ICAS governance, the Office Bearer elections, and you
Council and its three Office Bearers are responsible for overseeing the effective management and direction of the Institute’s affairs. By getting involved with the 2020 elections, all ICAS members can play their part in this vital governance process.
Through sharing their ideas, experience and insight, Council members play a vital role in enabling the achievement of the strategic priorities of both Council and ICAS itself.
In fact, Council’s full terms of reference include a range of responsibilities, from ensuring the objects of the Royal Charters are achieved in a manner consistent with regulatory-body status, to liaising with government, promoting the views of ICAS members, and generally ensuring the observance of high standards of corporate governance.
Along with Public Interest and co-opted members, Council is composed of at least 65% of members who have been democratically selected by the wider ICAS membership through annual elections.
The Office Bearers
At the top of the Council hierarchy are the three Office Bearers – President, Deputy President and Vice President.
The Office Bearers have the following areas of responsibility:
- the outward projection of the Institute’s policy and values at events
- forging working relationships at home and abroad.
- liaising with government, public authorities and the press.
- being the principal spokespersons for ICAS on the pre-eminence of the CA qualification and profession.
- promoting and maintaining communication and engagement with ICAS members to ensure that their views and values are promoted.
These positions are held for a term of one year, and whilst the President can only serve one term, the Deputy and Vice Presidents can serve up to three consecutive one-year terms.
Who can become an Office Bearer?
Candidates for Office Bearer positions are required to follow one of two nomination routes and then potentially to stand in a contested election.
Independent or self-nominated candidates:
Any ICAS member may nominate themselves, or another member, for an Office Bearer position if they believe they display the relevant qualities to serve in the role. The nomination must be in writing, supported by 50 ICAS members, and include the supporting information requested, namely, a professional bio, reasons for standing, etc.
Council-nominated Office Bearer candidates:
The second group of potential candidates for Office Bearer positions are those who have been nominated by Council. In this instance, Council will have satisfied themselves that these individuals also have the relevant qualities to serve as an Office Bearer.
It’s normal, but not always the case (and depends, amongst other things, on whether they wish to be nominated), that the serving Deputy and Vice President will be nominated for the next post in the Office Bearer hierarchy. Hence, the current Deputy President will be nominated for the post of President, and the Vice President as Deputy President. In theory, this allows a member to progress from Vice President to President over a three-year period and become familiar with what’s expected of the President as they progress through the ranks.
Council-nominated candidates (one for each Office Bearer position) are identified by the Presidential Nominations Committee (known as the PNC) and are put forward to Council for approval following a rigorous selection process. The PNC is a committee of Council and the members include two past Presidents and a Public Interest Member of Council. If Council supports the PNC’s recommendations, those candidates become Council’s nominated Office Bearer candidates.
This year’s nomination process is currently underway (for the Office Bearer, Open and Area Seat vacancies), and will close on 13 March at 17:00 GMT.
What happens next?
After nominations have closed, if there are other, independent or self-nominated candidates in addition to the Council-nominated candidates, then an election will be held. This year’s elections will open on 1 April, with members asked to vote for their preferred candidates for any contested Office Bearer positions.
If there are no other candidates, then the Council nominees will be considered duly elected and their appointments will be announced at this year’s AGM on 24 April.
Take some time to get involved
The window for nominations doesn’t close until 13 March, so there’s still plenty of time to consider the vacancies and get involved with the election process. The broader the scope of the input to the elections, the better the results will represent the wider membership.
And when the nominations are in and voting opens on 1 April, take some time to consider the candidates and remember that the votes you cast will help to decide the shape and direction of ICAS for the years ahead.
What does it take to be an Office Bearer?
Potential candidates for Office Bearer positions are expected to be able to display a range of relevant qualities:
- has earned, or is capable of earning, the respect of Council and inspiring confidence in Members and stakeholders.
- a sound understanding of the issues facing members, such as sustainability and diversity.
- a demonstrable leader, role-model and strategic thinker.
- can evidence commitment to inclusion and diversity across the profession.
- an unblemished personal and professional reputation.
- a demonstrable commitment to ICAS (experience of Council membership preferred but not essential).
- diplomatic, personable and capable of building and maintaining relationships.
- ability to operate as part of a cohesive team, whilst acknowledging the expectations of the role and how these may increase with the seniority of the role.
- an effective communicator and public speaker.
- the capacity and flexibility to discharge the requirements of the role.