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09 January 2018

President’s New Year message
2017 saw the busiest year to date for the ICSA Irish Region in terms of our activities. In the past two months alone we have held a very successful graduation and membership ceremony, our AGM and annual lunch. At that lunch we had another record number in attendance enjoying the wonderful food at Fire restaurant while listening to our guest speaker Maurice Pratt, Chairman of Barretstown who provided his insights on the qualities which make a great company secretary. We also facilitated two well attended CPD events; one in Dublin on Board Reporting and the other, our first event in Cork, on minute taking.


2018 promises to be even busier. We are in the final stages of planning our activities for the first half of the year. We plan to hold at least four CPD events between early February and mid-June with one of those covering directors’ duties to be held in Cork in mid April. Included in the Dublin CPD calendar will be events on board room dynamics and audit committees (our first CPD event to be run jointly with the Institute of Public Administration). Our annual conference also promises to be bigger and better than last year. Our events team are working hard on finalising the content and ensuring that the guest speakers are relevant, practical and exciting to listen to. Look out for a special conference webpage on our website available from the start of February. This year we are moving venue to central Dublin to the Print Works in Dublin Castle, so keep the date free – Thursday 17th May.


Of course further CPD events will run in the second half of the year and we also plan to run our social events such as the annual barbeque and quiz for our members. We cannot emphasise enough the networking opportunities that arise from these well attended events.


We intend to place more emphasis on Personal Development for our members in 2018 and we have already secured two one day minute taking training programmes for April and October. These highly effective courses will be keenly priced and if demand exists, we will run a third one for members. Dates will published on our website very soon. We are also developing a one day introduction to company secretary role training programme for Autumn 2018 and a one day programme in influencing skills for company secretaries. We are also planning to rerun our masterclass in May for those undertaking a company secretary role in a funds company. Again this will be co-delivered with the CIFDI (Certified Investment Fund Director Institute).


Our agenda update is now online and we have increased the frequency from quarterly to six times a year. We are also launching a separate Agenda publication for our PLC members and we plan to publish that twice a year with the first one due in the coming weeks. You will have noticed more activity on our website and this will continue this year with more frequent news items of interest to our members and regular blogs being posted there. So to keep abreast of the latest activities and developments do visit our website at:
www.icsa.org.uk/ireland

In addition, our Communications team have increased activity on our LinkedIn discussion group and also please follow us on twitter: @icsa_ireland. If you haven’t done so already please join our LinkedIn discussion group.

On the student side, we ran our first revision classes in conjunction with Griffith College Dublin for CSQS students in November 2017. Following feedback from students, we are now planning to run full lecture courses for CSQS subjects for the June and November examinations this year. This will be dependent on the number of students enrolling for each subject.


We will also continue to work closely with the Law Society when our 5th Certificate programme in Company Secretarial Practice will launch next autumn. We welcome the 80 students from the current course who have just become affiliate members for the next year.


Another 28 students have just embarked on the first year of the two year part time Masters Programme in Corporate Governance at Marino Institute of Education, Dublin, which is run by the University of Ulster and we look forward to welcoming them into the ICSA community in due course.

We will be endeavouring to get more students to think about becoming a chartered secretary and will be meeting the main colleges this year to promote our industry and the career opportunities available from qualifying as a chartered secretary. We plan to run a major event for students in Dublin in the Autumn to progress this inititiative. We believe that this is an important step to take if we are to meet the increasing demand for skilled qualified company secretaries in Ireland over the coming years.
We will continue to forge new alliances with strategic partners and our recent work with the Law Society, CIFDI, The Institute of Public Administration, Griffith College and The Wheel is evidence of that.


One of the developments in the latter part of last year was the appointment of John Burns as our Regional Development Manager. He will be working closely with Council to ensure that these plans are delivered upon in 2018. John can be contacted at jburns@icsa.org.uk with any feedback or suggestions.


An important aspect of our work is making submissions to regulatory and government bodies on behalf of our members on new / proposed legislation and we plan to ensure that we will continue to do this in 2018.


So that’s just a flavour of our plans for this year. For Chartered Secretaries and Governance Professionals, our workload continues to remain very busy. 2018 promises to be an exciting year and I look forward to seeing you at many of our forthcoming events. As ever, we always welcome any feedback that you may have and please email me at: 
president@icsacharteredsecretaries.ie

Happy new year
Ruairi Cosgrove
President Irish Region
ICSA:The Governance Institute