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The Independent Review of Non-Executive Directors

In April 2002 Derek Higgs was appointed to lead an independent review of the role and effectiveness of non-executive directors. Derek Higgs published his report on 20th January 2003. The FRC published good practice suggestions from the report in June 2006; this guidance has since been withdrawn and replaced by the FRC Guidance on Board Effectiveness.

The report and guidance

Independent Review of Non-Executive Directors
The final report which contained guidance for non-executive directors, guidance for the chairman and proposals for revisions to the combined code.

The Financial Reporting Council published the guidance document 'Good practice suggestions from the Higgs report' in June 2006, based on annexes C to J from the report. The guidance has since been withdrawn and replaced by the FRC Guidance on Board Effectiveness (updated 2018). 


The Library provides full text access to a selection of key business and reference eBooks from leading publishers. eBooks are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users. If you are unable to access an eBook, please see our Help and support advice or contact library@icaew.com.

Corporate Governance - Higgs and Smith

Guide to the duties of modern finance directors. Chapter 6 looks at corporate governance and summarises the Higgs and Smith reports.

Impact of the Higgs review

Presents practical advice on how to build better boards. The Higgs Review is looked at in detail in Chapter 13 on UK corporate governance.

Introduction and background

Chapter 1 looks at the development of corporate governance and specifically the history of corporate governance in the UK.

Overview of corporate governance - Higgs and Smith

The key institutions, products and professions of the City of London. Chapter 25 is a overview of corporate governance and summarises the Higgs report and the Smith Report.

Review of the combined code: Higgs, Smith and Tyson

An introduction to governance for directors and executives. Chapter 5 looks at corporate governance in the UK and summarises the Higgs, Smith and Tyson reports and the review of the Combined Code.

Online articles

The Library provides access to leading business, finance and management journals. These journals are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users subject to suppliers' terms of use.

Ethnic diversity on top corporate boards: a resource dependency perspective

Val Singh examines the presence of ethnic minority directors on FTSE 100 company boards following the 2003 Higgs Review and subsequent 2003 Tyson Report, which both recommended recruiting talented non-executive directors with diverse backgrounds.

Useful links

A non-executive decision
The Higgs Report promises the rise and rise of the non-executive director. Tim Russell asks whether they are up to the task - June 2003 post on The Lawyer website.

Higgs report on non-executive directors - a summary 
A March 2003 AccountingWEB article summarising the main matters and recommendations covered by the Higgs report.

ICSA Review of the Higgs Guidance
ICSA consultation from March 2010 for submission to the FRC to "update as necessary the good practice guidance from the 2003 Higgs Report".

The role of the non-executive director: making corporate governance work
A CIMA report published in April 2003 in response to the continuing controversy over the Higgs' report on non-executive directors. Emphasises the role that finance professionals have to play in ensuring good governance.

Articles and books in the Library collection

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans.

You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post, fax or email through our document supply service.

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