Council elections are coming – here’s what you need to know
The 2019 Council Elections take place early next year, with applications for nomination now open, we take a look at the key dates and what’s involved.
About the council
Today’s Council is made up of 125 members, representing the depth and breadth of membership. Up to 85 places on Council are held by representatives elected from geographical constituencies, including South Wales.
Council members are responsible for ensuring that the ICAEW meets the objectives set out in the Charter, participate in discussions on high-level strategy and have the power to stand for office and elect future office holders. Elected Council members not only play their part in this, but also – where possible – represent the views of members in their constituency.
It’s an important time for the Institute, our members and the profession overall, with issues such as audit hitting the headlines, as such there’s a real need to make sure that our qualification is seen as robust and relevant as we move forward.
In early 2019, elections for new Council members will take place in many constituencies across the UK, including South Wales, where there is one seat – currently held by incumbent Carol Warburton.
The online application system for the upcoming Council Elections opened on 20 November – and any member who was resident in the South Wales Society of Chartered Accountants (SWSCA) by the qualifying date (17 October 2018) is eligible to put themselves forward as a potential candidate.
The closing date for nominations is 20 December at noon.
Voting papers will be issued on 5 February with voting closing at noon on 25 February 2019.
We spoke to a former Council Member for South Wales, Jonathan Eddy, to find out more about what’s involved in the role.
What made you decide to get involved?
I wanted to develop my career by joining Council as the South Wales member. It was also good professionally, to be at the heart of the Institute. Joining Council is a great networking opportunity. You meet new friends with a wide range of talents and many years of experience. I still benefit from my time working with these members even though I am no longer on Council.
I also thought that by joining Council it would give me a better understanding of how the Institute works, the challenges facing the profession and how they are met. The presentations at each Council meeting by the Chief Executive were excellent and insightful. It gave me a very different view of our complex Institute.
I would say to any member thinking about Council why not give it a go? You may be surprised by how stimulating it can be.
What does being a Council Representative involve?
The essence of the role is to be the link between our members locally in South Wales and the office holders and executive in London. There are four Council meetings a year at Moorgate Place, plus an annual conference in July.
In addition to the meetings, there is a great deal of activity within committees and other initiatives throughout the year – these are great opportunities to network with fellow Council members from all over the UK, and the world.
What’s a typical meeting like?
There are usually around 75 Council members present at each meeting, plus about 15 staff in attendance. The Council meetings during my term were held in The Auditorium at Moorgate Place with the officeholders and Chief Executive at the front. Meetings start at 9am and there is a set agenda of about 20 items which council members receive in advance. These are generally about 150 to 200 pages long, but sometimes have been known to be significantly longer.
The topics under discussion vary, but there are a few standing items, including the Chief Executive’s strategic update, latest accounts and forecasts, and the minutes of ICAEW Board meetings. Other agenda items may either be for discussion, debate or decision, depending on the live issues of the day.
Why does being part of it matter?
It’s very important for a member from the South Wales Society to be part of Council to ensure that our members’ views are heard and our members’ needs are considered. Similarly, our Council member is a key element in making sure that our local members are kept informed of developments in our Institute and are able to share best practice with members elsewhere.
Why should people get involved?
The ICAEW Council needs passionate, committed members ready to bring their day-to-day experiences, and those of their local members, to bear in helping the Institute deal with the challenges of today and plan for the challenges of tomorrow. It’s the Council members’ real-life experiences in their ‘day jobs’ that are so valuable in informing our Institute’s strategy.