About The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland

Leading good governance since 1891

What we do

We assure world class standards of governance by setting the international qualifying standard as the only chartered professional body dedicated to supporting governance professionals.

As a lifelong learning partner, we help governance professionals to achieve their professional goals, providing recognition, community and the voice of our membership.

Membership of the Institute enables governance professionals to:

  • Achieve recognition
  • Advance their careers
  • Commit to their continuing professional development
  • Uphold a code of conduct and ethics
  • Be at the forefront of the governance industry

Our history

The Chartered Governance Institute, the global governance body of which The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland is one of nine divisions, was founded in 1891 as the Institute of Secretaries to represent the interests of the emerging profession of corporation secretaries. The Institute was granted a Royal Charter in 1902 and its purpose of leading ‘effective and efficient governance and administration of commerce, industry and public affairs’ continues to guide our activities today, our patron is King Charles III.

The home of good governance for 130 years, the global Institute’s membership has broadened and evolved, with various name changes reflecting this evolution. Known locally as The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (or ICSA for short) until 2019, The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland name connects our division to the governance standards upheld by the global body and its members around the world and highlights the UK’s position as a global leader in governance practice.

We are proud of our heritage as a Chartered body and look to the future with an identity that reflects our continued relevance.

Our members

As we have grown, we have changed to reflect our broader membership and the evolving governance landscape in which they operate. We continue to represent the interests of company secretaries whose roles have expanded to navigate more complex board and compliance arrangements. We also embrace the needs of practitioners in other sectors, such as health, sport, education, and charities who regularly face new regulation that requires them to keep up to date in their field.

The global institute has almost 40,000 members and students worldwide. The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland has approximately 14,500 members and students, who are located in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and associated territories, which include the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East.

Just as governance has evolved in the 130 years that the Institute has been in existence, so have the professionals who deliver it. The secretaries and administrators from whom the Institute drew its name for nearly 130 years are now agile and strategic leaders of governance, helping boards to focus on long-term value creation and sustainability in sectors across the board, from the corporate sector to the charity, education, health and sport sectors.

Governance professionals have played a critical role in helping boards to make the right decisions and pivot their organisations across many social, political and economic challenges, including most recently the COVID crisis. As we go beyond it, governance will continue to contribute to society by helping organisations to deliver on wider goals of diversity, climate and ethical business practice. Chartered Governance Professionals and Chartered Secretaries will continue to be in demand to enable this.

Our Purpose

To champion good governance and develop the value, skills and effectiveness of governance professionals because we believe that better governance drives better decision-making, and better decision-making creates a better world.

We do this by:

  • Assuring world class standards in governance
  • Supporting governance professionals in achieving their professional goals
  • Promoting the contribution of good governance to economic and societal value and wellbeing

Our guiding values

We find solutions through innovating, learning and collaborating

We are invested in our future

We take pride in what we do


Find out more about The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland

Download this year's course catalogue Introduction to Corporate Governance Engage Governance podcast series Essentials of ESG: Pathway to Good Governance Join our upcoming training for governance professionals

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