Company secretaries body ICSA to change name to reflect governance role

Vote on change to Chartered Governance Institute takes place next month

The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA), the global qualifying organisation for company secretaries, is planning to change its name to the Chartered Governance Institute to reflect its governance role more fully.

The name change is up for a vote at ICSA’s annual general meeting in Toronto on September 19.

“We now need a name that expresses what we have become,” said Edith Shih, ISCA’s International President in a letter to members.

“As The Chartered Governance Institute, we can more accurately convey the breadth of our membership; we can represent our profession with stronger and clearer messages; we can raise the profile of the organisation and our members, and we can highlight the fact that we are unique in the commitment and capability that we all bring to the delivery of excellence in governance.”

ICSA is a global qualifying organisation for professionals which has more than 30,000 members in over 80 countries — though membership growth has flattened.ICSA notes how the “scope of our profession has changed” and that it needs to look beyond the title of company secretary, though it remains committed to the Chartered Secretary profession and the new designation of Chartered Governance Professional. As part of the changes, there will be a new logo and visual identity.

It acknowledges a “need to appeal to new and potential members”, saying: “It is essential we remain relevant.”

The 125-year-old-body, a Royal Charter company, admits that some people might accuse it of “jumping on a bandwagon” – but points out that it has been advocating good governance practice without saying it “clearly enough”.

It received its charter in 1902 as the Chartered Institute of Secretaries of Joint Stock Companies and other Public Bodies.

Success will be measured by whether the Institute increases its members from groups such as risk managers, compliance officers, directors and governance consultants.