Our Governance


As a Chartered Body, ICAS governance arrangements are set out in its Charter and Rules. Although the FRC’s UK Corporate Governance Code (The Code) does not apply to ICAS, Council is committed to good practice in corporate governance and seeks to comply with the principles of The Code where they are relevant and proportionate to a Professional Membership Body.

ICAS is governed by Council which has responsibility for ensuring that the objectives set out in the Royal Charter are achieved and for setting the strategic direction of ICAS. Council is supported in its leadership of ICAS by a range of Boards and Committees.

Four Operational Boards are responsible for the key activities of ICAS and the Oversight Board has delegated responsibility to monitor the ICAS strategy, financial performance and the effectiveness of the Operational Boards. The day to day management of ICAS business is delegated to the Executive Team, comprised of the Executive Directors and chaired by the Chief Executive (Anton Colella).

During 2016 we published our Diversity Policy for Council and welcomed three more overseas members to Council to enhance our global perspective.

Key stats on governance and diversity. Membership location: out with UK 14%, Scotland 50%, England and Wales 36%. Council location: out with UK 11%, Scotland 69%, England and Wales 20%. Member gender diversity: Female 33%, male 67%. Council diversity: female 26%, male 74%.Click on image to enlarge

Public Interest Members

ICAS Council has four Public Interest Members (PIMs) who are non-accountant members whose function is to ensure that ICAS complies with its public interest responsibilities, set out within its founding Royal Charter, along with 28 other Public Interest Members across the organisation.

Rhona Brankin discusses the work undertaken by the PIMs in 2016.

Read the full Public Interest Members report

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ICAS operates a rigorous system of risk management to identify and assess risks and to ensure appropriate mitigating actions are put in place in line with the risk appetite. Council closely monitors the status of the principal risks and any mitigating actions.

 RiskMitigation and Link to Strategy
Financial risks of unpredictable events

ICAS faces financial risks of unpredictable events, in particular the potentially high and volatile costs associated with public interest discipline and the inherent risks of the closed Defined Benefit Pension Scheme.

The ICAS strategy requires maintenance of sufficient liquid reserves to provide resilience to financial risks. ICAS also has power to levy members in respect of public interest discipline costs – currently no levy has been raised since 2012.

Changing membership demographics

The changing demographic of the membership brings with it the challenge for ICAS to remain relevant to members from all backgrounds, in a wide range of geographical locations and throughout their careers.

The ICAS strategic goals to Be Relevant and Be a Community seek to directly address this risk. These goals focus on member engagement and global relevance with the aim of reaching our members wherever they are based and engaging with member communities.

Political/Regulatory Uncertainty

Political and regulatory uncertainty continue to pose risks and opportunities to ICAS. The general business environment remains uncertain and a range of current factors influence our key activities -  key examples include Brexit and the future funding of the FRC.

ICAS mitigates against the risks of uncertainty by focusing on maintaining relationships and influencing government and other key bodies such as Treasury, HMRC and FRC. We monitor closely the debate over the changing political landscape and consider the opportunities which may arise.

Competitive and market risks

ICAS faces competitive and market risks, particularly in relation to securing strong student numbers. The training landscape is changing, with the emergence of Apprenticeships and the impact of digital on the profession. The nature of the profession also results in the concentration of student training revenue from a relatively small number of firms.

The ICAS strategy aims to continue to open new routes to entry and widen our portfolio. We take great care with our key relationships and are constantly working to expand the group of firms who train with us.  We closely monitor developments in the training environment and consider mitigations and opportunities arising.

Additional details of how ICAS is governed are published on the ICAS website.

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