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The ICAEW Practice Committee Terms of Reference

The IPC is a non-executive body of standing, authority and influence through which Members Engaged in Public Practice (as defined in the electoral regulations) can represent their views to ICAEW and vice versa.

Accountability

The ICAEW Practice Committee (IPC) is accountable to the ICAEW Members and Commercial Board.

Powers, authorities and delegations

The IPC is a non-executive body of standing, authority and influence through which Members Engaged in Public Practice (as defined in the electoral regulations) can represent their views to ICAEW and vice versa. The primary objectives of the IPC are to:

  • contribute to the development and implementation of ICAEW strategy in so far as it relates to practice;
  • identify and advise ICAEW of any current and emerging issues that impact members in practice, work with ICAEW to ensure that members in practice are kept informed of such issues and help ICAEW ensure that it addresses the issues in question;
  • advise the ICAEW Members and Commercial Board (IMCB) on the facilities, services and support (including practice management support) required from ICAEW by members in practice to help them run effective and efficient businesses providing excellent service to clients;
  • alert the ICAEW Members department to any instances where services or activities provided by ICAEW fall short of the expectations of members in practice and work with the department to help address this;
  • alert ICAEW to the need for technical releases, publications, conferences and courses of relevance to members in practice and provide feedback on their effectiveness;
  • provide input into IMCB activities in order to represent and advance the views, needs or concerns of practitioners to Technical, Learning and Professional Development and Professional Standards Directorates;
  • consider the impact of all proposed regulatory changes affecting practitioners and advise relevant ICAEW committees accordingly;
  • provide guidance on the agenda, content and arrangements for practitioner forums.
Composition

The IPC will comprise up to 20 members; up to 14 members will be elected, all of whom will be in practice, and up to 6 co-opted members. A minimum of 3 will be existing Council members.

Any places not filled by election may be filled by a co-opted member in practice. The IPC may co-opt additional Members Engaged in Public Practice (or members who provide services to Members Engaged in Public Practice) up to the maximum committee size of 20, subject to the approval of the IMCB and following advice received from the Nominating Committee.

The IPC will elect a Chair from among its members; only committee members who are in practice will be eligible for election as Chair. Where the Chair is not already a member of Council, the Chair (or, if the Chair is unable or unwilling to accept membership of Council, another member of the IPC chosen by the Committee from among its members) shall be a member of Council ex officio.

The IPC will also nominate one member from among its members (who may or may not be the Chair) to be a member of the IMCB ex officio.

Operation of the Committee

Other than as provided for in these terms of reference, the IPC will carry out its responsibilities within the framework of duties as outlined in the Governance Handbook. This includes such matters as working in support of ICAEW strategy and recognising the resource and public relations implications of its activities. It also includes procedural requirements for Committees (including such matters as the period of notice for meetings, adjournment, meeting in more than one place, presentation of reports, and ‘out of committee’ working).

The Committee will take account of inclusion and diversity in relation to its activities.

Meetings

The IPC will meet as and when needed, typically four times a year.

A quorum shall be 5 members of the committee. In the absence of the Chair and the Vice-Chair those in attendance shall choose between themselves who shall chair the meeting.

The IPC may establish ‘task and finish groups’ to deal with specific issues, subject to the approval of IMCB and an annual review of their continuing effectiveness.

Practice champions

The IPC will encourage the development of one or more contact members in each District Society to be ‘practice champions’. The role of the champions will be to act as a link at a local level for communications to and from ICAEW and the IPC.

Elections

Elections will take place every two years by the first Tuesday in June on which date the term of office of the IPC commences. To enable other members in practice to apply for membership of the IPC seven elected members will retire by rotation on the first Tuesday in June every two years. The Notice of Elections timetable is set out in the “Procedures for Election to the Practice Committee”.

The Committee members so elected will serve for a period of four years and will be eligible for re-election.

The IPC will elect a Chair by simple majority who will hold office for a two year term or until the end of their current term on the committee, whichever is the longer. The Chair will be eligible for re-appointment for a further period of two years or until the end of their current term. If an elected member is elected to Chair in their third year, then the position will become ex-officio, to enable them to serve a two year term (non-renewable), at which point they will retire from the IPC. No individual can serve more than two terms as Chair, consecutive or otherwise. The IPC will also elect a Vice-Chair on the same basis. A vote of no confidence in either the Chair or Vice Chair will require two-thirds of the members of the IPC to vote in favour of such a motion to require the Chair or Vice Chair to step down.

Any casual vacancy in any elected position may be filled by a co-option until the next election. The member so co-opted will serve in the first instance for the remainder of the elected term of the individual replaced. Should this vacancy be the elected Chair then the Vice-Chair would automatically become the Chair, but if the vacancy is the elected Vice-Chair then a replacement will be found in accordance with (16) above. Both a replacement Chair and Vice Chair will serve until the next election cycle when they will be eligible for re-appointment in accordance with (16) above. 

The IPC will develop rules for elections to give effect to these provisions and will publish these to all members in practice at the commencement of each election cycle.

Co-options

Members co-opted to the IPC will serve for a period of up to two years, renewable twice.

The IPC shall review annually in conjunction with IMCB, as part of the process of committee review, its co-options and will have regard to the ideal profile of the IPC membership, responding to the advice of the Committee Review Working Party, a sub-committee of the Nominating Committee, accordingly.

For the avoidance of doubt, the IPC may co-opt international members in practice to its membership.

Approved by ICAEW Members’ and Commercial Board, August 2017