22 January 2016
We are already the professional body for governance, says Frank Curtiss
We mark our 125th anniversary in 2016 and although we have much to celebrate, we also want to make sure that ICSA remains as relevant in the future as it was when it began in 1891. Among other things, this will involve rebranding as The Governance Institute.
We aim to use our anniversary as a platform to proclaim our expertise and thought leadership, with particular emphasis on the theme of ‘the future of governance’. Throughout 2016 we will produce content for Governance and Compliance and our website that explores ideas and opinions on this theme. We are, after all, celebrating 125 years of championing good governance.
This is not just about upholding compliance as a professional discipline. Compliance is about adhering strictly to laws and regulations. Governance certainly involves a measure of compliance but it is a broader concept. It ensures that decisions are made by the right people and according to the best principles and procedures. It is not simply a box-ticking exercise.
We are already the professional body for governance. We have members in all sectors and are required by our Royal Charter to lead ‘effective governance and efficient administration of commerce, industry and public affairs’. We work with regulators and policy makers to champion high standards of governance and provide qualifications, training and guidance. Our well-supported annual awards promote better standards by recognising excellence in the profession.
Company secretaries remain an important part of our membership but our professional support and thought leadership guides those in organisations of different sizes, across all sectors. To communicate this and help people understand what we do, we are making some changes. These changes have been fully debated by the UKRIAT Committee as the elected representatives of the wider membership and your Honorary Officers, led by me as President, and the Executive, led by Simon Osborne as CEO, are committed to rolling them out.
From 1 February 2016 we will be known as ICSA: The Governance Institute. This is an exciting step which our Australian colleagues have already successfully taken by renaming their division the Governance Institute of Australia in 2013 [read more in our interview with Tim Sheehy]. We believe that UKRIAT will benefit from a similar approach that will ensure that we are well positioned for the future.
This change will help us to remain relevant but it is by no means the only step we are taking. We need to look at our core contribution and we are reviewing the Chartered Secretary Qualifying Scheme to make sure that it remains fit for purpose. We are also encouraging our younger members to strive to be the future face of governance.
We will continue to keep you informed on all exciting developments and we look forward to your contribution to our journey forward in 2016. Please do feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments on our 125th anniversary and our transition to The Governance Institute. Here is to a great New Year and beyond for the Institute and for all our members, students and other stakeholders as we mark our quasquicentennial.