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Governance

Which? is the trading name for the Which? Group, wholly owned by the Consumers’ Association. As we operate as a social enterprise, our charitable purposes and commercial activities are intertwined

In this article
The Council The boards Day-to-day Governance review
Find out more Remuneration principles

The Council

The Council of the Consumers’ Association is the ultimate governing body of our charity and the Consumers’ Association as a whole. The majority of Council members are directly elected from our membership. They are responsible for the continued success of Which? and the achievement of our charitable mission.

The boards

Each company within the Which? Group is also closely managed by its own board. The Which? Limited Board oversees and sets the strategy for our commercial activities. The Which? Financial Services Board oversees our financial services businesses, including Which? Mortgage Advisers.

Day-to-day

Our chief executive, Anabel Hoult, looks after the day-to-day running of Which?, with support from over 650 staff based in Cardiff, London and Bristol. All of our staff work towards the same goal: to make individuals as powerful as the organisations they have to deal with in their daily lives.

Governance review

Governance Review Committee

At our AGM in 2017, we agreed to carry out a Governance Review. The review is being led by Dame Deirdre Hutton DBE, with the support of Julia Unwin CBE, who with Council members Tim Gardam, Jenny Oscroft, Donald Grant and Anna Walker form the Governance Review Committee. To find out more about the role of the Governance Review Committee, the terms of reference can be found here.

The Governance Principles can also be viewed here.

First Report - ‘The Future Governance of Which’ - November 2018

The report – 'The Future Governance of Which' – forms the first stage of the governance review, and explores why we believe we need to review how Which? is run. Thank you to all those who provided feedback.

Second Report - ‘Evolving in a modern world’ - June 2019

The second report - ‘Evolving in a modern world’ explores the options that will enable Which? to evolve its governance in a world that is increasingly challenging for consumers to navigate, and ever more demanding on Which? as an organisation. Thank you to all those who provided feedback on the last report, we would also like your feedback on this report as it will help to shape the rest of the review. Click here to find out more.

Evolving in a Modern World 4502 Kb | 05 Jun 2019

Event - ‘The Future of Good Governance’ - February 2019

On 15 February we hosted 'The Future of Good Governance' event at our London office attended by the Charity Commission, industry experts and similar organisations. We were pleased that a small group of ordinary members were also able to join us for the event.

For those who didn't attend, please find below a written summary and video clip of the event.

The Future of Good Governance 289 Kb | 05 Mar 2019

Find out more

As part of our ongoing commitment to transparency around our governance, we have published our Directors' Conflicts of Interests policy. This explains the approach we take to identifying, preventing and recording any conflicts of interest between Council members (and directors of other group companies) and their outside interests. This is available below, as well as some more information on our governance.

Governance at Which? - May 2019 41 Kb | 03 May 2019
Group Directors Conflicts of interest policy 267 Kb
Articles of Association 153 Kb | 17 May 2019

 

 

The Consumers' Association, which trades as Which?, is registered in England and Wales and is a charity, No 296072. Which? Ltd is its wholly owned trading subsidiary, also registered in England and Wales, company No 677665.

Remuneration principles

Remuneration Approach and Principles – 1 July 2017

Context:

The objective of our remuneration approach is to attract, retain and motivate employees of the highest calibre at all levels of our organisation and to sustain the delivery of high levels of performance without paying more than is necessary.

Which? is unusual: it is a social enterprise that sits within the charitable sector and is regulated by the Charity Commission, but its charitable parent organisation, the Consumers’ Association, does not rely on fundraising, government funding or grants.

All directly charitable activity is funded through the commercial activities of Which? Limited and its subsidiaries, with all group companies undertaking their activities with the aim of tackling consumer detriment, making individuals as powerful as the organisations they deal with in their daily lives. The remuneration approach underpins and supports this.

Remuneration principles:

We have adopted a core set of remuneration principles, which are set out below. More detail on our approach is set out in Appendix One:

  • Which? uses reward as a tool to attract, retain and motivate our people to deliver our long-term ambitions;
  • Our plans are simple and clear, as well as transparent to our members and other public stakeholders;
  • Our approach recognises the hybrid nature of our organisation as a social enterprise with commercial operations;
  • We operate common design frameworks throughout the organisation to ensure everyone is aligned against our common goals;
  • The quantum and balance of the different reward elements are based on role/job family for the different markets in which we operate and compete for talent;
  • All variable pay reinforces the delivery of our long-term strategic framework;
  • Total remuneration (including fixed and variable pay) will be benchmarked to set a fair and role appropriate level;
  • We do not offer variable pay that pays out over multiple years;
  • We will have in place an annual variable pay plan for key employees with the maximum amount of variable pay at 100% of base salary; and
  • We will incentivise for long term performance with a % component focused on progress towards long term objectives including group-wide financial and impact measures and the must win battles included in the strategic framework.
Remuneration appendix 43 Kb | 20 Oct 2017