Governance structure

CIPFA is the professional body for public sector finance

The institute is a charity, constituted by Royal Charter. The affairs of the institute are managed and regulated in accordance with the charter and byelaws, most recently revised in 2018 with privy council approval.

The four principal charitable objects and purposes can be summarised as:

1. advance the science of public finance and accountancy
2. promote public education therein
3. disseminate knowledge and best practice
4. advance and promote co-operation between accountancy bodies

Serving the public interest

As a royal chartered body and registered charity, the institute is constituted to work in the public interest by promoting high standards and excellence in public financial management, accountancy and related disciplines.

We seek to preserve at all times the professional independence of qualified accountant members of the institute in whatever capacities they may be serving, promoting excellence in governance and ethical standards.

Through our activities as a standard setter and educator, our advisory and consultancy services we support our members, students and finance professionals in a wide range of public sector settings. As such, our work benefits the public through excellence in the management of the public finances.


The overarching governing body is the council. The council sets the strategic direction, approves the business plan and budget, and approves standards of professional practice. The council is constituted of no more than 41 individuals with three groupings:

  • no less than 21 members elected by region
  • the elected honorary officers (president, vice president, junior vice president, past president) elected
  • no more than 16 co-opted individuals recommended by the Nominations Committee to enhance the breadth of experience and diversity of background and viewpoints

The membership of council is refreshed on a two year cycle, with individuals serving a maximum of six consecutive years. Honorary officers serve one year in post.

Subcommittees of the council

The council is supported by CIPFA board and other boards and subcommittees. Find out more about these subcommittees.

Oversight of operational matters is delegated by the council to the CIPFA board. The Public Financial Management Board is responsible for the approval of CIPFA codes. See a full illustrated view of CIPFA's current governance structure.


The institute operates a group structure with a wholly owned trading subsidiary, CIPFA Business Limited, for which the commercial board acts as board of directors. It also has a majority holding in CIPFA C.Co Ltd.