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.
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.
Our chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith looks after the day-to-day running of Which?, with support from over 650 staff based in Hertford, 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.
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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.
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 Approach and Principles – 1 July 2017
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.
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.