subpage banner


GOH Address by Ms Indranee Rajah, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Finance and National Development, at the Launch of SID Director Accreditation Programme on 10 May 2024

10 May 2024
Mr Yeoh Oon Jin, Chairman, Singapore Institute of Directors (SID),
Mr Terence Quek, CEO, SID,
Members of SID,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen.


1.     Thank you very much for inviting me to be here. It is great to see such a stellar turnout here for today’s event. 

2.     This is a significant milestone that encapsulates SID’s pivotal role in strengthening corporate governance and uplifting the directorship profession in Singapore over the last two and a half decades.

Importance of Good Corporate Governance in Singapore

3.     Good corporate governance has never been more crucial for Singapore’s economic growth and stability.

4.     In the face of geopolitical uncertainties, climate change, emerging technologies, and risks posed by money laundering and terrorism financing, we need to ensure that Singapore remains a competitive and trusted hub for investments and businesses.

5.     To achieve this, upholding standards of good corporate governance is key.

a. Good corporate governance not only fosters strong companies that are capable of achieving business outcomes, but it also guards against the misuse of companies for illicit activities and ensures that companies act responsibly for the good of our society.

b. This in turn instills investors’ trust and confidence, boosts economic growth, and enhances Singapore’s reputation globally.

SID’s Efforts in Strengthening Corporate Governance

6.     SID has played a prominent role in strengthening corporate governance since its establishment in 1998, in the wake of the Asian Financial Crisis. 

7.     I commend SID for its past and current contributions towards fostering strong corporate governance in Singapore.

Advancing Thought Leadership

a. First, SID has been a thought leader on governance and directorship. To promote high standards of corporate governance, MAS issued the Code of Corporate Governance (CG Code) in 2001, and continues to work with ACRA, SID and SGX to produce a series of Corporate Governance Guides for Boards in Singapore based on the CG Code. These guides serve as important resources for board directors who are entrusted to safeguard the interests of their stakeholders.

Building Competencies and Capabilities

b. Second, to ensure that directors have the essential knowledge and skills to carry out their duties effectively, SID partners   organisations to conduct professional development programmes designed to highlight board competencies. These, include the Directorship programme in collaboration with the Singapore Management University (SMU), the Governance for Outstanding Organisation Directors programme in partnership with the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), and many other customised courses supported by preeminent professional services firms.

Connecting and Strengthening the Ecosystem

c. Third, to connect and strengthen the corporate governance ecosystem in Singapore, SID conducts numerous public consultation exercises and focus groups to raise awareness around topics such as sustainability reporting and workplace safety and health. SID also supports succession planning of boards by providing Board Appointment Services where members can access available board opportunities from commercial and nonprofit organisations. 

Evolving Role of Directors

8.     As you can see, SID has made great progress in promoting good corporate governance, which would not be possible without directors championing the cause of responsible leadership in their organisations. 

9.     The role of directors is evolving with the rapidly changing world today, from tackling emerging cyber risks to addressing urgent calls for sustainable growth – in the areas of Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) issues.

10.     One key area of governance that warrants greater attention from directors today is preventing their companies from being misused for money laundering. Over the past year, the high-profile billion-dollar money laundering case as well as convicted cases of directors failing to exercise reasonable diligence in discharging their duties have made the news. These serve as reminders of the important role that directors play.  

11.     As a society, we are taking concerted efforts to guard against money laundering.

a. The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) that I am chairing is reviewing the issue, and we will share our findings and recommendations later in the year.

b. Earlier this week, I also introduced a Bill in Parliament to enhance our regime for corporate service providers. 

c. We will also need you, as directors, to do your part – to continue to stay vigilant and guard against this threat.  

12.     Referencing the theme of the SID Directors Conference held last year, directors can no longer just look to “Conform” and “Perform” but you will now also have to “Transform” to “navigate an unscripted world”.

13.     It is therefore crucial for directors to stay current and relevant through continuous professional development and lifelong learning. This will ensure that you are well-equipped with the competencies to discharge your duties effectively and responsibly.

Uplifting Directors’ professional standards via SID Directors Accreditation Programme

14.     Recognising the importance of equipping directors with strong professional knowledge and skills, I am happy to announce that SID has launched an accreditation programme for directors.

15.     First shared by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Mr Lawrence Wong at SID’s 25th anniversary commemorative event in July last year, the accreditation programme serves to provide directors with structured development pathways to acquire essential competencies and enable them to stay relevant over time. 

16.     The programme is designed to support directors of all organisations, which include listed entities, statutory boards, private companies, and nonprofit organisations. It will also aid new directors, including foreigners looking to incorporate companies in Singapore, to obtain the relevant competencies and understand Singapore’s standards for corporate governance.

17.     Let me share some of the key features of the accreditation programme.

a. The programme is developed based on SID’s Director Competency model, which comprises modules covering eight areas of competencies. They are:

i. Governance 
ii. Director duties and practices
iii. Financial skillsets
iv. Risk management 
v. Strategy development
vi. Digital skillsets
vii. Human capital 
viii. Sustainability fundamentals

b. Regulatory agencies such as ACRA, MAS, SGX and the Charities Unit were consulted in the development of the programme.

c. The programme includes an accreditation exam which is overseen by an independent Standards and Exam Board, comprising distinguished academics and leaders from NTU, NUS and SMU.

d. To be eligible for the exam, candidates have to attain at least 32 hours of relevant formal training and education. SID is also launching an accreditation preparatory course to help candidates prepare for the exam.

e. Candidates who passed the exam will achieve the credential “Accredited Director” or “Senior Accredited Director” (if they have more than five years of directorship experience). The credential serves as a good indication that the director is equipped with the essential knowledge and skills to perform his/her duties. 

f. To ensure that accredited directors stay current, they will be required to accumulate 40 hours of continuous professional development every two years. 

18.     While accreditation is not mandatory, it speaks volumes of individuals who step forward to get accredited – it will demonstrate their commitment to lifelong learning and pursuit of professional standards to strengthen corporate governance.

Call to action

19.     I would like to encourage our accredited directors here to persevere on this journey of continuous professional development, to uphold standards of good corporate governance and be exemplary role models. 

20.     To directors who are yet to be accredited, I invite you to come on board SID’s accreditation programme and join the community of accredited directors in the pursuit of excellence in corporate governance. 

21.     Companies, board chairs and chairs of nominating committees may also wish to consider the accreditation credentials as strong indication of professionalism in directorship when seeking out potential directors to join your boards.


22.     In conclusion, the pursuit of excellence in corporate governance requires all of us to play our part. Let us continue to work together to uphold strong corporate governance and make Singapore a vibrant and trusted financial hub. 

23.     I look forward to hearing your views in our chat later and once again thank you very much.