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Membership Survey Highlights - November 2019

We had a great response to this year’s membership survey, with over 3,500 people getting involved. Thank you to all who participated and also to those who contacted us separately to offer valuable feedback.

Who took part?

An impressive 20% of members and students took the time to share their views, experiences and future expectations of the Institute. Before we even looked at the results this suggested that many of you care about what we do and are willing to help shape our future. We appreciate this as your feedback is essential in enabling us to understand your needs and develop our services to remain relevant to you.

A substantial number of our web (7%) and professional subscribers (17%) responded too, so we also have greater insight into how other users of our information services, and some of our potential students and members, think that we are doing.

Participant locations varied. 61% of respondents were based in the UK, and other participants were in Africa (10%) the Crown Dependencies (6%), Ireland (5%), Mauritius (5%) the Caribbean (3%) and across the world. Survey respondents represented a wide range of organisations providing insights from commercial, not-for-profit and public sector backgrounds. The two biggest sectors that survey participants came from were finance and insurance (23%) and professional services (17%).

What we learned

The three most important things that you feel that the Institute does its for members are providing access to knowledge, information and guidance, enhancing professional credibility and giving professional recognition through awarding post-nominal letters and chartered status.

The top work challenge that almost half of you (49%) reported is senior colleagues’ lack of understanding of the importance of governance or willingness to engage with it. Within this area you highlighted the need for greater recognition of the role of the company secretary or governance professional, support for building commitment to governance activity and the ongoing challenges of managing board dynamics. 29% of members felt that keeping up-to-date with changes to governance practice and regulations was a major professional challenge and 12% reported workload issues as their main difficulty within this demanding role.

These issues correlated strongly with what you said about your information and development needs. Unsurprisingly, managing regulatory change topped this list, but strategy, leadership skills and boardroom dynamics were significantly ahead of other more traditional subjects that you want to stay abreast of. Ethics and new technologies also featured prominently in the areas that you would like to hear more about from the Institute.

In terms of work and career progression, respondents’ main development priorities in the coming two years are to enhance skills, improve performance in current roles, succeed in studies and take on new responsibilities and/or a more senior role within your current organisation. Only 17% of you told us that you will be seeking a new employer and just 2% are planning to move out of the governance field in this period.

The majority of respondents (81%) are in employment and 43% of you have employers who actively support your membership. Of those in work, 37% of you have additional paid or voluntary roles such as Trustee, Committee Member or Clerk in addition to your main employment, which identifies the potential for the Institute to provide additional support for these activities.

We learned that the majority of members are using the range of benefits that we provide but there is an opportunity for us to increase value by differentiating services by sectors and career stage. We were also able to see that whilst some members are very active within their branches and attend Institute events, there are many more of you who have expressed an interest in becoming more active in the life of the Institute.

What you want us to do

Continue toDo more to

Set and maintain professional standards

Provide qualifications and training

Provide guidance and support for members

Increase the profile of governance professionals

Raise awareness with the public and in the media

Represent the profession to regulators & policymakers

Tailor services to individuals and to sectors

Develop dedicated support for each career stage

Listen more and respond more quickly to feedback

Our agenda for 2020

The findings of the survey are feeding into our development of strategy and our operations. Using what you have told us, we will be undertaking activities across 2020 to:

  • Review our membership proposition, benefits and services
  • Develop a new employer engagement strategy to increase profile
  • Communicate more effectively with you about our policy work
  • Provide more targeted CPD support and guidance to support your development
  • Increase the range of digital development opportunities – webinars, podcasts and e-learning – to engage more people with a wider choice of activities
  • Become more agile, personal and responsive in our membership services
  • Keep seeking your input and engagement with our development