PRCA agrees new governance roadmap as platform for continued growth and industry leadership

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The Board of the PRCA has agreed a new governance blueprint which will provide a platform for continued growth and industry leadership, following a wide-ranging consultation and review exercise.

The new structure will ensure continued and improved representation of all elements of the industry, while bolstering governance, oversight and decision-making processes.

A Board-appointed working group will now oversee the next phase of implementation, preparing for an EGM in September 2023 at which the new governance structures will be proposed, and a new interim President and interim Management Board will be appointed.

Sarah Scholefield, Chair of the PRCA, said:

“Our wide-ranging consultation exercise showed enormous support and goodwill towards the PRCA from across the membership. There is clear and widespread recognition of its many successes in the UK and internationally under the leadership of the late Francis Ingham.

“But the study also highlighted the need to refresh governance, decision-making processes and transparency as we move forward into the next phase of growth.

“Our new blueprint gives an evolutionary path forward, ensuring the PRCA adopts best practice in all areas of governance while continuing to be a powerful voice for our industry.”

The Board initiated the governance review in September 2022, with an independent team of experts led by Professor Chris Bones being appointed in November. Their listening exercise included 50 individual interviews and a survey of members, and they mapped the PRCA’s processes against best practice.

The new governance blueprint formalises and clarifies the roles of the PRCA’s representative bodies. A General Council will act as the overall governing body, appointing Professional and Management Boards, and Standing Committees covering standards, diversity and inclusion, education, climate and other key issues facing the industry.

The new Management Board will be responsible for the effective running of the PRCA across all activities and subsidiary organisations, including international operations. This body will appoint senior executives of the PRCA including the CEO (replacing the previous Director-General role), for whom a search will shortly begin. It will also oversee new Audit & Risk and Nominations & Remuneration Committees.

The PRCA will continue to act as a leader for the communications sector internationally, with the new structure bringing greater focus and clarity to its international operations.

The General Council, on which all member organisations will have a representative, will be chaired by a President who will be elected annually, and who act as a spokesperson and lead representative for the industry.

The new structure will see external independent oversight on an on-going basis. Two directors on the Management Board will be appointed, via a Nominations Committee, from outside the industry. In addition, the Standards Board, which will be accountable for the voluntary regulatory arrangements which govern PRCA members and employees, will include external appointees as well as the Chairs of each of the Professional Boards.

The PRCA will make an interim appointment of a senior executive to lead the introduction of the new structures and processes.

Sarah Scholefield added:

“Members can expect to see business as usual for the coming months, with the PRCA leading on standards, training, awards and the myriad programmes and projects it operates around the world.

“The governance changes, which will be subject to formal approval by members at an EGM in September, will simply strengthen our ability to deliver all of those activities, professionally and effectively.”

PROCESS TIMELINE

September 2022

PRCA Board agrees to undertake a Governance Review

October 2022

Working group established. Competitive tender undertaken for the independent governance experts who will run the review

November 2022

Working group appoints independent experts led by Professor Chris Bones

November 2022-March 2023

Extensive desk research and wide-ranging listening exercise

50 interviews and online survey to members

Benchmarking of PRCA ‘way it is done’ against standard governance good practice

Late April 2023

Detailed recommendations and implementation plan circulated to Board

May 2023

Board agrees recommendations in principle and gives the go-ahead to an exploration and implementation phase.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN THE EXPLORATION AND IMPLEMENTATION PHASE

  • Appointment of a change leader to lead the day-to-day activities required to deliver the exploration and implementation phase. The current staff team will continue to run business as usual
  • Preparation for an EGM, expected to take place in Setpember 2023 which will
    • Decide on proposed new governance structures
    • Elect / appoint an interim President
    • Elect / appoint a smaller more agile interim management board
    • Approve updated Memorandum and Articles of Association

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