1. Whilst working with the UK Dept of Education to raise the profile of Corporate Governance and ICSA, what engagement is being made with the other governments and associated jurisdictions within the UKRIAT division? Within the UK for example, what engagement is being made with the Scottish Government, Welsh Government , Northern Ireland and further afield Eire etc.?
In general we rely on our branches to flag relevant issues in the Crown Dependencies and Associated Territories, but have, in the past, engaged directly with the relevant governments where the branch has asked us to do so. For the Associated Territories in particular, this has often taken the form of visits from our President or CEO to raise the profile of the Institute, its members and the qualification within governments and with the regulators These have been particularly successful in Trinidad and Tobago, BVI, Cayman Islands, Barbados, Ghana, Uganda and Sri Lanka. In the Republic of Ireland, our divisional Council has regular liaison with Government and regulators with support from the team at Saffron House as required.
Within the UK, and as far as the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are concerned, most of our activities relate to reserved powers and so engagement takes place at Westminster. The two primary areas where this is not the case are education and charities.
In terms of charities, Louise Thomson, our Head of Policy (not for profit) is convenor of the Trustees stream of the Charities SORP. This is a long term project, where the Institute is focusing on the experience of trustees as both preparers and users of annual reports and accounts, and involves working closely with the charity regulators of England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. We have also engaged with the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator (OSCR) and the Scottish Government through responses to their consultations – not least a current one on charity regulation.
In the education sector, we regularly respond to consultations on higher education governance (universities) from Scotland and Northern Ireland, and Louise has been working with Stirling University on their Economic and Social Research Council research on college governance, looking at FE governance across the devolved governments.
Our main focus in this sector remains on the greater opportunities afforded to us in England by the academy trust policy being followed at the DfE. This change to the structure of education provision in England has meant that many schools and colleges have left local authority control and are now in the hands of charitable companies limited by guarantee. These bring with them a host of governance challenges which require the support of a governance professional. We are not seeing the same challenges elsewhere as many state funded services in the other jurisdictions are still tightly regulated by the devolved administration or local authority, so opportunities for direct influence are somewhat limited and the challenges are being navigated centrally.
Finally, we have been able to take some opportunities from the work done with Sport England and UK Sport on sports governance to work with other countries on the development of their sports codes (similar to the charity sector here). It is probably fair to say that England (and Wales) have led on governance standards the other jurisdictions are following but not far behind and not in the exact same track.
2. What is the CEO's current salary please and the total expenses for the year ended 30.6.20?
This information is not currently disclosed in this form. The aggregate remuneration of key management personnel for the year ended 30 June 2020 is disclosed within note 18 of the Annual Report and Financial Statements 2019-2020.
3. What has been the effect of the cancellation of the June exams on student (and member) progression?
As was the case with many other awarding bodies, the Institute had to take the unfortunate decision to cancel the June 2020 exams. Due to the fact that a large number of our students sit in locations all around the world, it was not possible to guarantee that all the exams would be able to go ahead. Students were very understanding of this and recognised that the move to online delivery of the exams in November would help secure the sitting and not delay any further. For the November sitting we allowed candidates to sit up to three exams if they wished, rather than the usual limit of two. In fact, there were only a small number of candidates who took up this offer. We had more students sitting in the November session than we would normally have and this obviously indicates that many were keen to go ahead.
The cancellation of the June examination session did impact those students who may have successfully completed the Qualifying Programme and been eligible to upgrade to Graduate in September, as their examinations were deferred to November 2020. Following the November 2020 examinations, 153 students successfully completed the Qualifying Programme against 147 last year. Regarding members progression. From June 2020 to January 2021 there were a total of 129 ACG/FCG elections, compared to 172 elected during the same period last year - a percentage decrease of 25%.
4. What was the composition of the total Chartered membership at year end when banded by age groups?
5. One of UKRIAT’s key strategic drivers is to “accelerate the growth of membership”, but the annual report appears to show that the number of Chartered members continued its multi-year fall and that, in particular, the number of students declined by nearly 17% during the year. What factors led to these figures?
There are a number of factors that could have influence the decline in student registrations such as Covid and the lockdown. With the cancelation of the June exams, students who were possibly considering joining the Qualifying Programme/IFA may have decided to delay this until the new membership year (or postpone altogether). Not being able to visit our Crown Dependencies and our more active overseas jurisdictions because of the pandemic may also be attributed to the fall in student numbers. However we continue to put our efforts into reaching our potential students.
Regarding the ‘multi-year fall’ in the number of chartered members. During 2019-20 we finalised the new Member Value Proposition and as reported in the Annual Report, this will be embedded throughout the current membership year to support retention and acquisition activity through the development of new services. We are also undertaking systematic campaigns to encourage more students to take up graduate status and progression campaigns to encourage for Graduates and Associates to upgrade.
6. At the 2017 UKRIAT AGM, members were told that efforts to increase student numbers would include recruitment of “established lawyers” and “established accountants” “through the Fast Track scheme”. Was this a success and if so, has it led to any increased diversity amongst the membership, whether by way of age, gender or ethnicity?
We’ve seen a slight increase year on year in Fast Track registrations:
Diversity monitoring is challenging and depends upon the willingness of people to disclose it. At present we are able to collect monitoring data on gender and age and that this has remained constant for the last two years. However, we are planning to introduce more diverse monitoring this year.
7. At the 2019 UKRIAT AGM, members were told that ICSA was working, together with universities, on providing better information to highlight the value of ICSA membership to students on accredited Masters programmes. Does this remain a problem?
All the University programmes are being delivered remotely so there are challenges around communication for tutors and students, as they are not able to have exactly the same interactions as they would do in a classroom. This has reduced our opportunity to engage with them. We continue to engage remotely.
8. How many applications for upgrade / election / re-election did UKRIAT Division's Membership Committee reject during 2019-20?
During 2019-2020, Membership Committee rejected three Fellowship applications.
9. How many disciplinary cases did UKRIAT Division's Membership Committee (or other relevant committee) hear during 2019-120?
None since the outcome of the Disciplinary Tribunal reported at the AGM last year.
10. Four persons who attended meetings of UKRIAT Division's Qualifications Committee during the year are described in the annual report’s Governance review as “(observer/adviser)”. Who exactly were these individuals?
Given the technical nature of the Qualifications Committee, it requires expertise from specific areas. The advisers are invited to attend Qualification Committee meeting but they are not considered members of the Committee and they do count for the quorum.
11. Of the university fairs attended during 2019-20, what was the split between Russell Group and non-Russell Group institutions?
During 2019/20 we engaged with all 24 Russell Group universities either by attending careers fairs or liaising with lectures employability and career officers. We also engaged with several non-Russell Group universities both in the UK and overseas (number not confirmed.
12. How many appearances did UKRIAT Division spokespersons make in the broadcast media during the year 2019-20?
Peter Swabey, Policy and Research Director, was interviewed on the Eddie Mair show on LBC on 30th July about the potential for people returning to the office. We have continued to issue press releases to broadcast media, and on one or two occasions, notably when the Today programme expressed interest in our report on Board Evaluation, when we thought we might get another opportunity but, unfortunately, they always thought that there was something in which their listeners would be more interested.
13. What was the composition by ethnicity of UKRIAT’s 68 staff in the UK and overseas at year end?
Diversity monitoring is not straightforward and depends upon the willingness of staff members to disclose it. We do not therefore hold accurate information for this.
14. Should UKRIAT Regulation 10 read ‘UKRIAT Committee members’? Otherwise could any UKRIAT member (including ACGs) become Honorary Officer of the Global Institute Council?
Yes, Regulation 10 should read ‘UKRIAT Committee members’. This is a typo and would be amended by the Head of Secretariat following the AGM under the power to be given by Resolution five.
15. I understand that Regulation 12 (h) as proposed, is to be a transitional regulation and that in the near future, will be removed.
Yes it will be removed as it is transitional.