INTRODUCTION TO THE WITS ONLINE CVO PROGRAMME:

At a time when we are faced with the challenges of social inequality, resource constraints, climate change and, most recently, the effects of COVID-19, what the world needs is an urgent shift from short-term finance centric business models to stakeholder inclusivity, environmental responsibility and long-term sustainability. It is with this in mind that Professor Mervyn King, widely regarded as one of the fathers of corporate governance, is calling for the role of the Chief Financial Officer to become the Chief Value Officer (CVO) instead.

According to Professor King: “The CVO role will ensure that all relevant aspects of value creation and destruction are accounted for and communicated to boards, management, and external stakeholders”.

However, this is easier said than done.

Accountants and financiers all well versed in the debits and credits of profit making. But understanding, internalising and applying the principles of integrated thinking and sustainable development are more challenging.

It is with this context that Wits University, in partnership with SAICA, decided to create a series of short courses dealing with the role and function of the CVO aimed specifically at accountants.

 

CVO COURSE #2: CORPORATE GOVERNANCE IN SOUTH AFRICA

King-IV deals with an inclusive approach to corporate governance based on a set of fundamental principles, including corporate citizenship, stakeholder inclusivity, the organisation as an integral part of society and integrated thinking. King-IV represents an effort to move away from a compliance-focused approach to corporate governance and reporting to an action-orientated model designed to promote positive organisational change.

Wits University is pleased to launch the second short course in the CVO programme entitled “Corporate Governance in South Africa”. The course examines outcomes-based governance and its application to emerging issues such as COVID and climate change. The course considers the drivers and consequences of good governance and how an outcomes-based approach to governance is essential for effective multi-capital management, stakeholder engagement and long-term value creation. On completion of the course, participants will have a detailed understanding of the importance of corporate governance for contemporary business. This understanding will further contribute to the skillset of Chief Value Officer aimed at bolstering economic, environmental and social performance for organisations.

COURSE #2 OUTCOMES:

On successful completion of course 2, participants will be able to:

  • understand the underlying philosophies of King-IV, namely: sustainable development, integrated thinking, corporate citizenship, stakeholder inclusivity and the organisation as an integral part of society;
  • explain the 17 governance principles in King-IV and how their application results in positive outcomes;
  • explain the application of King-IV, including its legal standing and interconnection with integrated reporting and thinking;
  • understand and explain the concept of outcomes-based governance and its interconnection with integrated thinking and value creation and
  • understand and analyse the broader role of outcomes-based governance in responding to emerging global and local issues such as climate change and other social issues.

 

HOW ARE THESE TOPICS ADDRESSED WITHIN THIS COURSE?

“Corporate Governance in South Africa” consists of four units.

The first unit introduces participants to the underlying concepts and philosophies of governance. A brief history of corporate governance is provided, together with an overview of the fundamental concepts, principles and recommendations in King IV. A brief review of integrated reporting, as it relates to the principles of governance will be covered, dealing with stakeholder-centric reporting. Participants will be required to consider their organisations and how the skills and competencies of a CVO can contribute to improved economic, environmental and social performance.

In the second unit, participants focus on outcomes of good corporate governance and how governance principles are used to realise these outcomes. This will include consideration of how to move beyond a compliance approach to governance to an operational construction of governance based on sustainable development and value creation for stakeholders. This unit will also examine how integrated thinking can promote accountability and responsible value creation. Participants will be required to consider their organizations and the interconnection between integrated thinking (value creation) and outcomes-based governance.

The focus in the third and fourth units is on exploring the broader role of outcomes-based governance in responding to emerging global and local issues. This will cover issues such as COVID 19, technology changes, climate change and ESG investment. The challenges and success factors for governance are explored for the issues covered and these units will deal with how the CVO, by applying an outcomes-based approach to governance, can add value to organisations.

 

HOW IS THIS COURSE STRUCTURED?

This online course follows a traditional business school approach. It is designed to provide participants with a conceptual and theoretical appreciation of outcomes-based governance in the context of integrated thinking and the role of the CVO. Participants will be exposed to a mix of technical and professional publications, complemented by relevant academic readings and presentations by the academic staff, practitioners and other experts.

Each unit comprises prescribed readings and video content. Additional resources are provided to aid the learning process. These include research articles, extracts from websites and short commentaries.

Throughout each unit, participants are prompted to reflect on key issues and important learning outcomes. Optional ‘knowledge checks’ are provided. For participants registering for the short course by competency, assignments dealing with the content covered in each of the course’s units must be completed.

The units are designed to run online with some flexibility to work through prescribed material. Live seminars form a key part of the course. They offer an opportunity to debate points, engage directly with experts and network with peers. These sessions will be hosted at the Wits Business School or on the University’s online platforms.

 

WHAT IS THE EXPECTED DURATION OF THIS COURSE?

The course duration is 10 weeks from the date of registration to completion.

For those who enrol ‘by competence’, prescribed assessments must be completed. The pass mark is 50%. Participants will be awarded a certificate of competence upon successful completion of the course. For participants who prefer not to write assignments, the course can be completed ‘by attendance’. A certificate of attendance is awarded upon the completion of the requisite number of hours on the course.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENT:

The course is offered to all Chartered Accountants [CAs(SA)] who are registered and in good standing with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). Admission requirements for future enrolments will be communicated in due course.

Course fee for those who enrol for the certificate of competence

  • Cost for a SAICA registered CA(SA): R20 000 (excl. VAT).
  • Early bird registrations for individual CAs(SA): R 18 400 (excl. VAT) if you register and pay before 19 July 2021.
  • Students who successfully completed the Integrated Thinking Course will be eligible for a 10% discount on this course and will pay R 18, 000 (excl VAT).
  • Discount price for companies* registering +5 employees are eligible for a 15% discount and will pay R17 000 per employee.

* Note company discounts only apply to corporates who either pay payment or send a purchase order confirming their commitment to pay within 30 days of date of invoice.

Course fee for those who enrol for the certificate of attendance 

  • Cost for a SAICA registered CA(SA): R15 000 (excl. VAT).
  • Early bird registrations for individual CAs(SA): R 13 800 (excl. VAT) if you register and pay before 19 July 2021.
  • Students who successfully completed the Integrated Thinking Course will be eligible for a 10% discount on this course and will pay R 13, 500 (excl VAT).
  • Discount price for companies* registering +5 employees are eligible for a 15% discount and will pay R12 750 per employee.

* Note company discounts only apply to corporates who either pay payment or send a purchase order confirming their commitment to pay within 30 days of date of invoice.

Duration: The course is run over a 10-week period.

Course intake: The course starts on 26 July 2021 – further intakes TBC depending on interest.

HOW TO APPLY:

Apply here to enrol in the certificate of competence

Apply here to enrol in the certificate of attendance

Please direct all technical course enquiries to the WITS course co-ordinator: yvette.lange@wits.ac.za

Please direct all registration enquires to DigitalCampus:  info@digitalcampus.co.za

 

ABOUT THE CVO PROGRAMME:

The CVO Programme, which consists of three short courses, is part of a continuing research-driven enquiry into integrated reporting, integrated thinking and sustainable development being undertaken by the Wits School of Accountancy.

The first short course is an integrated thinking themed course which examines integrated thinking and value creation in a practical context with a focus on how the CVO, either in a dedicated role or in some other executive capacity, could be expected to oversee the management of multiple types of capital.

The second short course is a governance themed course which covers outcomes-based governance and its application to emerging issues such as COVID and climate change. The course considers the drivers and consequences of good governance and how an outcomes-based approach to governance is essential for effective multi-capital management, stakeholder engagement and long-term value creation.

The final short course in the CVO programme is an assurance themed course which deals with, inter alia, the nature and emergence of combined assurance, the role of external assurors in the preparation of integrated reports and the relevance of assurance for the broader value creation.

The short courses can be attended consecutively or independently of each other. Participants have the option to complete either one, two or all three of the courses.

In the medium-term, these three short courses forming the Chief Value Officer curriculum will lead to Chief Value Officer credentials in the form of a post graduate diploma from Wits and a possible designation from SAICA.