The NCPERS Accredited Fiduciary (NAF) Program is a trustee accreditation program specifically designed and tailored for individuals involved in public pension governance. NAF divides plan governance, oversight and administration into four modules (see below). Each module delves into the fundamental components and strategies necessary for governing a public pension fund, allowing trustees and plan staff to walk away with the key competencies critical to fulfilling their fiduciary responsibilities.
MODULE 1 -- GOVERNANCE AND THE BOARD’S ROLE
- Understanding the roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of your public pension board as well as the differing governance models and principles that exist.
- Learn how to become a “high functioning board”.
- How active should your board be?
- How does your board culture impact your effectiveness to govern?
- What is your board’s role in setting strategy and direction?
- How do you attract and retain top talent to your Board?
MODULE 2 -- INVESTMENT, FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING
- Understand what you as a director need to know and how to access the required information to make informed financial decisions.
- Learn about proper administration of your fund’s investments, ensuring compliance with investment policies, performance management, and adequate reporting.
- What is the board’s administration and management roles in establishing an investment policy, allocating assets, and mitigating investment risk?
- What is the board’s role in ensuring compliance with financial/investment policies?
- How do you maintain compliance in your fund’s financial reporting and disclosure?
MODULE 3 -- LEGAL, RISK MANAGEMENT AND COMMUNICATION
- Understand the legal and risk oversight duties of your board as well as your own as an individual trustee.
- Understand the roles and responsibilities of the audit committee.
- Learn about responding to media and the importance of your corporate reputation.
- Learn how to engage in effective stakeholder communication.
- What are you and your board’s fiduciary duties related to legal and risk oversight?
- How does your board spot and guard against fraudulent behavior?
- How should your board manage relationships with external parties?
- How can your board effectively communicate with stakeholders (management, pensioners, employees)?
MODULE 4 -- HUMAN CAPITAL
- Understand the fundamentals of total executive compensation design.
- Learn about the use of compensation strategies and performance management plans to guide behavior and maximize fund performance.
- Learn how to ensure that employment contracts and service agreements avoid pitfalls and facilitate positive growth transitions.
- How does a board establish a defensible compensation program?
- What is your board’s role in establishing a pay-for-performance culture?
- What are the key elements within executive employment contracts and personal service agreements?
- How can your board develop and maintain a skilled executive pipeline for the future?