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2019: An eventful year

A special anniversary, celebrating student success and a milestone event: 2019 has been a busy and notable period for ICAEW Northern. Jane Walker looks back at some of the events that shaped the last twelve months.

Remarkable Redworth

Many members rely on the annual Redworth Conference to deliver key CPD and help them keep abreast of the issues that matter most to their business. With a programme that’s as varied as the needs of the general practitioners it was created for, the event covers everything from soft-skills to essential updates on key legislation and rule changes.

2019 was a special year for the Conference, as this was the twenty-fifth anniversary of this ever-popular event. Attendees celebrated in style with a special anniversary banquet and a number of long-standing speakers and delegates (and some new faces) were there to mark this milestone in Northern Society history.

Event co-founder, Pam Clarke, believes that Redworth is one of the longest running conferences of its kind in the UK, and we’re delighted to confirm that the programme for 2020 is almost finalised and that booking is now open.

As Pam explained in a special anniversary interview in early 2019, the event really does have something for everyone and is shaped by the needs and feedback of delegates, so it’s always on topic and covers the areas that really count.

Celebrating student success

One of the highlights of the NorSCA diary is the annual Graduation at Newcastle University’s stunning King’s Hall – it’s a great chance for friends and family to join our students and newly qualified ACAs in celebrating their exam success and career progression.

A record number of students took part in this year’s ceremony which recognised the achievements of those who had completed their Advanced Stage exams in 2018 and students who were best in their subject or who had excelled across all subject papers to achieve the Northern Society Order of Merit at the Advanced Stage or Professional Stage exams during 2018.

Dishing up the laughs

Celebrating student success was also on the menu at the annual NorSCA Dinner, where top performing ICAEW trainee Chartered Accountants picked up prizes, including the coveted Presidents’ Awards, which are awarded to students who have demonstrated both Academic excellence and who have made an exceptional contribution to their firm/organisation by their professionalism, business acumen, teamwork or to the Northern Society or wider general community. This year’s Presidents’ Awards were won by Sam Bell of Dodd & Co, who won the Professional Stage Presidents’ Award; and Andrew Jacott of Deloitte who won the Advanced Stage Presidents’ Award.

Guests at the Dinner found themselves – and their websites – under scrutiny at the hands of award-winning comedian, Jo Caulfield, whose witty analysis of the clichés of business websites, had guests in stiches. From declaring one company’s website decidedly “Scandi-Noir” to deciding that NCASS were the “hipster accountants”, Jo spared few in the room; much to the delight of those present  - as the queue for selfies suggested, Jo was a real hit (and many of those who escaped her attention expressed disappointment that they’d got off so lightly!).

ICAEW President Fiona Wilkinson also spoke at the Dinner, sharing her insights into the profession and highlighting a special anniversary in ICAEW history. Fiona is only the third woman to hold the post of ICAEW President and, as she explained in her speech, her Presidential year serendipitously includes the anniversary of the centenary of the Institute’s first-ever female member, Mary Harris-Smith. Fiona highlighted Mary’s determination to become a member – Mary was denied the chance to take her exams on the grounds that a woman in the exam room would be too distracting for the male candidates – and talked about how the centenary would be celebrated around the world.

Women in Leadership

Thankfully the profession and the Institute have come a long way in the last hundred years. Inclusivity and accessibility are now key considerations in everything we do. As part of the commitment to nurturing and developing talent, this year saw the first Women In Leadership programme event take place in Newcastle.

Executive coach, trainer and author, Susan Ritchie led a workshop (Becoming A Woman of Power) in Newcastle in September that focussed on helping delegates raise their profile and create impact at work.

We’re delighted that Susan will be joining us again in the Autumn to deliver her “Women of Achievement” course – this interactive workshop is the perfect complement for the 2019 session, and will also benefit members who wish to raise their visibility and claim their place at the table (Mary Harris-Smith would surely approve!).

Dates for your 2020 diary

  • Redworth Conference – 28 February – 1 March
  • NorSCA Graduation & Prizegiving  – 2 May
  • Women of Achievement Workshop – 6 October
  • Northern Society Business & Awards Dinner – 16 October

You’ll find more information, plus details of a wide range of CPD and networking events on our dedicated events pages.

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