Canadian Credit Union Association

Onboarding for new board members is a pivotal process that ensures they are well-prepared to contribute effectively to the board’s mission from the outset. Effective onboarding programs provide new directors not only with the necessary tools, but with the knowledge needed to leverage their unique skills and experiences.

Getting Started

Since its introduction in 1988, the Credit Union Director Achievement (CUDA) program has evolved with the complexity of the financial services industry and the sophistication of credit union member-owners. What started as a program created for credit unions, by the credit union system has evolved into a nationally recognized governance training solution. When credit unions incorporate the CUDA Level A, Foundations of Governance into their onboarding plans it significantly increase a new director’s confidence and ability to make meaningful contributions early in their tenure.  

The Credit Union Director Achievement (CUDA) Program

The Credit Union Director Achievement (CUDA) program provides the Board of Directors with the governance knowledge needed through the unique lens of a financial cooperative. The CUDA program receives regular review and updating by credit union subject matter experts in collaboration with our academic partner, Dalhousie University. It is delivered in three levels:  

Level A Courses

Level A courses allow new directors to jump into the foundations of governance at any time through six on-demand eLearning modules followed by a case-study based virtual eClass. The facilitated eClass allows directors to engage in dialogue, ask questions to a subject matter expert, and network with other directors. This training is most often completed within the first six months of being elected to the board. Directors will receive a certificate of completion for Level A after approximately ten learning hours.

Level B Courses

Level B is comprised of four short virtual classes that delve into a director’s attention on the activities they would be responsible for performing in their new board role. Risk OversightStrategy: Planning and OversightBoard Performance, Development and Evaluation, and HR Governance are all facilitated by subject matter experts and are concise learning offerings designed to meet the needs of busy executives. Many directors complete these four courses in the twelve months following their Level A completion. It will take a director approximately 14 hours to complete this level of training.  

Level C Courses

Level C courses focus on two critical areas of board work in financial services: governing the credit portfolio of the credit union, and the crucial role played by the audit committee. This level of the CUDA program teaches directors to apply what they have learned in Levels A and B and how it all supports their work as a director. In addition, to complete this level of the CUDA program, directors must complete two Level CE elective courses, a list of which can be found on the 2024 CUDA Calendar of Learning. Completion of courses in Level C should take approximately 12 hours and is usually completed within a director’s first term.  

Directors who have completed Levels A, B and C are granted CUDA Graduate
status and will receive a digital certificate of completion. Directors must complete at least six CE credits annually to maintain their status.    Download a copy of the CUDA Brochure here.

National Mentorship Program

CCUA’s National Mentorship Program (NMP) helps connect experienced directors with those looking for guidance, support, and governance skill development. The program is fully funded by CCUA and offers mentorship opportunities in full digital format. The program opens each year in April and runs until November. Click here for more information on this year’s NMP program.

CUDA Level A Certificate

The CUDA Level A, Foundations of Governance certificate is granted to any director who has successfully complete the 6 online modules and the case-study based facilitated session. This training is designed to provide new directors quick access to critical governance concepts including an overview of the credit union system, a director’s roles and responsibilities, the board’s roles and responsibilities, financial statement fundamentals and measurements, asset liability management and monitoring credit union performance. Register for The Foundations of Governance on CCUA Campus here.

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