• Covers foundational areas of board governance including board essentials, legal roles and responsibilities, finance fundamentals, commitment to diversity, strategic planning, risk, management, and resource development.
  • Designed to develop your skills and knowledge to become an effective board member.
  • Each module is presented through a series of modules building on the foundation through principles from lived experiences, case studies, and best practices.
  • Developed by OnBoard Canada in consultation with many accomplished leaders in board governance.

Course Type:
7 accessible and self-paced online modules

Completion time:
10-12 hours

No previous governance training required; suitable for emerging and experienced board directors.

Ongoing, register anytime, from anywhere.
Available in English only.


  • Course: Embedding Diversity and Inclusion into an Organization
  • Ongoing access to supplementary online governance training webinars






Group rate (10+ people)


Per individual


This course addresses seven key themes in board governance:




  • The context of the not-for-profit sector
  • Board life cycles, models and best practices
  • Board roles and responsibilities
  • Board meeting process and member participation
  • Tools and resources to support learners in their board position

Subject Matter Specialist

Ruth Armstrong

Legal Roles
& Responsibilities


  • The legal obligations and issues of being a board member
  • The rights and powers of a board of directors and individual board members
  • Board composition
  • The legal considerations and liabilities of board members
  • Understanding insurance




  • The role of boards, organizations, and board members in relation to finance
  • Finance related roles and committees
  • Budget planning and analysis
  • Interpretation of financial statements and budgets
  • How to assess the financial health of the organization

to Diversity



  • Foundational understanding of the importance of diversity on boards
  • The dimensions of diversity and inclusion
  • The business case for diversity
  • Board member roles in promoting diversity
  • Understanding of cultural competence, tokenism, generalization, minimization, and the culture of a board




  • Understanding risk
  • The role of the board in managing risk
  • Enterprise Risk Management
  • Structures and processes for managing risk
  • Risk classification and tolerance




  • Understanding and developing an organization’s purpose and impact
  • A strategic planning process and the tools to develop a strategic plan
  • Methods for implementing the strategic plan
  • Roles of the board and the executives in developing and implement the plan




  • Context and challenges of resource development
  • Key principles and concepts of effective resource development
  • Success through a planning process
  • Role of the board to support and enhance resource development

Subject Matter Specialists

Meet our team of subject matter specialists and leaders in the governance field. Together we have developed high quality, self-paced e-learning governance training, supplemented by webinars and in-person sessions. These courses are available to all individuals. They provide learners with the skills, knowledge, and resources to make an immediate contribution to governance boards in the non-profit and public sectors.

Ruth Armstrong
Ruth Armstrong

Ruth Armstrong
Board Essentials

Ruth Armstrong founded VISION Management Services in 1986. A dynamic presenter, teacher and facilitator, she has provided leadership development and consultation to more than 350 public, private and non-profit organizations in Canada and the United States. Ruth is a recognized expert in Governance and Strategic Planning.

Terrie-Lynne Devonish
Legal Roles and Responsibilities

Terrie-Lynne Devonish is the Chief Compliance Officer, North America for Aon and in that position is responsible for providing compliance advice and guidance to Aon’s business units in Canada and the United States. Terrie-Lynne received a B.A. from Collège Glendon, York University in 1992 and an LL.B from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1995. She was called to the Ontario bar in 1997. She is a member of the Legal Leaders for Diversity, a member of the Ontario Bar Association and the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, and is a Director of the National Theatre School of Canada. She served as a member of the Harry Jerome Scholarship Fund Board of Trustees, and was a member of the York University Board of Governors from 2005 to 2013. Terrie-Lynne was one of the finalists in the ZSA/Financial Post’s Canadian General Counsel Awards, in the Leaders of Tomorrow category in 2007, and was chosen as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40™ in 2007.

Terrie-Lynne Devonish
Terrie-Lynne Devonish
Lois Fine
Lois Fine

Lois Fine
Finance Fundamentals

Lois FineLois has over 30 years of accounting experience in the non-profit and charitable sector. She is the Director of Finance and Information Technology at YWCA Toronto, and has consulted widely in the sector, serving agencies, private and public foundations, as well as government funding bodies. Lois has taught financial workshops for the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association, the Maytree Foundation, United Way of Greater Toronto and for the Emerging Leaders Program at the Schulich School of Business. She is a member of Imagine Canada’s Advisory Council, the Accounting Standards Oversight Council and is Treasurer of Playwrights’ Guild Canada, as well as the Queen West Community Health Centre. Lois is committed to issues of social justice and building strong social movements and community services.

Hamlin Grange
Commitment to Diversity

Hamlin Grange is a diversity and inclusion strategist. He believes a deeper understanding of how culture affects human interactions is a vital perquisite in today’s fast-paced diverse world. He is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), a powerful tool that assesses and develops the level of individual and team awareness and sensitivity towards cultural differences and commonalities. He has served on numerous boards.

Hamlin Grange
Hamlin Grange
Ingrid Pregel
Ingrid Pregel

Ingrid Pregel
Risk Management

Ingrid Pregel serves clients as a management consultant, facilitator and executive coach. Her career spans three decades including 25 years with KPMG and most recently as Prinicpal of iPCi. Ingrid works with a wide range of organizations in the private, not for profit and public sectors to increase the effectiveness of people in accomplishing vision, mission and strategic goals. Ingrid collaborates with client teams on projects that involve governance effectiveness, strategic planning, enterprise risk management, and leading change. Over the past 30 years, Ingrid has demonstrated her skills as a seasoned professional, comfortable in a wide range of milieus, able to bridge the gap from theory to practical, with a particular skill in helping groups achieve consensus on solutions and in enabling individuals to discover innovative ways forward.

Helen Hayward
Strategic Planning

Helen is a strategic advisor with a national consulting firm, Western Management Consultants, on organizational effectiveness for public and not for profit sectors. She has trained many boards and executives on board governance, designed and facilitated strategic planning and performance management. She serves on the boards of hospital, college and community service agencies.

Helen Hayward
Helen Hayward
Cathy Mann
Cathy Mann

Cathy Mann
Resource Development

Cathy MannAs the President of Cathy Mann & Associates Inc, Cathy helps clients develop the infrastructure and culture of philanthropy required to build sustainable development programs. In her role as Academic Coordinator and an instructor at Ryerson University’s Fundraising Management Certificate program, Cathy breaks down complex matters into achievable actions. During her 5-year tenure as Executive Director, Frontier College Foundation received the 2007 Award for Excellence in Fundraising for Small Shops from the International Association of Fundraising Professionals. Cathy is an active volunteer and frequent speaker. With the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Greater Toronto Chapter, she held many roles: V.P. of Professional Development, mentor and founder of its Inclusion and Equity Committee.