Members and graduates of the Institute being governance professionals, shall observe the highest standards of professional conduct and ethical behavior in all their work and activities. The Investigation Group, Disciplinary Tribunal and Appeal Tribunal are the independent disciplinary bodies stipulated in the Charter and Byelaws of The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) and the Articles of Association of the Institute.
The Disciplinary Procedures and Proceedings of the Institute are set out in the Flow Chart below:-
Disciplinary Procedures and Proceedings Flow Chart (Download)
1. Lodge a complaint
If you would like to lodge a complaint against a member/graduate of the Institute, please file your complaint by completing, signing and submitting the Complaint Form (M017 - Complaint Form) to us by post to ‘Chief Executive, The Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries at 3/F, Hong Kong Diamond Exchange Building, 8 Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong’ and mark ‘Private and Confidential’ on the envelope; or by email to email@example.com; or by fax to Chief Executive at fax no.: (852) 2530 9728; or in person.
A valid complaint must be supported by evidence that is sufficient to show the possibility of alleged improper acts or breaches of professional conduct committed by a member/graduate. Unsubstantiated allegations (including anonymous complaint) CANNOT be processed.
M017 - Complaint Form (Download)
2. Disciplinary Tribunal orders and decisions from year 2015/2016
3. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) non-compliance
A material breach of the Institute’s CPD requirements by members/graduates of the Institute may be regarded as a breach of professional conduct and be processed accordingly. Mitigating factors could be taken into account in assessing individual cases. CPD non-compliance cases will first be referred to the Investigation Group and if they are found to be serious, they shall then be referred to the Disciplinary Tribunal for further consideration and decision.
Consequences of CPD non-compliance
Sanctions or penalties imposed by the Disciplinary Tribunal may involve the imposition of a fine, censure or other forms of penalty and in severe cases, removal from membership/graduateship register.
Pursuant to the Charter and Byelaws of ICSA and the Articles of Association of the Institute, where disciplinary action is being considered against a member/graduate, his/her membership shall not lapse until the procedure is completed.
(1) If a CPD non-compliance case is already under disciplinary proceedings:-
(i) no voluntary resignation on membership/graduateship would be processed. Application to resign from
membership/graduateship could only be processed upon settlement of all outstanding payments and fulfilment of CPD
(ii) the member/graduate concerned shall report and update the Institute Secretariat on a quarterly basis to demonstrate his/her
effort in fulfilling the CPD requirements; and
(iii) attendance at a disciplinary hearing will be required if the member/graduate concerned fails to rectify his/her alleged
(2) Effective from 10 June 2015, the Disciplinary Tribunal has decided to impose the following progressive disciplinary penalties:-
(i) a fine payable by the member/graduate (HK$3,000 per year of CPD non-compliance);
(ii) suspension of all rights of membership until such time as he/she is able to demonstrate fulfilment of outstanding CPD
(iii) removal from register of membership/graduateship.
The statistics of CPD non-compliance disciplinary proceedings from year 2015/2016 were as follows:
||Total number of cases
||Number of members/graduates removed from membership/graduateship register due to non-compliance with Disciplinary Tribunal orders and decisions
4. Penalties and costs
Pursuant to the Charter and Byelaws of ICSA and the Articles of Association of the Institute, the penalties and costs are as follows :-
ICSA Byelaw 25 Penalties and costs
25.1 The Disciplinary Tribunal can impose one or more of the following outcomes as part of its decision under Byelaws 24.8
(a) issuing a written reprimand;
(b) ordering the member to pay costs incurred by the Investigation Group and the Disciplinary Tribunal;
(c) imposing a fine on the member;
(d) ordering the member to pay restitution;
(e) cancelling the member’s practising certificate and requiring them to return it;
(f) suspending the member for a specified period, and deciding whether the member should continue to be liable to pay their
subscription while suspended;
(g) calling for, and accepting, the member’s resignation;
(h) expelling the member, and removing their name from the membership register.
25.2 A penalty does not affect the member’s liability to pay any subscription which is due at the time of the decision or any other money they owe to the Institute at that time.
25.3 The Disciplinary Tribunal can require the complainant to pay costs in the event that the complaint is unwarranted or found to be groundless or vexatious.
25.4 Subject to the right of appeal in Byelaw 26, a decision of the Disciplinary Tribunal is final and binding on all parties and must be reported to the Council and recorded by the Secretary.
HKICS Article 27 Penalties
27.1 The penalty or penalties which may be imposed by the Disciplinary Tribunal as part of its decision referred to in Article 26.4 above may be to do any one or more of the following:
(a) excluding the member or graduate concerned from membership or graduateship (as the case may be) and removing
his name from the appropriate register;
(b) calling for and accepting the resignation of the member or graduate;
(c) suspending all or any of his rights of membership or graduateship including the right to hold any particular class of
membership or graduateship (with or without liability for continuing payment of annual subscriptions);
(d) cancelling and calling for the return of any practising certificate or Practitioner’s Endorsement certificate;
(e) imposing a fine payable by the member or graduate;
(f) reprimanding the member or graduate;
(g) ordering the member to pay costs incurred by the Investigation Group and the Disciplinary Tribunal; or
(h) ordering the member to pay restitution,
in all cases without prejudice to the rights of the Institute to recover any arrears of subscription or any monies due from the member or graduate to the Institute. The decision shall also include a ruling as to whether and by what means any penalty or penalties to be imposed shall be given publicity and if so whether the member or graduate shall be named.
27.2 The Disciplinary Tribunal can require the complainant to pay costs in the event that the complaint is unwarranted or found to be groundless or vexatious.
27.3 Subject to the right of appeal in Article 28, a decision of the Disciplinary Tribunal is final and binding on all parties and must be reported to the Council and recorded by the Secretary.
Last update: October 2017