Board of Trustees 17 March 2016

At its March meeting each year, the Board considers the topline budget figures for the forthcoming financial year, and the key performance indicators to measure progress against targets. 

Business update from Chief Executive – This update focused on the projected outturn for the current financial year.  Income is being projected to achieve the reforecast figure of £12.5m.  This will represent significant revenue growth year on year, ie £11.7m to £12.5m.  Higher Education Partnership income is very close to achieving its original full year target, and could double the amount of income achieved in 2014/15.  Other revenue generating areas of the business will come in close to reforecast target, ie Membership and Employers.  Due to uncertainties in the FE arena, Education Partner revenue may fall just short of target.

There was brief discussion on the importance of membership development and engagement strategies, bearing in mind in particular the ongoing decline in IC membership numbers.  Membership propositions should be high on the agenda.  It was noted that a number of the propositions under development for Studying Affiliates, aimed at increasing the rate of conversion into full membership, will in fact be relevant for members across the grades and can therefore be rolled out more widely.  IC membership development is closely linked to, and dependent on, the project to launch ‘Chartered Management Consultant’, approval for which has not yet been received from the Privy Council.  Plans are, however, in place to make sure that early progress can be made as soon as that decision is forthcoming.

Draft Budget Plan 2016/17 – Business priorities had been discussed and agreed at the previous meeting, with the Apprenticeship programme and Higher Education Partnerships seen as the priority areas.  This aligns with the 5 year roadmap, considered and agreed by the Board in February and now being cascaded to Committees.  A copy of the roadmap is available here.

The Board confirmed the investment from reserves into the Apprenticeship strategy.  For the remaining areas of the business:

  • Corporate Partners is expecting improved performance, with growth of around 10%
  • Education Partners is expecting income in line with that in the current year
  • Membership subscriptions will also be maintained at the current levels.

Investment during the year in additional initiatives, over and above ‘business as usual’, will be on a business case basis.  The budget does allow for increased spend on PR and external affairs, to improve our positioning with key stakeholders; event and member engagement activities; product development; and back office customer service support.

The Board approved a ‘no miss’ budget for 2016/17, with income set to increase to £13.3m.  An aspirational budget was also agreed, showing income potentially rising to £14.2m.  Review points are in place during the year, to be able to monitor performance and identify ‘early warnings’ which may necessitate a review of a particular initiative and/or adjustments to financial figures.

KPIs 2016/17 – As well as the financial targets, KPIs cover Apprenticeships, HE partnerships, Number of Chartered Managers, Affiliate Conversions, and brand reputation.  During discussion it was agreed to review the membership KPIs and to include, for example, a measurement of membership attrition in terms of ‘controllable losses’. 

WiM developments – Sue O’Brien, Chair of the WiM Advisory Committee, reported on positive moves within Women in Management, arising from the first meeting of the re-established WiM Advisory Committee.  Under a working title of ‘CMI Women’, the focus will be on inspiring and enabling emerging leaders, ie those at middle management levels.  This is where the gap in strategy is seen to be, given the number of groups and initiatives already dedicated to championing the cause of women in very senior roles.  An activity plan will be developed for the next Committee meeting in April, straddling research; communications; a focus on ethnicity to ensure a wider diversity perspective; and partnership development.

Forging close links with the Regional WiM Champions and WiM Networks is seen as paramount and this will be a particular focus for the Committee, with an early joint session planned.

During discussion, it was suggested that segmentation of activity could be on the basis of (a) younger managers, including Apprentices; (b) those progressing into a middle management career; and (c) women returners, in particular those women re-entering the workplace after an extended absence stretching to 10 or 15 years.

Apprenticeships – The Board was updated on activities during Apprenticeship Week, running from 14 to 18 March; and on the submission to BIS to operate an Apprenticeship Programme in Management at levels 3 and 5.  Engagement of a broader range of stakeholders is a further priority, including Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and local contacts forged through the Regional Boards, including Chambers of Commerce.  Of particular note is our heightened profile within BIS thanks to the Apprenticeship programme, and our extended reach to a wider employer group thanks to interest in getting involved in Apprenticeships.  There is still, however, a distinct negative connotation attached to Apprenticeships, with concerted effort still needed to overcome this.  There is also a lack of clarity on the employer levy. This points to the need for a sustained communication and influencing strategy.

‘Chartered Management Consultant’ – The decision of the Privy Council on ‘Chartered Management Consultant’ has not yet been received.  The prospective timescale for a decision was six months and we therefore expect to hear further during April.  In the meantime, the Board welcomed the establishment of a ChMC Steering Board, chaired by Martin Cook, focusing on the next steps and, in particular, ensuring a cross sector approach, straddling the large firms, smaller consultancies, independent consultants, and particular sectors such as engineering and technology.  A link will also be made to Apprenticeships in Management Consultancy. 

Complaints Handling and Resolution Process – The Board approved amendments to the procedure, contained in the Board Regulations, governing how member complaints are handled in terms of investigating a potential breach of the CMI/IC Code of Conduct.  See the revised procedure here.

Risk Management Register – The latest version of the Register, as submitted by the Finance and Audit Committee, was approved and can be viewed here.