The creation of 10 regional business centres will raise the profile of chartered accountants, matching the government’s devolution, and the regionalisation of the CBI and many other business organisations.
Members will benefit from a stronger promotion of the profession and our qualification, a wider range of services and improved delivery of communications.
Overall, current levels of staffing will largely be maintained and existing staff will be invited to apply for any of the new regional posts.
District Societies will be able to ‘punch above their weight’ by aggregating local resources where appropriate.
Providing their office-holders with greater support means they can focus more on members strategic issues and forging closer relationships with the business community, RDAs and other regionally-based bodies.
Backed up by a regional team structure and professional communications support from the institute, locally-based staff will be able to spend more time delivering members’ needs.
My own involvement with the institute began with the London District Society, and I have first hand knowledge of the advantages of engaging with fellow professionals at a local level.
This local interaction will be safeguarded, and indeed enhanced, as a result of the institute’s new approach.
Adopting a regional structure provides an opportunity to place the institute and its members at the heart of the UK’s developing regional powerbases, and strengthens the role of our District Society, Branch and Town Group network in serving members locally.
The message given to me by the vast majority of district society presidents, as well as by the overwhelming majority of Council members who voted for the proposals, has been to get on with delivering an Institute fit for the needs of its members in the 21st century. We will do just that.
- Graham Ward is president of the English ICA.