March 2015: THE ICSA ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2015 - report by Mark Cardale
This conference was held in March this year, and was almost entirely given over to presentations on aspects of corporate governance, indicating the importance which ICSA now gives to this subject. There were also one or two presentations given by examiners in their own CSQS subjects, including one by Brian Coyle (the corporate governance examiner and author of the syllabus text book) which was attended by Mark Cardale.
The presentation was consistent with what you will learn about the exam from the Campbell’s course materials and Brian Coyle’s previously published comments on past exam questions. Brian Coyle emphasised:
1. The importance of knowing the course subject matter in some detail. This would include a “thorough” knowledge of the UK Corporate Governance Code, but you wouldn’t need to know the Principle and Provision numbers for the exam (although we think knowledge of at least the letters for the different section headings is a useful way into the Code).
2. The importance of writing accurate and relevant answers in the exam. There is no point, for example, if the question is about the remuneration committee, in writing in this exam about the principles of board committees generally– unless you show precisely how this relates to the particulars of the question. “Unsupported” general statements – generalisations without facts or explanation in support – will also annoy the examiner.
Brian Coyle also referred to some of the topics on which he has often set questions in the past and/or is likely to (again) now. He particularly mentioned:
(i) audit and the audit committee
(ii) risk management
(iii) the board of directors
(iv) shareholders and stakeholders – rather a large topic! But Brian Coyle did express particular interest in reporting and the Strategic Report.
Reported for Campbell's College by Mark Cardale