CEO Blog: The PBBS Continues with Governance & Operations

Since 2003, PARN has carried out a major triennial research project, the Professional Body Benchmarking Survey (PBBS). The Survey allows us to highlight trends in the governance of professional bodies amongst other key areas. This week, the second survey on Governance & Operations opened to the sector!

The last PBBS was sent in 2012 to professional bodies in Australia, Canada, Ireland and the UK, with questions on governance structures and roles in their organisations. Overall, we received responses from over 175 professional bodies, making the PBBS the widest-reaching survey-based analysis of the professional body sector. As with this year’s survey, all respondents received a free benchmarking report comparing their respective organisation to other professional bodies across the globe.

So, what were our key findings from 2012, and which new areas can you expect to discover with this year’s project?


PBBS: Shifting Governance Structures


Looking at important trends over the nine years from 2003 to 2012, we have noticed a growing tendency for professional bodies to shift their governance structure from a large Council of elected members to a small board of elected and/or selected individuals, sometimes accompanied by an advisory Council of elected members.

In addition, we have seen a clear change in the selection process of potential candidates for governing bodies which tends to focus on the competencies of individuals as opposed to their popularity. In some cases, individuals who are not part of the profession have been brought in to govern due to specific skills that they possess, such as finance, marketing and legal skills as well as previous experience of running other organisations. In addition formal inductions, training and performance reviews are increasingly being implemented.


A New Analysis for 2015


With the latest survey on Governance & Operations opening just this week, find out whether trends in professional body governance have continued over the past three years, and discover what we’re moving towards in 2015.

This year, we’re including an additional report! These new data will be a fantastic benchmarking tool for comparing your terms of office for members of the governing body, numbers of committees and the background of your most senior salaried member of staff.


Take the PBBS on Governance & Operations


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