July 15, 2020


Rose Mercier

GSP – Professionalism in Governance

You may have seen and quite possibly know what CPA, CFA, PMI or P Eng. mean when they appear after someone’s name. You might also know that such designations are granted when a person has met certain standards of knowledge and is held accountable for acting within the boundary of professional ethics.

We doubt you have seen GSP used before. If you noticed it following the names of The Governance Coach™ consultants, you might be curious about what it means. We want to explain that and why it should matter to you.

GSP is a new professional designation. It was introduced in 2019 by the designation-granting body, Govern For Impact. It stands for Governance Systems Professional. So that’s what “GSP” means. Not unlike the designations I mentioned in the beginning of this blog, it is granted when someone has met certain standards of knowledge and has agreed to be held accountable for acting within the boundary of professional ethics.

Okay, but why should it matter to you?

I assume you are reading this blog because you’re interested in board governance. You might be looking at ways to help your board become more effective. You might even be looking for someone who can support your board in this work.

The GSP was introduced to identify individuals who exemplify a high standard of governance knowledge and expertise. Using the GSP designation signals to you that a consultant has either attended the Policy Governance Academy led by John and Miriam Carver or completed Policy Governance® Proficiency Program (PGP). In addition, the consultant has passed the PGP final exam. You can be confident that a consultant using the GSP designation has committed to professional conduct as embodied in the standards of the GSP Code of Ethics and is also committed to continuous improvement. In fact, maintaining the GSP designation requires submission of evidence of meeting the required levels of ongoing professional development.

Still wondering why this should matter to you?

In every professional field, there is a growing body of knowledge. Governance is no different. New theories, research and concepts continue to be published. Not only is it important to stay up to date;  it is also important to have the knowledge and experience to figure out what ideas represent real advances in governance. In particular, our consulting team wants to further its expertise in applying Policy Governance principles and practices.

So the GSP is a measuring stick you can use. It tells you our consulting team members have been recognized by an external body and our peers, as having knowledge and expertise. It also means we are accountable to offer informed guidance to your board and to respect your board’s right to choose whether or not to accept our guidance. You can be confident that we will maintain the necessary levels of confidentiality. We will be honest about what we know and how we are able to support your board. And if that isn’t your experience, you also know there is a process for expressing your concern about lack of professional ethics.

The Governance Coach™ has always held its consultants to these standards. Now we are taking another step – commitment to, and accountability for, meeting the standards of professionalism established by an external body. We think that is pretty important – for us, and for you.



Virtual Workshops for Individuals

Assessing Monitoring Reports

Course Orientation February 28 with live sessions March 13 and March 27

Introduction to Policy Governance®

Course Orientation March 6 with live sessions March 20 and April 10

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