People & Business: IoD's charter

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The Independent Online
YOU'VE GOT chartered accountants, chartered surveyors, even chartered arbitrators. Now please welcome chartered directors.

Tim Melville-Ross, director-general of the Institute of Directors (IoD), yesterday launched the professional qualification of Chartered Director, or "C.DIR". Why introduce the qualification now, I asked? "There are a great number of directors at the moment who are simply not up to scratch," thunders Mr Melville-Ross, himself a former chief executive of the Nationwide Building Society.

"There is a huge problem in British boardrooms of people who do not have the basic skills needed for management," he adds.

The IoD aims to combat this by taking managers with a track record in the boardroom and a degree or equivalent, and putting them through a series of exams and interviews.

The director-general reckons they will start with about 100 people a year, rising to 1,000 annually - "although that is still only scratching the surface. We're playing a long game," he admits. The IoD has 56,000 members worldwide.