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The future of governance

06 March 2017 by Simon Osborne

The future of governance - read more

Time to think radically, says Simon Osborne

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 governance”

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 governance’.

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 own practice.

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 form.

“The scheme is in place to incorporate a system of quality control and regulation to support and protect members”

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.

If you require further assistance please contact the ICSA members support team by calling 020 7580 4741 or email supportservices@icsa.org.uk

Simon Osborne is CEO of ICSA: The Governance Institute

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