Competent Boards

Advisory Services


Competent Boards, Inc. is a front-runner in the learning industry trusted by more than 1,000 board members and business executives in over 55 countries. We focus on inspiring and building strong, competent boards through forward-looking training, education and certification flexibly tailored to the needs of the organization.

In an environment of unprecedented change, uncertainty and disruption, boards need to be continuously upskilled and informed so they can exercise their duties of care, oversight, and foresight; be compliant with evolving disclosure laws to protect reputation; and work with management as the front line of governance to create and grow the value delivered to multiple stakeholders over the long run.

Our Advisory Service Offers

Virtual / In-person bespoke sessions

Tailored sessions to meet the specific needs and goals of boards and executives, focusing on enhancing their understanding of governance, sustainability, and leadership in the context of local and global challenges.

The sessions are tailored to meet the specific needs and goals of boards and executives, focusing on enhancing their understanding of sustainability and climate oversight and governance in the context of local and global challenges. We work with management and boards to keep them up-to-date and provide recommendations for improved practices on the following topics:

  • Corporate Stewardship
  • Sustainability and ESG integration, risk and opportunities management, and oversight
  • Dealing with dilemmas, including geopolitical challenges
  • AI Oversight
  • Supply chain resilience
  • Human Capital Management and DEI
  • Stakeholder engagement and materiality assessment
  • Integrated and systems thinking (assess connected risks and opportunities)
  • Climate change and biodiversity
  • Enterprise risk management
  • Board structure and transition planning

The focus of our typical sessions remains on the synthesized insights from our flagship programs covering 19 core sustainability, climate and biodiversity modules, the latest regulations and trends, and questions to ask for effective board and management oversight.


Virtual Sessions
  • Short Sessions: These can range from 1 to 3 hours and are designed to cover specific topics or provide an introduction to broader themes. Short sessions are ideal for focused discussions or when participants' availability is limited.
  • Extended Sessions: For more in-depth exploration of topics, virtual sessions can be extended or divided into multiple parts, each ranging from 1 to 3 hours, spread over several days.
In-Person Sessions
  • Half-Day Sessions: Typically lasting about 3 to 4 hours, half-day sessions allow for a deeper dive into subjects with time for interactive discussions, case studies, and group activities. This format is suited for workshops or intensive training that requires participant engagement.
  • Full-Day Sessions: These sessions can last from 5 to 6 hours, including breaks. Full-day sessions are comprehensive and allow for extensive coverage of topics, including expert presentations, interactive discussions, breakout sessions, and practical exercises. This format is suitable for in-depth training, strategic planning sessions, or board retreats.

The exact format, including the duration of each session, can be tailored to meet the specific learning objectives, participant engagement levels, and scheduling requirements of the organization.

Sustainability Competency Assessment and Industry Benchmarking

This encompasses a comprehensive 5-factor assessment (encompassing role, employment history, experience, committee participation, and educational background) aimed at evaluating board members' capabilities in managing sustainability-related challenges, with the option to receive results for each individual or the board as a whole, along with optional benchmarking against industry standards. Additionally, our targeted Knowledge Gap Assessment tool for board members and management teams pinpoints areas requiring further development in sustainability and ESG topics, providing a detailed status report and a tailored upskilling journey map.

The two types of assessments include:

a) 5-factors (role, employment, experience, committee, and education) assessment of board members. The 5-factor assessment tool is designed to evaluate the competency of board members in overseeing strategies designed to respond to sustainability-related risks and opportunities. The assessment results can be presented both at an individual level or the overall board level. An optional industry benchmarking report can also be provided, upon request.

b) Knowledge gap assessment on sustainability and ESG topics. This is a questionnaire-based assessment to pinpoint the particular areas where board members and management may need upskilling support. Upon completion of the assessment, an overall status report along with an upskilling journey map will be provided.

You may also opt for a Status Reassessment. This includes a reassessment of the board competency using the 5-factor tool and knowledge gap tool.

Board Stewardship Suite™ by Competent Boards

A specialized service designed to assess and elevate board effectiveness and strategic oversight. This comprehensive suite goes beyond mere administrative support, offering a holistic enhancement of board functions through several key components.

This specialized service is a multifaceted approach aimed at optimizing the performance and strategic effectiveness of boards. This comprehensive suite goes beyond mere administrative support, offering a holistic enhancement of board functions through several key components:

  • Board Assessment: Through a structured and confidential process, board members receive feedback on their involvement from their peers. The assessments are designed to be constructive, focusing on areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. This process not only enhances individual member contributions but also the overall board composition, board dynamics, and effectiveness.
  • Management-Board Alignment Insight: This aspect delves into the strategic alignment between the board and the management team. It evaluates how well the board's vision, goals, and strategic priorities are understood and shared by the management. This insight is crucial for ensuring that both entities are working cohesively towards common objectives, with clear and open communication channels. It identifies gaps in understanding or alignment and offers recommendations for enhancing synergy.
  • Future Boardroom Advisor: This service streamlines board excellence by evolving board governance, committee structure and charter, leadership development, and recruitment strategy with a focus on adaptability and ethical leadership. Our core feature, the "Competent Boards Skills Matrix," meticulously maps existing board competencies against future goals, highlighting skill gaps.

The service is tailored to each board's unique context and needs, considering its industry, size, and strategic challenges. It employs a variety of tools and methodologies, including surveys, interviews, and data analysis, to gather comprehensive insights. The outcomes of these assessments are actionable recommendations that can be implemented to enhance board composition, strategy formulation, risk management practices, and internal dynamics.

Speaking Engagements

These engagements can range from formal keynote addresses to more interactive panel discussions and round-tables, covering specialized topics relevant to the audience and the event's theme.
Sheila Murray

“Helle has dedicated her career to inspiring business leaders to be true stewards of the future. Her positive energy and tremendous foresight prepare business leaders to make better business decisions that affect not just their companies, but their stakeholders, and the planet. She is not only highly knowledgeable, she’s a great person and a joy to work with.”

Sheila A. Murray

Chair of the Board of Directors, Teck

“Through practical examples and real life experiences, Competent Boards programs will help any leader who wants to keep up with new environmental, ethical, financial and societal demands.”

Claudia Sender

Non-Executive Director at Telefonica, Embraer, Holcim and Gerdau

Eric Wetlaufer

“Competent Boards programs are hands down the best-advanced director education out there, a testament to Helle’s experience and overall competence and foresight in this emerging arena.”

Eric Wetlaufer (GCB.D)

Member, Board of Directors, TMX Group & Investment Management Corporation of Ontario (IMCO)

“I think this program is more relevant than ever, and I would highly recommend it. I feel better equipped to oversee ESG and sustainability issues in my board rooms.”

Leslie F. Seidman (GCB.D)

Former Chair, Financial Accounting Standards Board (Fasb), Non-Executive Director and Audit Chair, Moody’s Corp. & General Electric

Martin Wolf Competent Boards

“Invaluable guidance on what boards must do if the businesses they guide are to respond successfully to today’s enormous economic, environmental and social challenges.”

Martin Wolf

Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times


“Not many have the insight and foresight of Helle Bank Jorgensen to see the risks and opportunities of the future that will help you ask the right questions.”

Charles O. Holliday Jr.

Chair of The Mission Possible Partnership; Former Chair, Royal Dutch Shell and Bank of America

Bespoke Board and Executive Education Sessions

Are you interested in a program or session tailored to your company? We’ll work with you to customize our educational offerings. Sessions can be co-facilitated with the CEO, Chair, corporate secretary, or another appointed person.

Board Assessments

Are you looking for an assessment for your board? Competent Boards conducts insightful and structured board assessments to help your board reflect on risks, vulnerabilities, and opportunities, providing valuable feedback to enhance board structure and governance.

Coaching / Strategic Advice

Do you have a question you want to discuss and get our view on? Helle Bank Jorgensen, Founder and CEO of Competent Boards and experienced board facilitator, offers online coaching and intelligence gleaned from many years of global consultancy experience across a wide range of industries.

Board Presentation / Facilitation

Could your Board benefit from a facilitated dialogue or an insightful presentation? We will thoughtfully prepare a session that will inspire while providing honest and constructive feedback to help drive long term success.

Welcome, which course are you interested in:

Primarily discuss the topics through the lens of serving on the board. You must be serving on at least one board with fiduciary responsibility to enter this stream.

Discuss the topics through a wide range of business perspectives (including the board) and comprise senior executives, investors, and board advisors.

Keep current with us.

Stay in the know with the latest sustainability, ESG and climate insights, plus be the first to learn about program updates and events.