Board of Trustees 10 February 2015

This meeting of the Board focused on:

- a review of the 2014/15 business and Key Performance Indicators for Quarter 3

- topline budget and overarching business plan for 2015/16

- membership subscriptions for 2015/16

- income recognition policies

- staff survey results

- brand awareness

CEO Strategic Update and KPI Review – The Board heard that results, as at the end of Quarter 3, show growth, but with mixed results by business stream.  Forecast income is on track, though dependent on continued over-performance in HE partnerships and Education Providers (EPs).  Both HE and EPs are gaining momentum.  HE income is well over budget; and cumulative Student registrations within Education Providers are 10% up on last year.  Membership income will come in on budget, with retention rates (currently 88%) and member satisfaction scores improving.  Employers will miss its full year sales target, meaning that this area of the business will be flat or slightly down on last year.  Net contribution, sales and reserves are on track, with the first of those measures due to come in at £1.1m at the year end.

The KPI report was approved and is available here.  The progress in the Net Promoter Score was particularly welcomed.

Business planning for 2015/16 – This is reported in more detail elsewhere in this Digest.  In summary, the budget for 2015/16 is firmly rooted in the greater granularity across the existing business streams.  The budgeted figure for income, projected as this stage, is around £13.4m – its highest ever level. 

Membership subscriptions for 2015/16 – Based on recommendations, including those from the IC Advisory Committee, it was agreed that membership subscriptions should be increased by 3% as from 1 April 2015.  There are important messages to convey to the membership: in terms of how the member offer is developing, with the strategic project getting underway to review and enhance the offer based around member research; the Director level post created that will be dedicated to member engagement; and the significant progress being made in fulfilling our mission through thought leadership and influencing activity, giving members cause and reason to take increasing pride in the work that their professional body carries out on their behalf.

Brand awareness – The top level results of the latest research were presented and are available here.  This research is based on 400 manager interviews by telephone, ensuring a balance across management levels, job functions and industry sectors and, this year, including a quota of very senior managers and directors.  The key measures are spontaneous (unprompted) and prompted awareness of CMI.  The former has dropped from 7% to 3%, and the latter has climbed from 32% to 50%.  Prompted awareness is the combined total of those managers who know a lot or a little about CMI.  The significant increase is seen as recognition of the brand building work recently conducted.  The decline in spontaneous awareness has affected other Institutes, as well as ourselves, and there is work to do here in terms of further analysis to understand the reasons for the decline.  Other scores are more positive, including logo recognition and brand authority.  Board feedback is that the low scores in a number of areas need to make us more ambitious in terms of being innovative and creative in bringing the mission alive and making CMI a truly trusted brand..  The Board will focus on brand awareness strategies at a forthcoming meeting.

Income recognition – The Finance and Audit Committee had previously reviewed the Institute approach to income recognition.  The policy is based around the fact that income must be recognised as and when the particular service is delivered.  The policy has become increasingly complex over the years and the focus is therefore on ensuring that it remains appropriate and is simplified and made more understandable and therefore easy to administer.  Having compared the policies adopted by other professional bodies, it was agreed that certain adjustments can be made.  A new policy is required for our new dual accreditation income stream in Higher Education.  A change is also being considered for the treatment of income from ManagementDirect sales, as well as income from delivery of Certificates and Diplomas.  The bottom line is that this work is needed because, at present, our growth successes are not being truly reflected in our financial reporting.  The next steps are refinements in the proposed approach, and consultation with the Institute’s Auditors.

Institute property – The Board was updated on, and endorsed, the current project to secure a new office space in London.  The Savoy Court lease expires in September 2015 and there is agreement that a move to alternative premises is required on a number of fronts – to ensure an office environment of appropriate quality; and to allow for greater flexibility in meeting room space, the provision for which is restricted in our current office set up.  There will also be exploration of a member ‘drop in’ facility.  There was discussion on the merits of a London space versus a location elsewhere in the UK.  The current two office site approach is considered to be appropriate.  A London presence is required in terms of our thought leadership and influencing work, with a need to have access to Government departments.

Finance report to 31 December 2014 – Income, during what is a shortened business month, was just below the forecast but ahead of prior year.  This gives year to date income just behind the forecast.  General overheads are on budget and the total net contribution remains above target.  The level of reserves also continues to be ahead of the full year target of 7 months’ worth of expenditure.