This year marks 130 years since the Institute first came into existence. It started life in 1891 as the Institute of Secretaries, representing the interests of the emerging profession of corporation secretaries in Victorian England, and today represents the interests of governance professionals around the globe.
Over the years, the Institute’s membership has broadened and evolved, with various name changes reflecting this evolution, including the renaming of the Institute in 1971 as The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (or ICSA for short). In 2018 the worldwide membership of the global body of which we are a division voted to change the name of the global institute to The Chartered Governance Institute. This was achieved in September 2019, when a Supplemental Charter to our Royal Charter was granted, and today marks the completion of our journey to adopt the new brand.
As The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland, our name connects our division to the international governance standard set by the global Institute as the only chartered body providing support to governance professionals globally. As the home of good governance, the support that we give to governance professionals in achieving their professional goals and the promotion of the contribution of good governance to economic and societal value and wellbeing is the driving force behind all that we do.
Our refreshed values - ethical, empowering, expert and collaborative - express our commitment to our members. They set expectations for high-quality lifelong learning and effective advocacy for the contribution of good governance, and governance professionals, to organisations and to society.
Despite the various name changes that the Institute has undergone, our Royal Charter purpose has always remained the same – to lead ‘effective and efficient governance and administration of commerce, industry and public affairs’. 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 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 sports 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-19 crisis. As we go beyond it, good governance will be essential to society by helping organisations to deliver on wider goals of diversity, climate and ethical business practice. Chartered Governance Professionals will continue to be in demand to enable this.
We are proud of our heritage and confident that our new branding and identity gives the Institute and its members a better platform for leading good governance. If you have any questions, please visit our FAQs for more information or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sara Drake, Chief Executive, The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland