CPA Australia Board announces plan for orderly transition

4 August

The Board of CPA Australia today announced plans for an orderly transition of current Directors from the Board by 31 December 2017.

Four of the current six Directors - Michele Dolin, Richard Petty, Graeme Wade and Tim Youngberry - will retire on 30 September. The two remaining Directors – Jim Dickson and Sharon Portelli - will retire by 31 December, allowing a fully refreshed Board to lead the 160,000-strong member organisation. Nine new Board members will be appointed from 1 October. 

President and Chairman Jim Dickson said Directors had been involved in discussions for some months on the best way to achieve board renewal, listening to feedback from Divisional Presidents, individual members and other stakeholders.

He said Directors have implemented key initiatives to enable the organisation to continue moving forward, including:

  • establishing an Independent Review Panel with broad terms of reference to include a comprehensive assessment of governance and mechanisms for substantial member input
  • changing the composition of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee by adding three external members to enhance transparency of the process for the appointment of new Directors
  • commencing an executive search for a new CEO, with the new Board to undertake the search and appointment process
  • sourcing a Member’s Professional Indemnity Excess Insurance Policy with an annual aggregate limit of cover, to be funded by CPA Australia, for members in public practice affected by the expiration of the Professional Standards Council (PSC) Scheme.

Mr Dickson said the Independent Review Panel, announced on 3 July, had achieved widespread support and was actively consulting members. 

The Board had implemented changes to the composition of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee to ensure all new Directors are appointed through a rigorous executive search process and by a majority-external panel. 

The committee of five will be chaired by Director Tim Youngberry and will include three non-board members, along with Director Jim Dickson. The reconstituted Nomination and Remuneration Committee will shortly commence the process of working their way through over 200 applications for nine director positions. 

The external members bring decades of Board and management experience to the Committee. Rhonda O’Donnell is a Trustee Director at MTAA Super and member of the RMIT Council; Clinical Professor Leanne Rowe AM, MD, MBBS, FRACGP, FAICD is a former non-executive director at Medibank and beyondblue and former Deputy Chancellor at Monash University, and Geoff Rees is a highly experienced commercial lawyer, former Chairman of the Legal Practitioners Liability Committee and long term Director of the commercialisation entity of the University of Melbourne. 

The Board acknowledges that the lapse of the PSC Scheme has been of significant concern to our members in public practice and has raised concerns with the membership more broadly. 

CPA Australia can announce it has arranged for a group Member’s Professional Indemnity Excess Insurance Policy for Australian public practitioners effective 8 October 2017, at no additional cost to public practitioners. 

The new policy will provide members with an additional layer of protection over and above the existing levels of professional indemnity insurance (PII) they are already required to hold as part of the requirements of holding a public practice certificate. 

For example, for those members with a public practice certificate who are currently required to have a minimum of $2 million PII, the new Member’s Professional Indemnity Excess Insurance Policy will provide them with an additional $3 million PII for any one claim.

A series of Public Practice Forums are being held around the country, commencing next week, to engage directly with public practitioners on the changes. More details, including dates for the national Public Practice Forums, are available at the CPA Australia website. 

CPA Australia is also continuing to work with the PSC on CPA Australia’s existing application with a view to a new Scheme being in place as soon as practicable. 

“Over the past few months the Board has focused on key initiatives to position CPA Australia for the future,” Mr Dickson said.

“We want CPA Australia to be strong, unified and forward looking. The orderly succession of Directors is another major step in achieving this objective.” 

Terms for Directors Michele Dolin, Richard Petty and Tim Youngberry end on 30 September, at which time Director Graeme Wade will also retire. Nine new Board members will be appointed from 1 October and to ensure business continuity, Jim Dickson and Sharon Portelli will remain on the Board until 31 December.

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