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A new name for the international Institute

25 July 2018 by David Venus

A new name for the international Institute

We hope members will support the international Institute’s proposed change of name

I am pleased to have this opportunity to explain why the international Council has decided to recommend that the name of the international Institute be changed to The Chartered Governance Institute, and why the international Institute’s brand be repositioned to be more encompassing and reflective of governance.

As you know, the international Council has been implementing a strategy over the last two years to enable the international Institute to take full advantage of the worldwide focus on good governance.

The significant revisions to the qualifying programmes and this year’s introduction of the new designations of chartered governance professional and affiliated member have been part of that strategy.

Now it is time to make further changes to the international Institute’s name and brand positioning, so that all those with whom we engage can more easily understand who we are and what we do.

The international Council is of the view that in order to be recognised, the international Institute can and must redefine its role as the leader in the practice of governance globally. We know we are the best explainers, the best advocates and the best educators in the promotion of good governance, but we must strive to be recognised as the shining beacon in governance practice.

If we are successful at this, the international Institute can demonstrate to stakeholders that members are independent and skilled professionals who will stand up for what they believe, stay balanced in their thinking, be focused on what is ethically appropriate and inspire others to follow.

We know there is a need for the international Institute to have a name that better explains how we have evolved and whom we represent. With the new study programmes, the Institute and its divisions will soon be qualifying people in a far wider range of governance roles than in the past, will represent both chartered secretaries and chartered governance professionals and will be developing commentary on a wider range of governance issues.

We need a name that reflects what we have become.

The new proposed name and brand will allow the Institute to more accurately reflect the breadth of our membership, represent our profession with stronger messages, raise the profile of the organisation and our members, as well as highlight the fact that we are unique in what we do and offer.

Our new name claims and positions us as the membership organisation for anyone involved in governance and the only one that is chartered. It is self-explanatory, and says who we are, but retains the historical reference and status of ‘Institute’.

Most importantly, the name continues to be a mark of the quality and high standards that have defined us throughout our history and includes the respected and honoured word ‘chartered’, earned by our Institute over 100 years ago. It respects the past but also points to the future.

“We need a name that reflects what we have become”

We need to be clear on what will not change. All current members will of course continue to be able to call themselves chartered secretaries because that is who we are. The importance of being chartered will not change, nor will the international recognition of our qualification. The Institute will retain its independent voice and high standards of professionalism and ethics expected of all members.

We know the proposed changes represent a challenge, but it is a challenge we must meet. Some members may have reservations about these changes, and your international Council can understand that, but we hope that the explanations we are giving will lead to all members understanding and agreeing to the rationale.

I must emphasise that the proposal to change the Institute’s name will only apply to the Institute in the ‘international’ sense. It will be up to the UKRIAT Committee as to whether there is a change to the name of ICSA: The Governance Institute.

If you would like to know more about this initiative, please go to the international website icsaglobal.org for a further explanation of why your Council believes these changes are desirable and necessary.

The international Council will formally propose a resolution to change the name of the Institute at the annual general meeting on 19 September 2018 in Toronto, Canada.

We intend to stream the AGM live via the internet – you will be contacted with further details on this closer to the date – and we expect the formal Notice of Meeting will be available to members in early August.

The international Council has thought carefully about these important changes and believes they are vital to the future growth of the Institute.

The Council hopes, based on the materials presented and arguments given, you will be able to exercise your vote in support of these landmark reforms.

David Venus FCIS is immediate past international president of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators

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