On 15 February, ICSA hosted a major governance event at the
House of Lords, courtesy of Lord Rana MBE, who is a great supporter
of ICSA and, in particular, our Northern Ireland branch. The event,
attended by almost 200 business leaders and governance
professionals, saw the launch of our Future of Governance series of
thought leadership papers, a significant piece of work which will
run throughout 2017.
The series will feature guest authors who we are asking to think
radically about governance, looking at what we are seeking to
achieve and how best that may be done, rather than at how the
current model can be improved.
Introducing the proceedings, Sir Winfried Bischoff, Chairman of
the FRC, took advantage of the Future of Governance theme to
announce the FRC's plans for a fundamental review of the UK
Corporate Governance Code. Sir Win stated that, in pursuing any
changes, the current strengths of UK governance, the unitary board,
strong shareholder rights, the role of stewardship and the
'comply or explain' approach, must be preserved.
"The Future of Governance series will
feature guest authors who we are asking to think radically about
He assured those attending the launch that any changes to the
regulatory frameworks and to the Code will be done carefully and
through full consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, of
which ICSA will be one.
Following on from Sir Win, Peter Swabey, Policy and Research
Director at ICSA, provided a view on the issues raised by the UK
Government's recent Green Paper. He then handed the floor to
ICSA Policy Adviser, and former Director of Corporate Governance at
the FRC, Chris Hodge who introduced the first paper in the Future
of Governance series.
In his paper, Chris provides a personal view of the current UK
corporate governance model, its strengths and weaknesses, and
considered whether it achieves what it is intended to achieve.
I am extremely grateful to Chris for the thought-provoking piece
he produced and look forward to reading the other papers in the
series, which will cover a variety of sectors and subjects linked
to the Future of Governance theme. You can read Chris's
thoughts in his article 'Untangling corporate
I also wanted to share some news with you about ICSA's
public practice scheme. UKRIAT has introduced a self-assessment
scheme to help members based in the UK and Ireland decide if they
are ready to start their own practice.
The assessment is in the form of a series of questions covering
essential first considerations, such as the impact on family life,
where you see your business in five to ten years, funding, and so
on. The assessment also covers areas of competency in terms of
skills and services offered and the basics in terms of company
structure and other essentials that need to be in place when
setting up your own business.
The questions are not exhaustive but have been designed to help
members consider if there are areas in which they might require
some additional knowledge or consideration before starting their
If you decide you are ready to start your own practice, the next
step is to apply for a practising certificate by logging into your
secure MyICSA and downloading and completing the application
"The scheme is in place to incorporate a
system of quality control and regulation to support and protect
The UKRIAT public practice scheme, which has been designed to
support and promote members working as sole practitioners or in
small partnerships in the UK and Ireland, is for all members who
are not employed under a contract of service, but who are providing
governance, risk, compliance, company secretarial, legal (including
HR) or accountancy services to third-party clients.
The scheme is in place to incorporate a system of quality
control and regulation to support and protect members of the scheme
and to give assurance to potential clients. It is worth noting that
under Byelaw 17, members are required to register and join
ICSA'S public practice scheme and have a responsibility to
maintain appropriate professional indemnity insurance.
Evidence of a minimum of 20 hours' continuing professional
development for the current and/or the previous calendar year must
be produced in support of an application. This increases to 35
hours per annum once a practising certificate is issued. Proof of
registration with a relevant anti-money laundering supervisor, or
evidence that you are not required to register in your
jurisdiction, must accompany your application.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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