Corporate governance

About the Programme

Corporate governance refers to the way in which an organisation is governed to achieve its vision and purpose. Governance issues include responsibilities for making and implementing decisions at a strategic level, and the overall framework of authority and accountability for decision-making.

Risk governance is the oversight process under which risk management operates. Effective operational risk management depends on establishing a positive risk culture within the bank, which should be supported by the bank’s governance and ethical standards.

Why study This programme?

This programme is open to those who currently work in a bank or financial institution and are interested in getting into a risk related role or increasing their awareness of risk.

Banks are companies and the general principles of corporate governance apply to them as they would to any other company. Risk governance is the oversight process under which risk management operates.

Risk governance covers the legal responsibilities of the board of directors and senior management to:

  • put an appropriate risk management framework in place; and
  • establish objectives and policies at a strategic level.

This short course will introduce you to concepts including corporate governance legislation, procedures, best practice, and reporting. It will also help you review banks’ key stakeholders, risk appetite and evaluation of compliance.

The way in which banks are governed differs considerably from non-financial organisations. The main drivers for this are the complexity of bank operations, the uniqueness of bank balance sheets and the role that banks play within the economy. The complexity and opaqueness of bank balance sheets and their financial operations mean it is much harder for external stakeholders to evaluate and understand the financial position of a bank, as well as the risks that it is taking.

It’s crucial that banks remain financially sound to protect depositors, considering the negative effects that bank failure can have upon individuals and wider society. Therefore, banks need to provide protection to a much wider range of stakeholders, who may not ordinarily have the power or influence to shape strategic and operational decisions. This is done through corporate governance structures as well as regulation.


Corporate governance is an online short course you can complete in five hours. Because everything is online you can study at a pace that suits you.

As you work through the unit you will do different digital activities, with diagrams, videos, and quizzes to support your learning.

Each unit can be studied in less than two hours and there is a short quiz at the end of each topic to test your learning. You can also go back and review topics if you need extra support.

When you register you will have six months access to course material.

After you’ve completed the programme, you will receive a digital certificate of completion.

This programme will cost £300 to study.

The Programme

Indicative Content

  • Introduction to corporate governance
    • Demonstrate an understanding of corporate governance and its main issue
    • Explain the benefits of good corporate governance
    • Describe the objectives of corporate governance legislation, standards and regulation
    • Recognise the corporate governance structure within a bank
  • Governance reporting, ethics and compliance
    • Understand the interrelations of governance, risk and compliance (GRC)
    • Explain the purpose of internal and external reporting on governance issues
    • Understand the role of ethical codes of conduct and policies in a bank’s operations
    • Discuss how ethical standards, and the conduct of a bank and its employees, affect operational risk
  • Managing stakeholders and risk appetite
    • Understand risk appetite and its drivers
    • Outline the role of a bank’s risk appetite in effective risk management
    • Identify the different stakeholder groups in a bank and any conflicts between them
  • Policy implementation and revision
    • Understand how policies are set and who has responsibility for this
    • Outline how policies are communicated across the bank
    • Explain how policies are operationalised and who is responsible for embedding them in the day-to-day activities of the bank
    • Describe how policies are evaluated and improved

You’ll be learning on our new VLE Brightspace. Click on the logo to find out more.