President’s Report to Members

President’s Report to Members - September 2023 International Council meeting

Dear Members,

I would like to take this opportunity to let you know what was discussed, as well as some important decisions taken, at The Chartered Governance Institute’s (CGI or Institute) most recent international Council meeting held in Vancouver on 21 and 22 September 2023.

Council meetings are now back to the regular practice of face-to-face meetings twice per year.  Council will also continue to hold virtual-only meetings on an ad hoc basis as required. 


Strategic review

As foreshadowed in my report from the April 2023 meeting of Council, your Council conducted a comprehensive strategic review over nearly two days whilst in Vancouver.  The review was prompted by the environmental and organisational realties impacting the Institute as a whole, each of its nine Divisions, members and the wider stakeholder group. 

Over the last eight years the Institute has developed a more global presence whilst at the same time balancing the needs of the Divisions to enable them to be strong in their own territory.  It was time to take stock of progress, evaluate what was working well, what needed to be improved and to outline options for an effective strategy and structure going forward.

The intention was for the work in Vancouver to be a first-step, with a virtual Council meeting held in February 2024 to assess progress and with the intention of having a proposed strategy for consideration and agreement at a face-to-face Council meeting in May 2024. 

Members of Council and Chief Executives were clear that each CGI Division is unique. Some are much larger and better resourced than others. All offer education as well as benefits and services to members that are specific to their local markets. Each has its own distinct set of challenges, opportunities, and market realities. Therefore, a large focus of the strategy workshop was to identify the common elements that would deliver the most optimal manner for Divisions to work together with the support of the global organisation.

Members of Council and Chief Executives examined five areas for consideration:

  1. Centrally developing and delivering the qualifying programme as well as new stand-alone certifications
  2. Developing a growth strategy and strategic market position
  3. Addressing structural barriers to growth
  4. Establishing clarity over the roles of Divisions and the global part of CGI
  5. Reviewing and clarifying the governance framework of CGI

The Council agreed to a set of working groups that would, for example, progress thinking on agreeing a common purpose, assess the suitability of the membership qualification framework, undertake a detailed competitor analysis, identify geographic areas for possible expansion and develop an advocacy strategy.


As reported earlier, under the guidance of the Professional Standards Committee the Council agreed to undertake a project to develop Competency Standards for Chartered Secretaries and Chartered Governance Professionals.  This project is now well underway with an interim report due by the end of this year.

The PSC has also been undertaking the re-accreditation of Divisions following the introduction of the Quality Assurance approach introduced several years ago.  To date, the United Kingdom & Ireland Division and the Canada Division have been re-accredited. 


The Council was advised on progress with a research paper that deals with how organisations navigate community expectations regarding acting in a socially responsible manner. This is an important and challenging topic as examples can often be controversial. It is hoped that the paper will be published by year-end as planned. A webinar on the same topic would then be arranged.

Council was also asked to provide feedback on the proposed workplan for the TLC and the priorities for the year ahead.  Advocacy and thought leadership are a key aspect of supporting CGI’s brand and so Council input as well as input from members of the TLC is critical to set priorities.


Council discussed the liaison work being undertaken by the Director General in conjunction with a range of other professional associations including: The Colegio Nacional de Consejeros Profesionales Independientes de Empresa, in Mexico; The Asociacion de Secretarios Corporativos de America Latina and the Institute of Company Secretaries of India.

Over the last several months a range of webinars, speaking engagements and exchanging of thought leadership papers has brought new contacts and ideas to the members of all organisations and is part of CGI’s strategy to increase awareness of it in new markets.


The 22 September 2023 AGM was held in Vancouver, Canada as a hybrid meeting with virtual attendance from across the Institute’s 9 Divisions and face-to-face with a large number of members from Vancouver.  This year there were only the annual report to members and the international income and expenditure statements that were put to members for approval.  All resolutions passed with a substantial ‘yes’ vote.  Full results can be seen on the global Institute’s website here.


I would like to thank all my colleagues on the international Council for their focus and engagement and all the time freely given for the benefit of our membership and to Immediate Past-President Peter Turnbull (Australia), Vice-Presidents John Heaton (CGIUKI) and Dr Syed Hamid Aljunid (Malaysia) as well as Alan Au (Chair of PSC) who serve on our Executive Committee.

As always, the work of members who serve on Divisional councils or sit on branch committees throughout the world is very greatly appreciated. In addition, the work of the Director General, Tim Sheehy, our Institute Secretary, Cynthia Mora-Spencer, our Policy Advisor, Gertrude Takawira, as well as all the CEO’s and staff in our 9 Divisions, is critical in generating support for these recent new international initiatives.

I look forward to keeping you informed of developments through future reports such as this.

Yours sincerely,

Jill Parratt FCG
International President
7 September 2023