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 Institute or HKICS).
1. Standard of Professional Conduct
HKICS Article 21. Standard of Professional Conduct
Every member on election to membership and so long as he remains a member shall be deemed to have undertaken strictly to observe the standard of professional conduct and practice required by the Council and comply with any code of conduct, rules of professional ethics, practice directions, rules and regulations governing professional conduct and practice including the conditions for the issue of practising certificates by the Council.
Each graduate and each registered student shall strictly observe the standard of professional conduct and practice required by the Council and comply with any code of conduct, rules of professional ethics, practice directions, rules and regulations governing professional conduct and practice of members unless the Council or the Disciplinary Tribunal otherwise decide or they are otherwise inapplicable by the reason of their not having acquired the minimum years of experience, training or passing the prescribed examinations.
HKICS Code of Professional Ethics and Conduct
The Code of Professional Ethics and Conduct of the Institute comprises four core principles to which all members, graduates and registered students must adhere, that is (1) Integrity, (2) High standard of service/professional competence, (3) Transparency and (4) Professional behaviour. Please refer to the following for the full version:-
For the process of how the Institute enforces its high standards, please refer to the following:-
2. Lodge a complaint
If you would like to lodge a complaint against a member/graduate/registered student 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 professional misconduct committed by a member/graduate/registered student. Unsubstantiated allegations (including anonymous complaint) CANNOT be processed.
3. Disciplinary Tribunal orders and decisions
(i) List of members/graduates removed from membership/graduateship register
|Date of removal
|9 February 2018
||Ip Wing Lun
|9 February 2018
||Chan Ka Yan
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) non-compliance
|Year of removal:
Au Young Hin Lap (*Note)
Chan May Yi Nicole
Cheng Koon Wai
Chu Siu Lun
Chu Siu Pui
|Ho Yau Choi
Kwan Pok Man Daniel
Law Chui Yuk
Leung Ho Yi Jennifer
Ng Yuen Yi
|Poon Koon Yu Jeanie
Tam Kam Yee
Tsang Wai Yee Terri
Wong Kin Hung
|Wong Sze Man
Wong Yin Ping Rebecca
Yan Miu Ping
Year of removal:
Choy Chung Wah
|Tsui Chi Keung Wilfred
*Note: Au Young Hin Lap was re-elected as a member on 26 November 2018.
(ii) Statistics of CPD non-compliance disciplinary proceedings are 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. 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 professional misconduct 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 contravention.
(2) For the compliance of 2017/2018 CPD requirements and onwards, the Disciplinary Tribunal has decided the following being effective from 25 July 2018:-
(i) no further extension of time before disciplinary hearing will be given by the Disciplinary Tribunal to the member/graduate concerned to rectify his/her
alleged contravention as ample opportunities have been given by the Professional Development Committee;
(ii) a notice to disciplinary hearing will be issued to the member/graduate concerned and the case be proceeded to a disciplinary hearing directly;
(iii) a fine payable at a minimum of HK$3,000 will usually be imposed for each breach of CPD requirement;
(iv) the member/graduate concerned will still be required to rectify his/her breach within a prescribed period; and
(v) the progressive scale of penalties decided by the Disciplinary Tribunal on and being effective from 10 June 2015 will continue to apply as follows:-
(1) a fine payable by the member/graduate concerned (HK$3,000 per year of CPD non-compliance);
(2) suspension of all rights of membership/graduateship until such time as he/she is able to demonstrate fulfilment of outstanding CPD points; and
(3) removal from register of membership/graduateship.
5. 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 24. Penalties and costs
24.1 The Disciplinary Tribunal can impose one or more of the following outcomes as part of its decision under byelaws 23.8 and 23.9:
(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.
24.2 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.
24.3 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.
24.4 Subject to the right of appeal in byelaw 25, 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, graduate or registered student concerned from the respective membership, graduateship or studentship (as the case may be) and
removing his name from the appropriate register;
(b) calling for and accepting the resignation of the member, graduate or registered student;
(c) suspending all or any of his rights of membership, graduateship or studentship including the right to hold any particular class of membership, graduateship
or studentship (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, graduate or registered student;
(f) reprimanding the member, graduate or registered student;
(g) ordering the member, graduate or registered student to pay costs incurred by the Investigation Group and the Disciplinary Tribunal; or
(h) ordering the member, graduate or registered student to pay restitution,
in all cases without prejudice to the rights of the Institute to recover any arrears of subscription or any moneys due from the member, graduate or registered student 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, graduate or registered student 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 2019