Institute of Public Administration - IPA


Accreditation: National University of Ireland

Place on NFQ: Level 9 (Special Purpose Award).

The Programme

The Professional Certificate in Governance is a one-year part-time programme that addresses a key area of concern to professionals in the public and private sectors. Governance is a subject used in several contexts and is a subject of much debate in Ireland and elsewhere. This programme examines governance as a set of structures and processes used in arriving at and implementing decisions.

Addressing such topics as the role and responsibilities of governing bodies and boards, the performance and accountability of directors, assurance arrangements, fiduciary responsibilities, executive and non-executive functions and reserved functions of boards, the Certificate explains the principles of governance and the constituent elements of ‘good’ governance. In short, graduates will have authoritative knowledge of the principles and practice associated with decision-making and control in organisations.

Students receive comprehensive course material and attend seminars at the IPA campus in Dublin 4. The lecturing team includes experienced governance specialists and practitioners. Study groups and peer interaction are facilitated and encouraged.

Is This Programme For You?

Yes, if you wish to obtain a professional qualification in a field of contemporary and enduring relevance and to advance your own understanding of the principles and practice under which commercial, non-commercial, State and public benefit organisations operate. The well-publicised governance, ethical and audit problems that defined the global financial crisis have clearly shown that there is a palpable need for board members, senior managers, administrators and policy-makers to critically assess the governance arrangements in place for particular sectors or organisations. This part-time programme will enable graduates to assess and enhance the governance mechanisms that operate in organisations and to clearly articulate and put in practice the ideas that lie behind the rhetoric of governance.

Subjects taught

Programme Content

- Principles of Governance

- Governance in the Public and Private Sectors

- Governance of Agencies

- Governance Roles and Responsibilities

- Best Practice and Professional Models

- Ethics

- Performance and Accountability

- Audit and Assurance

- Control and Risk Management

- Assessing Good Governance

Entry requirements

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have a primary degree or equivalent qualification.

Application dates

Go to

Download the programme application form and complete it in full.

Email that form, along with all the items below, to, with the subject heading: Application for: Name of Programme. The items below must be scanned and included as attachments in the email:

A passport-type photograph.

A scan of your degree or relevant qualification.

The semester fee OR a letter from your employer confirming that fees will be paid directly to the IPA.

Places on the programmes are limited and demand for places is likely to exceed the number available. Consequently, you are strongly advised to apply as early as possible.


One academic year.

Delivery Method

Students attend seminars/webinars in each term and are supported in their studies by a range of resources, including online course material and a core textbook.

Enrolment dates

Commences: September 2024

More details
  • Qualifications

    Special Purpose Certificate (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Daytime,Weekend,Blended

  • Apply to

    Course provider