPGA member, they may be purchased at a 25% discount through IPGA’s website or accessed through any other bookseller or your local public or institutional libraries. Members please sign in to the IPGA Members Area page. On the right had column click on the  Wiley Bookstore tab to receive the discount.

Most reading materials will be included in your program.  However, you will also need to purchase/gain library access to some books if you don’t already have them.  We are currently negotiating discounts where possible.  Participants should allow around $300.00 for the purchase of materials.  

d. Technical Requirements: 

All participants are required to have ready access to computing resources with sufficient capacity for electronic communications including video-conferencing and video review.   A headset is required for good quality video-conferencing.

Participants will also be required to use a variety of software applications which will be provided free of charge.  

e. Agreements

You will also be required to signify your understanding of the nature of the certification, the use of IPGA copyright course materials and the requirements for maintaining your credential.  


Upon successful completion of the program, participants will have earned their Policy Governance® Professional (PGP) designation and can use the letters PGP after their names. In addition, they will receive a certificate by mail.  

To ensure that their high level of education has been sustained, participants will need to renew their certification periodically (not more than every 3 years) by giving evidence of their continuing education and re-commit to upholding IPGA’s Code of Ethics.   Participants in the 2016 PGP program will be consulted about the development of IPGA’s recertification arrangements and code of ethics both of which are currently under wider consultation.



International Policy Governance Association

5300 Lakewood Road

Whitehall, Michigan  49461  USA

USA Tel: +734-239-8002 x202

Direct Tel: +231 894 0323

USA Mobile: +1 248 770 1865

Fax: +248 814 7151

Skype: mpalmer.treeline


IPGA is committed to the continuous improvement of the PGP credential as a trustworthy professional designation. The feedback of PGP program participants is essential to this aim.

There will be formal opportunities for participants to provide feedback in the middle of the program at its conclusion.  However, feedback is always welcome and should be sent to the IPGA Professional Education Committee via the Program Director at

Policy Governance® is an internationally registered service mark of John Carver. Registration is only to ensure accurate description of the model rather than for financial gain. The model is available free to all with no royalties or license fees for its use. The authoritative website for Policy Governance is

© 2016 International Policy Governance Association 

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