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Council – 36 members, directly elected by the global membership – provides overall stewardship and oversight of ACCA. Council’s core mission, which underpins all of its activities, is to ensure that ACCA delivers the objectives stated in its Royal Charter. To achieve this, Council has a wide-ranging remit, geared to providing strategic direction for ACCA.

Individual Council members act in the interests of the membership as a whole, rather than on behalf of any particular constituency or group. In keeping with our core values, a distinctive feature of ACCA’s Council is its diversity. This allows it to draw on an especially wide range of views and experiences, giving a rounded global perspective. Council’s composition also closely mirrors that of ACCA’s overall membership. 

This year – for the first time in its history – Council has a majority female (58%) membership.
Council works closely with ACCA’s Executive team to devise ACCA’s strategy, which is then approved by Council. Delivery of the strategy is the responsibility of the Executive team, with governance of the process and performance tracking provided by Council.

Council members by age

Age Number
31-40 3%
41-50 58%
51-60 14%
61-65 19%
Over 65 6%
  • 31-40 3%
  • 41-50 58%
  • 51-60 14%
  • 61-65 19%
  • Over 65 6%

Council members by gender

Gender Number
Female 58%
Male 42%
  • Female 58%
  • Male 42%

Council members by sector

Sector Number
Corporate 33%
Education 8%
Practice 31%
Professional services 19%
Public 6%
Retired 3%
  • Corporate 33%
  • Education 8%
  • Practice 31%
  • Professional services 19%
  • Public 6%
  • Retired 3%

After one year’s service, Council members are allocated to at least one of the six Council standing committees, based on their particular skills and experience. Full Council biographies – including the Committees they serve on – can be accessed here.

Council objectives and agenda in 2017-18

Council agreed broad objectives for the performance year, which were to:

  • provide oversight of the implementation of ACCA’s strategy and continue to set the overall direction for ACCA
  • monitor ACCA’s performance against the agreed targets
  • oversee the governance reform implementation following the 2017 AGM bye-law changes
  • plan for marking ACCA’s 30 years in China in June 2018
  • ensure that ACCA maximises its influence in the global profession
  • in doing the above, achieve Council’s agreed workplan.

In line with the above, and in addition to standing formal reports from the chief executive and Council committees, Council considered the following topics during the year:

June 2017

  • Review of ACCA performance to March 2017 and amendment to strategy targets in light of results
  • Strategic alliance with CA ANZ
  • Brand strategy
  • Approval of annual accounts and AGM matters

September 2017

  • Revision of ACCA’s vision statement
  • Strategy discussion: ethics and trust in a digital age
  • Approach to apprenticeships
  • Update on digital transformation

November 2017 (Annual Council)

  • Election of Officers
  • Welcome new members of Council
  • Vote of thanks to retiring President
  • Adoption of standing orders
  • Changes to Council regulations
  • Elections to Nominating Committee
  • Timetable for election of vice president
  • Review of 2016–17 work plan and agreement of 2017–18 work plan and objectives

March 2018

  • Election of preferred nominee for Vice President 2018-19
  • Presentation of annual report from the Chairman of the Regulatory Board
  • Workshop – ‘Strategic priority for 2018-19: let’s maximise the global impact of the ACCA Qualification’ 
  • Future strategic partnerships
  • Update and discussion on implementation of governance reform
  • Corporate planning and budgeting:
    • approval of 2018-19 budget
    • approval of 2019 membership subscriptions 
    • approval of achievement measures and indicative targets
  • Strategic pricing review
  • Developments relating to ACCA’s future regulatory landscape
  • Council performance appraisals

Future governance reforms

During 2016-17, Council conducted a detailed review of ACCA’s governance arrangements to ensure they remain fit for purpose. At the AGM in November 2017, Council proposed a series of bye-law changes to enable future reforms, all of which were overwhelmingly backed by members. Specifically, these changes will:

  • ensure members’ interests continue to be well represented across ACCA’s governance structures, with ACCA members remaining central in setting the strategic direction and having oversight of the organisation
  • strengthen the oversight function of Council in supporting and holding the Executive team to account for the delivery of the strategy
  • future-proof our governance by providing the ability to grow and flex our arrangements, to match our growth as an organisation
  • provide the agility to enable ACCA to better respond to the opportunities and threats emerging from a dynamic external environment
  • enhance the level of member engagement by Council members as required of a membership organisation of ACCA’s size and scale.

This development will enable the voice of our members to be strengthened in our governance arrangements. It includes the option of moving towards a larger Council with broader representation of members from different geographies and sectors combined with a smaller Council Board – drawn from the wider Council – which could meet more frequently to support agile decision making.

Learn how our connections help everyone

Since 1904, ACCA has forged powerful relationships – across countries, sectors, and our varied stakeholders – that have helped build a strong global profession.

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