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

  • Richard Cooper – Lay member of the Regulatory Board (Appointed 1 December 2019)

    Richard Cooper has extensive experience of leading business transformation and operating at board level within complex organisations.

    He had worked with BT for more than 10 years, leading business transformation and engaging in face-to-face dealings with the UK telecoms regulator and other communication providers.

    Since leaving BT (in March 2018) he has taken up roles including:

    • Member of the NHS Pay Review Body - The NHSPRB provides independent recommendations on the remuneration of all staff paid under Agenda for Change employed in the NHS. The NHSPRB’s recommendations apply to all staff in the NHS, with the exception of doctors, dentists and very senior managers. The remit group accounts for just under 1.5 million NHS staff (paybill c.£43bn).
    • Non-Executive Director and Audit Committee Member, Health Research Authority - The HRA is an arm’s-length body in the Department of Health & Social Care that protects and promotes the interests of patients and the public in health and social care research.
    • Chair of West Suffolk Council Remuneration Panel - The Independent Remuneration Panel plays an important role in advising the Council on the remuneration and expenses of its Councillors.
    • Non-Executive Director at Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust (stood down February 2019).
  • Sharon Critchlow – Council Member of the Regulatory Board
    picture of sharon critchlow

    Sharon has been an ACCA member since 1996 and she was elected to Council in 2016. After 8 years as a public practice accountant Sharon held the role of Operations and Compliance Director with regulatory responsibilities in the Financial Services sector for 17 years. She is a Chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments and a Chartered Financial Planner. 

    In her commercial life Sharon has a business which specialises in governance and cyber security, and a second enterprise which focuses on workplace culture strategies and wellbeing. She has an interest in Environmental Social Governance, is a frequent speaker on diversity and inclusion and advocates for better mental health awareness in the construction sector.

  • Bill Matthews – Lay member of the Regulatory Board (Appointed 1 December 2019)

    Bill is a Chartered Engineer who began his career as a Test Engineer with Motorola in Scotland, before a number of years running technology businesses. He subsequently developed a portfolio of non-executive interests in a variety of areas, including seven years as Chair of the BBC Pension Fund.

    Bill’s current roles include chairmanship of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission and sitting as a lay panellist for the Nursing and Midwifery Council on fitness to practice hearings. He is a member of the British Transport Police Authority and sits on the board of the Scottish Futures Trust – an infrastructure centre of excellence owned by the Scottish Government. Bill holds an MBA alongside first degrees in Electrical Engineering, Psychology, and Humanities with Creative Writing.

  • Nora Nanayakkara – Lay member of the Regulatory Board and Chair of the Appointments Board
    Nora Nanayakkara small 2019

    Nora holds a number of independent governance roles, including Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee and Non Executive Director on the Board of the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA), which oversees the production and regulation of the UK’s official statistics system.

    Nora’s executive career in the private sector included leading sales teams in Germany as Director of International Operations and Business Development and successfully launching a digital tech start-up’s UK presence.  Having achieved an MBA, she then developed a portfolio of governance roles with her appointment as a Non Executive Director (NED) to the Board of Nominet, which runs a critical piece of the UK’s digital infrastructure; the .uk domain name register. She was subsequently appointed by Nominet as Senior Independent Trustee and Chair of the Audit Committee to the board of its corporate social investment foundation, Nominet Trust, which awarded multimillion pound funding to entrepreneurial organizations with innovative technology-enabled missions.  She has also served as a NED and Audit Committee member on the Board of the UK trading fund, The IPO, which is responsible for the UK’s intellectual property rights.

    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 Chair at the General Dental Council (GDC), as a lay panellist and Chair at the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC), an independent member of the Bar Council’s audit committee and the ACCA’s Regulation Board. Nora holds a Ministerial NED appointment in Ireland on the Board of the Digital Hub in Dublin, which provides incubator space and support to international tech start-ups. She is also a member of the Pay Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB).

  • Ronnie Patton - Council member of the Regulatory Board and Chair of the Standards 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.

  • 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.

  • Dr Suzy Walton - Lay member of the Regulatory Board and Chair 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 – Chair of the Regulatory Board
    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 Chair of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership 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 Chairman of Live Theatre and 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.