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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.

Entry requirements

Admission Requirements
Applicants for Postgraduate Diplomas, Postgraduate Certificates, MA, MEconSc and MSc programmes must have a primary degree or equivalent qualification.


One academic year.

Delivery Method
A blend of distance learning and weekend seminars at the IPA campus in Dublin.

Further enquiries

Tel: +353 1 240 3600

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


Accreditation: National University of Ireland
Place on NFQ: Level 9 (Special Purpose Award).

Assessment method

Students are assessed on the basis of an assignment, a project and an examination.

Application date

Apply Online from August 2020, students can apply online at

Apply by Post
Please complete the application form and return it to the IPA, together with:

• One copy of your degree or relevant qualification
• One passport-type photograph
• The semester fee
• 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.

Course fee

The cost of the programme is €2,500 per annum (includes all matriculation and examination fees, all seminars, textbooks and course material), payable in two instalments.

Enrolment and start dates

Commences: September 2020.

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