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Trustee Director Course

Built by the industry, for the industry.

Good governance has always been at the core of the profit-to-member ethos, a fact recognised by thousands of Australians who choose to invest their super with profit-to-member funds.

SMC’s Trustee Director Courses are designed for current and aspiring superannuation trustee directors and the content is informed by our knowledge of APRA, ASIC and AUSTRAC governance requirements. The courses enable participants to be on top of the latest and leading approaches to good governance to enable excellence in the oversight of the retirement savings of working Australians.

Facilitated by SMC and industry experts using interactive case studies and practical ‘real life’ learning, our sessions emphasise discussion with peers and interactive learning. The course modules are delivered virtually and face-to-face (in Melbourne and Sydney).

Programs on offer

  1. Trustee Director Course (TDC1) – designed for aspiring trustee directors, directors with less than three years’ experience in a superfund boardroom or fund senior executives.
  2. Advanced Trustee Director Course (TDC2) – designed for trustee directors with three or more years of trustee board experience or fund senior executives who seek deeper superannuation-specific board skills, knowledge, and experience.
  3. Customised TDC programs – build your own course based on any combination of modules in TDC1 and/or TDC2.
  4. Board training program – SMC provides customised in-house board training on a wide range of governance topics, including those covered in our trustee director course as well as other current and emerging governance topics.

How to register

Email us here to register for TDC, Advanced TDC, to customise your own TDC program, or to organise an in-house board training program. The dates for calendar year 2025 will be released in August 2024

Course fees

For more course details

Click on the headings below for more information about TDC1 and TDC2.

More information is also included here:

  • Trustee Director Course (TDC1)
    TDC builds a comprehensive grounding in trustee director duties and obligations, fund operations, the risk framework, fund financial statements, investment principles and the workings of the board.

    The course develops critical groundwork required for good governance so that individuals have the knowledge to undertake a director role in the superannuation sector. TDC can also assist executives or senior managers needing to understand the breadth and depth of governance issues in the sector.

    Content includes:
    – Overview and history of super
    – Legal and regulatory frameworks
    – Risk framework and culture
    – Fund financial statements and management accounts
    – Practical workings of the board
    – Investment principles

    Course format and schedule including Trustee Dinner
    Eight modules delivered virtually and in-person over 3-4 months. Usually offered twice a year. For those attending the full course, SMC also hosts a networking dinner toward the end of the course, providing an opportunity to network and exchange ideas with peers in an informal setting.

    Learning objectives
    – Understand the risk framework: what is required to sign off on risk declarations and contribute to a fund’s risk strategy
    – Sharpen your analysis of investment strategies and oversight of investment operations
    – Improve your capacity to oversee fund financial systems
    – Be on top of the scope and depth of duties and obligations of super fund directors
    – Enhance your knowledge of fund operations that trustee directors must monitor
    – Learn to confidently represent members’ best financial interest

    Module 1: The superannuation industry
    Module 2: Trustee director duties and obligations
    Module 3: Superannuation fund operations with guest CEO
    Module 4: The risk framework
    Module 5: Interpreting financial statements
    Module 6: Introduction to investment principles
    Module 7: The trustee board
    Module 8: Board capstone with guest CEO and chair

    Course Outcomes
    – Comprehensive knowledge of superannuation fund governance
    – Statement of Completion
    – Up to 60 CPD hours
    – Post-nominal GSMC (Graduate SMC)
  • Advanced Trustee Director Course (TDC2)
    The Advanced TDC is designed for experienced trustee directors and is a step up from TDC; it will further enhance effectiveness in the boardroom. It is designed for trustee directors or senior fund staff with three or more years into their roles.

    The structure of the course has been informed by discussions with APRA regarding trustee director skills and the rapidly evolving business environment for funds.

    The Advanced TDC has a focus on developing the competencies of the board as a collegiate body which robustly debates issues before taking decisions in the best financial interests of members.

    Content includes:
    – Deep dive into board governance and culture;
    – Emerging technology and third-party risk issues and how to oversee them;
    – Scenario planning, strategy development and how to ensure members’ best financial interests are represented during and after mergers,
    – Investment governance frameworks, ESG/responsible investment and climate change
    – Applying the knowledge in a practical setting.

    Course format and schedule including Trustee Dinner
    Five modules delivered virtually and in-person over 3-4 months. For those attending the full course, SMC also hosts a networking dinner toward the end of the course, providing an opportunity to network and exchange ideas with peers in an informal setting. The course is usually offered twice every 18 months.

    Learning objectives
    – Enhance your ability to guide the strategic direction of the fund and improve member outcomes-
    – Improve your governance capabilities regarding technology, insourcing, outsourcing and other emerging risks
    – Know how to take your risk and board culture to the next level
    – Build in-depth knowledge of investment governance frameworks and ensure you focus on what is important, including understanding the nuances of the latest regulatory changes, stress testing and ESG (covering climate related risks and opportunities as well as the social license to operate)
    – Build your capacity to contribute broadly to good decision-making

    – Module 1: Board culture and governance
    – Module 2: Risk Governance
    – Module 3: Investment Governance
    – Module 4: The Board and Strategy
    – Module 5: Capstone session: Applying the learning

    Course Outcomes
    – Enhanced level of knowledge of superannuation governance and decision-making frameworks
    – Statement of Completion
    – Up to 50 CPD hours
    – Post nominal: GSMC Advanced (Graduate of SMC’s Advanced TDC Course)
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