Professional Standards: Martin Nimmo Explains the Forthcoming Requirement to Report to CIMA Details about Any Breach of Its Laws Committed by a Member or Student
Nimmo, Martin, Financial Management (UK)
Many readers will know by now that a new bye-law was proposed by special resolution and agreed at the institute's AGM in June. Bye-law 14A states: "A member or registered student shall report to the institute any facts or matters which may cause him reasonably to believe that another member or registered student may have been guilty of misconduct--as defined by bye-law 1 (x)--and, when considering making such a report, shall have regard to guidelines issued in this connection by the institute."
Because the bye-law was agreed at the AGM, it now requires only confirmation by the Privy Council and should take effect shortly. CIMA's professional standards committee has approved the associated guidance, the full version of which may be accessed online in the members' handbook (www.cimaglobal.com/membershandbook). This gives clear advice to those thinking about reporting an incident of misconduct. Above all, the institute wants to discourage vexatious or vindictive reporting.
The bye-law applies equally to members and students (including "passed finalists"). It does not replace employers' internal procedures for handling misconduct cases; it supplements them. In many cases an employer will already have complained to the institute about misconduct by a member or student. But the dismissal of any CIMA professional for misconduct or poor performance should in principle be reported, whether by the employer or by another member or student. This includes situations where there are allegations of fraud or serious financial irregularities.
Any member or student who has broken the laws of the institute, except in areas where activity is j monitored by CIMA--for example, CPD and anti-money-laundering procedures--should be reported. But there is no obligation to disclose unsupported speculation or vexatious comments about the actions of another CIMA professional. You are not expected to conduct any investigations yourself.
Bye-law 1 (x) defines "misconduct" as a "failure to comply with the laws of the institute and/or conduct by any member or registered student resulting in any conviction or adverse finding, by sanction or order of, or undertaking to, any tribunal or court or other body or authority, which the institute considers relevant to their membership of, or registration with, the institute".
The institute would also want you to report any facts indicating that a member or student has been found guilty of an offence by any court; has received a disciplinary sanction from another body; or has been disqualified from acting as a director or trustee, which you believe have not been reported to CIMA by the person concerned (as required by council regulation 13). In such instances you would need to provide enough information to aid further enquiries by the institute--ie, more than simply a name and the fact that an incident has occurred. …