Leigh, who is also a chartered accountant, urged an audience of around 300 delegates at the ICAEW conference to support his campaign to raise fees to between £250 and £300.
‘We won’t achieve anything without taking a risk, we need to be more confident and self assured and take that risk,’ he said.
When John Humphries, the program presenter and the conference main chairman asked delegates to give a show of hands on the proposal between 20 and thirty delegates did so. The majority abstained with around 40 indicating that fees should stay the same.
ICAEW annual fees currently cost just over £160. When asked what the ICAEW would do with the extra money Leigh proposed it should subsidise a new faculty of entrepreneurs and the other existing faculties.
‘I’m not talking of frittering the money away on some advertising campaign, lots of people invest lots of time as volunteers in the faculties but we should have professionals.’
He also warned against the threat presented by MBAs saying that more had to be invested in the institute to improve the qualifications and its brand.
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