National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems

The Voice for Public Pensions


Build On Your Fund’s Fiduciary Education Program with NCPERS University

  • By: admin
  • On: 04/02/2024 14:46:03
  • In: News
  • Comments: 0
Through the three well-established programs within NCPERS University, we offer an easy path to help onboard and continuously upskill trustees and staff with all levels of experience. 
By: Hank Kim, Executive Director and Counsel, NCPERS

In any industry, a positive onboarding experience combined with continued learning opportunities can help drive organizational efficiencies. But in the public pension industry, having a well-established fiduciary education program is a crucial piece of a retirement system's governance and risk management strategy, as noted in our recently updated guide to Best Governance Practices for Public Retirement Systems.

Establishing a clear educational path for trustees and staff in your organization can help drive performance and, ultimately, improve returns. Through the three well-established programs within NCPERS University, we offer an easy path to help onboard and continuously upskill trustees and staff with all levels of experience.

The Trustee Educational Seminar (TEDS) is intended to help new trustees and staff build and strengthen their foundational knowledge of pensions and governance. The program provides an introduction to actuarial science and covers key investing principles, ending with an interactive training where attendees put their skills to the test during an asset allocation challenge. TEDS also covers governance best practices—including delineating the roles of trustees and staff—and fundamental concepts that every trustee should know. TEDS is held each spring, immediately before NCPERS Annual Conference. To join the upcoming class on May 18-19 in Seattle, register here.

For trustees and staff involved in plan governance, the NCPERS Accredited Fiduciary (NAF) program serves as the next step in advancing your knowledge of plan governance, oversight, and administration best practices. Attendees can build connections with peers across the country, enabling them to share ideas and solutions even after the program concludes. Conducted in a small classroom setting, NAF is broken out into four topical modules:
  • Governance & the Board's Role explores various governance models and principles in order to better understand how to become a ‘high-functioning board.'
  • Investment & Finance dives into how to properly administer your fund's investments to ensure compliance with investment/financial policies while mitigating risk.
  • Legal, Risk Management & Communication covers the fiduciary duties related to legal/risk oversight, reputational risk management practices, and strategies for effective stakeholder communication.
  • Human Capital examines compensation strategies and performance management plans to help maximize fund performance.
After completing all four training modules, attendees can earn their Accredited Fiduciary designation—recognized nationally as a prestigious symbol of governance excellence—by demonstrating mastery of the content through an exam. Our NAF program is hosted twice per year (in the spring and the fall). To join the spring class on May 18-19 in Seattle, register here.

The third and newest program within NCPERS University is our Program for Advanced Trustee Studies (PATS). Perfect for trustees and staff with a strong grasp on fundamentals, the program focuses on two timely topics each year, allowing attendees to fully explore the subject matter in a small classroom setting.

PATS is held each fall in conjunction with either the Public Safety Conference or Financial, Actuarial, Legislative & Legal (FALL) Conference. The 2023 program focused on investment in private equity and measuring & accounting for pension funding. Stay tuned for updates on the 2024 PATS topics (or sign up here for updates). The upcoming program will take place October 26-27 in Palm Springs, CA.

Outside of our recurring NCPERS University programs, we offer a growing number of educational programs to ensure your fund's trustees and staff are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in their roles. Next up, we hope to see you in Seattle at our Annual Conference & Exhibition (ACE), held May 19-22.


There have been no comments made on this article. Why not be the first and add your own comment using the form below.

Leave a comment

Please complete the form below to submit a comment on this article. A valid email address is required to submit a comment though it will not be displayed on the site.

HTML has been disabled but if you wish to add any hyperlinks or text formatting you can use any of the following codes: [B]bold text[/B], [I]italic text[/I], [U]underlined text[/U], [S]strike through text[/S], [URL][/URL], [URL=http//]your text[/URL]