The Scots ICA launched its long-awaited activities review earlier this week with a promise to introduce a series of random inspections to raise standards among members.
The reform, voted through at the institute’s agm earlier this month, will see a team of inspectors visiting public practices around the country to improve service to clients.
The team of four full-time inspectors will have the power to bring disciplinary procedures against members who refuse to co-operate on changing working practices.
But institute deputy chief executive Ian Marrian stressed that the activities review team was not designed to be a disciplinary body. ‘It is there to help raise standards,’ he said. ‘If we find a public practice where there appears to be a problem, then we will work with it.’
Marrian added that the initiative had strong grass-roots support, with about 90% of members voting for the reform at the agm. ‘We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it and exposing it to members on a draft basis and in meetings,’ said Marrian. ‘You have to take members along with you.’
He added that the government’s proposals for self-regulation of the profession underlined the importance of maintaining high standards within firms.
‘Our review fits in well with the regulatory regime discussed by the government,’ he said.
The agm also confirmed the institute’s new office holders. Scottish Equitable non-executive chairman Charles Monaghan becomes president. Monaghan retired last year as head of the executive committee secretariat of East Asia and Pacific Regional Management, which he joined in 1987. He started his career in 1965 as a management trainee with consumer goods giant Unilever.
WD Johnston & Carmichael senior partner Grenville Johnston becomes senior vice president and Andrew Christie, honorary professor at Heriot-Watt university and co-owner of East Lothian’s Stenton Gallery, becomes junior vice president. A tax specialist who trained with Arthur Andersen, Christie was a convenor of the institute’s tax committee.
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