The remit of the Regulatory Board is to provide oversight of ACCA's disciplinary and regulatory activities, and to report to our Council on the fairness and impartiality of these activities. The Board also has responsibility for overseeing ACCA's examinations and other matters in relation to the integrity of the qualifications process. 

Placing oversight of regulation and discipline at ‘arm's length' from the governance of our other activities helps to reassure stakeholders that our arrangements are operated impartially, with integrity and in the public interest.

The Board is supported in its work by three sub-Boards - the Appointments, Qualifications and Standards boards. Each sub-Board is constituted as a self-standing Board and they report regularly to the Regulatory Board through their chairmen. 

The Board comprises two members of our Council and six independent ‘lay' appointees - non-accountants - one of whom is Lay Chairman.

Regulatory Board member profiles

  • Antony Townsend - Chairman of the Regulatory Board

    Antony has been the Complaints Commissioner for the Financial Regulators since May 2014, in which role he considers complaints against the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. He is also Chair of the UK and Ireland Regulatory Board of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a member of its global Regulatory Board, a member of the Board of the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care and chair of its Scrutiny Committee, and a member of the Determinations Panel of the Pensions Regulator.

    Antony was the Chief Executive of the Solicitors Regulation Authority from its establishment in 2006 until January 2014. In that role, he led major reforms in the regulation of solicitors including the introduction of a risk-based approach to regulation, and greater competition in the legal services market.

    He was the General Dental Council's Chief Executive from 2001-2006, where he led a large reform programme to modernise dental regulation, involving legislative, structural and operational change, and including the extension of regulation to new groups of dental professionals. Before this, Antony held a number of senior roles at the General Medical Council, including Director of Standards and Education, and Head of Conduct. In all these roles, he worked extensively with the regulators of other professions, with consumer organisations, with professional representatives, and with government.

    His earlier career was with the Home Office, where he worked primarily on criminal justice issues.

  • John Cullen - Council member of the Regulatory Board, Chairman of the Standards Board, Vice Chair of the Governance Design Committee

    He is currently Chair of the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies (CCAB), the voice of the accountancy profession in the UK and Ireland.

    John is a Council member based in the UK. He joined ACCA’s Council in 2013, having been a member since 1999 and a Fellow since 2004. John is currently employed at Menzies LLP. He has a background in business recovery, insolvency and best practice development of the industry.

  • Nora Nanayakkara - Lay member of the Regulatory Board – appointed 1 December 2018
    Nora Nanayakkara small 2019

    Nora is Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee and a Non Executive Director on the Board of the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA). The UKSA is an independent public body that oversees the UK's official statistics system including the production of statistics at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and their regulation through the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR).  Nora also holds a number of other public service roles, including Non Executive Director on the steering board of the Intellectual Property Office (The IPO), where she also sits on the Audit & Risk Committee.

    Private sector experience has been gathered through her international experiences as a Director of Operations at tech company Sedo, a German organisation that hosts a platform for web traffic monetization and domain name sales.  Having launched Sedo's UK presence, Nora was appointed as a Non Executive Director to the Board of the private limited company Nominet, which runs a critical piece of the UK's digital infrastructure; the .uk domain name register.  She served three terms there and was then appointed by Nominet as Senior Independent Trustee to the board of its corporate foundation, the Nominet Trust, which managed a multimillion pound fund to award funding to tech entrepreneurs who developed innovative tech solutions to society's problems.

    As well as her cross sectoral non executive portfolio and governance roles, Nora brings valuable experience of professional regulation through her role as a lay fitness to practice panellist at the General Dental Council (GDC), as a lay Chair at the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) and as an independent member of the Bar Council's audit committee.He is currently Chair of the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies (CCAB), the voice of the accountancy profession in the UK and Ireland.

  • Geoffrey Podger - Lay member of the Regulatory Board

    Geoffrey Podger is currently Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Risk Management, King's College, London. He also acts in a number of non-executive roles and undertakes consultancy work.

    He has been Chair of the Board of the Government Actuary's Department since November 2015 His main professional interests lie in the fields of risk and regulation, workplace health and safety and management of healthcare.

    In his previous public service career, he managed four regulatory related agencies in the UK, the European Union and New Zealand. He has also worked in three UK Government Departments including the Department of Health. Geoffrey was awarded the CB in 2003.

  • Ronnie Patton - Council member of the Regulatory Board
    Ronnie Patton

    Ronnie has been an ACCA member since 1981 and he was elected to Council in 2014. He is Senior Lecturer in Professional Accounting Practice at Ulster University, a post he has held since 2003.

    He has been an educator since 1989, having previously worked in a number of industries, professional practice and consultancy.

    His has extensive experience of designing and delivering academic, professional and vocational courses and developing the curriculum. He is a past examiner and coordinator within the ACCA examination system, and is a past president of ACCA Ireland.

  • David Thomas - Lay member of the Regulatory Board

    David qualified as a solicitor in 1969, later becoming a Council member of The Law Society, Committee member of the City of London Law Society and President of Liverpool Law Society. In 1997, he was appointed Banking Ombudsman. On creation of the Financial Ombudsman Service in 2000, he became Principal Ombudsman and from 2009 to 2010 was Chief Ombudsman.

    His current roles include chairman of the Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman and membership of the Policy Expert Group of Which? (the Consumers' Association). David has advised internationally on consumer protection in more than 30 countries, including for The World Bank, the European Commission and the United States Agency for International Development.

  • Dr Suzy Walton - Lay member of the Regulatory Board and Chairman of Qualifications Board

    Suzy is a former Senior Civil Servant from the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) with a Ph.D. from classified research in the MoD. She is a Chartered Director, Chartered Scientist and a Chartered Occupational Psychologist.

    Suzy serves on various boards and committees, including many in Government, such as the State Honours Committee and the disciplinary panel for the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO). She is currently a Board member of the Institute of Directors (for whom she also chairs the Accreditation and Standards Committee and the Remuneration Committee) and Combat Stress which runs hospitals for veterans with PTSD. For Combat Stress she has also chaired the Clinical Governance Committee for the past decade. Suzy is also the Vice President Elect of the Royal Society of Medicine.

    Previously Suzy has served as the Deputy Chairman of the University of Westminster, the Royal Society of Arts and the Internet Watch Foundation. She has also been on the Board of Birmingham Children’s Hospital, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the UK government’s Science Advisory Council. She has also served on the Ethics Group of the National DNA Database in the Home Office and the board of the National Specialist Commissioning Group in the Department of Health.

    Previously Suzy was a producer, presenter and editor in radio and television. She also had a three years stint as a West End actress and she is the mother of six children.


  • Lucy Winskell - Lay member of the Regulatory Board – appointed 1 December 2018
    Lucy Winskell small 2019

    Lucy is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Employability & Partnerships) at Northumbria University, a full time role where she leads the development of Northumbria’s relationships with local government and public bodies, shaping its contribution to regional economic, cultural and social development and graduate employment. She is currently establishing a small campus in Amsterdam as part of Northumbria’s Internationalisation Strategy.

    Prior to joining Northumbria University in 2010, Lucy was a litigation lawyer for 28 years. During that time as a lawyer Lucy gained a very deep and rich experience of membership organisations and the regulation of professionals, sitting on the Council of the Law Society of England and Wales, on the board of the Solicitors Regulation Authority and President of Newcastle Law Society.

    She has extensive non-executive director experience. Appointments have included Government Office North East, Darlington Building Society, the British Chambers of Commerce, the North East Industrial Development Board and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the last two being Ministerial appointments.

    Currently she is Chairman of the Board of the North East England Chamber of Commerce; a Board member of the British Chambers of Commerce, and a non-executive Director of North East Access to Finance.

    Lucy has international experience as a former UK President of the Union Internationale des Avocats, and served as UK chair of the British-American Project, the think-tank and international network for Anglo-US business and cultural relations.

    She is a Trustee of Live Theatre and International Centre for Life, both in Newcastle upon Tyne, and became Chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund North East Committee in June 2017. She is a Board Member of The Community Foundation, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland.

    Lucy was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday 2014 Honours List in recognition for her services to Higher Education and the regional economy in the North East. She was appointed as Deputy Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear in 2014 and was High Sheriff of Tyne and Wear 2015/16.