Certified Board Secretary




GCC BDI Board Secretary Certification Programme is recognised by the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF)

GCC BDI is pleased to announce the Board Secretary Certification Programme is now recognised by the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Nationals who complete the full certification programme and become Certified Board Secretaries can apply for a partial refund from HRDF up to a value of SAR 5,400. Terms and Conditions apply. Click here for more information.

The Human Resources Development Fund is a Saudi governmental authority that was established by a royal decree in July 2000. It falls under the Saudi Ministry of Labour and Social Development. HRDF is mainly concerned with providing financial support to organizations that train and qualify Saudis in the private sector. 


Please click on the tabs below for detailed information about this programme:



Board secretaries have an important role to play as governance professionals in all types of organisations in the private, public, and not-for- profit sectors. Governance is more than just complying with laws, regulations, standards, and codes; it is also about creating cultures of good practice. This means that board secretaries need more than the technical skills and experience to know what corporate governance practices are needed in an organisation and why.

They also need the emotional intelligence, skills, and experience to ensure that they know how the practices typically would be implemented to work effectively. The modern board secretary provides professional guidance to shareholders, boards, individual directors, management, and other stakeholders on the governance aspects of strategic decisions.



This programme will help the board secretary to act as a bridge for information, communication, advice, and arbitration between the board and management and between the organisation and its shareholders and stakeholders. The programme will support the board secretary to fully understand their roles and responsibilities in relation to all stakeholders in the corporate governance system.

This programme is designed to provide participants with the knowledge, skills and practical tips for carrying out their duties as board secretary. It will be interactive and skills-based providing participants with practical examples.


The programme will consist of four workshops:

  • The Board Secretary Role - Governance and Decision-Making (4 days)
  • The Board Secretary Role - Board Members (4 days)
  • The Board Secretary Role - Shareholders and Other Stakeholders (4 days)
  • The Board Secretary Role - Strategy & Risk (5 days)

Participants can attend one, two or three workshops or all four, but if they wish to be certified they must attend all four workshops and pass the exams.

Course Delivery

You can choose from two course delivery options:

  1. Virtual: Join our live online interactive programme
  2. Face-to-face: Traditional classroom workshops

And you can mix and match between the virtual online delivery and the classroom delivery

Our new Online Certified Board Secretary Programme starts as from September 2020. Each of the 4 modules is split into 2 parts. You need to complete both parts in the same month to complete the module. The 4 modules will be run on a cyclical basis with one module every 2 to 3 months. In this way, you would be able to complete the full programme within 12 months. If you miss a module, you can wait for it to come round again in the cycle. You can start the cycle at any time but there will be an additional 2-hour orientation session if you don’t start with Module 1. 

All our online workshops are run using the Zoom video conferencing platform, as well as our online learning platform LEARN GCC BDI.

Our normal classroom workshops will start in 2021 and will be run in Riyadh at the Financial Academy.

The schedule of online and classroom workshops below is designed to dovetail so that you can mix and match online and classroom training. You could do all the modules online, or in the classroom if you prefer, but you could also do one or two modules online and the remainder in the classroom for example. It is your choice.

Schedule of workshops 2024




1. Governance and Decision-Making

Part 1: 24 - 25 April 2024
Part 2: 29 - 30 April 2024

5-8 February 2024

2. Board Members


Part 1: 3 - 4 July 2024
Part 2: 10 - 11 July 2024

20-23 May 2024

3. Shareholders and Other Stakeholders


Part 1: 30 Sept - 1 Oct 2024
Part 2: 7 - 8 October 2024

26 - 29 August 2024

4. Strategy & Risk

Part 1: 18 - 19 November 2024
Part 2: 25 - 27 November 2024


3 - 7 November 2024


In all cases, whether you choose an online module or a classroom module, the programmes are delivered live by the faculty and each day is a full 8-hour day.


The Financial Academy is the Awarding Body for all our Certification Programmes and exams will either be held online or at the Financial Academy examination centres, depending on whether you choose the online module or the classroom module. 


If a participant wishes to be certified, they must attend all four workshops and pass the multiple choice exams at the end of each of the four workshops.

The Financial Academy is the Awarding Body and this programme is run in collaboration with the Financial Academy.


In-House Programmes

Companies wishing to run a tailored in-house certification for their board secretaries should contact us for more information and we will be happy to discuss the options with you. 

Who should Attend?

  • Appointed and aspiring board secretaries, company secretaries and governance professionals.
  • Anyone involved in company law and regulatory compliance.
  • Anyone seeking a better understanding of the role of the board secretary who has responsibility for corporate governance.

Facilitator – Alison Dillon Kibirige

Alison Dillon Kibirige is a global expert on corporate governance (Governance, Ethics, CSR and Risk Management). She is the Founding Director of AMDK Consultancy & Training Services Limited (AMDK), a business she set up in early 2007, which focuses on improving corporate governance practices in all sectors (private, public and not-for-profit) globally. Her work at AMDK has taken her throughout Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Asia.

Alison has served as a member of boards, committees and industry working groups since the early 1980s. She is a member of the UKRIAT Committee, Qualifications Committee and of ICSA’s International Professional Standards Committee, company secretary of aBi Trust and aBi Finance Limited and a Director of the Leadership Team Uganda Ltd. Alison is the former Chair of ICSA Uganda.

Alison has worked for the IFC/Global Corporate Governance Forum on projects in Indonesia, Mongolia, Zambia, Nigeria, Rwanda and Malawi. She has developed a series of workshops for IFC for corporate secretaries in developing and emerging markets, directors of banks in Nigeria and for SME Governance. Alison has also worked for the African Peer Review (APRM) in Uganda and at the APRM Secretariat in South Africa reviewing the Corporate Governance portion of the APRM Country Self- Assessment Questionnaire.

Alison has worked globally for over 25 years as a company secretary, previously as secretary to the main boards of Unilever and Barclays in London. She has also set up and worked as a director in several SMEs. Alison has also been involved in numerous consultations with governments, regulators and industry and professional bodies in Africa, Europe and the US.

She is a Fellow of ICSA and a UK solicitor. Alison was awarded the 2013 ICSA President’s Medal for Meritorious Service, the inaugural ICSA Company Secretary of the Year award in 2005 and has also won awards globally for her work with shareholders.


Workshop Fees

Traditional Workshop Fees

Online Workshop Fees

Per four-day workshop (Modules 1, 2, 3)

Non-Member: USD 4400 per person
Associate: USD 4180 per person
Member: USD 3870 per person
Fellow: USD 3340 per person

Per four-day workshop (Modules 1, 2, 3)

Non-Member: USD 3960 per person
Associate: USD 3762 per person
Member: USD 3483 per person
Fellow: USD 3006 per person

Per five-day workshop (Module 4)

Non-Member: USD 5400 per person
Associate: USD 5130 per person
Member: USD 4750 per person
Fellow: USD 4100 per person

Per five-day workshop (Module 4)

Non-Member: USD 4860 per person
Associate: USD 4617 per person
Member: USD 4275 per person
Fellow: USD 3690 per person


For pre-purchase of all four workshops: 25% discount on the total price of four workshops.

Further discounts may be available for booking of multiple participants. Please get in touch if you are interested in learning more.

Please note:

  • All our fees are in USD and exclude VAT or any other applicable taxes.
  • Pre-payment is required for all workshops.
  • Our standard cancellation and payment terms apply, please see our website for further details.