ACCA's Regulatory Board was launched in September 2008, bringing together all of our previous governance arrangements for regulation and discipline into a single entity.
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 ACCA Regulatory Board
Antony has been the Complaints Commissioner for Financial Services since May 2014, considering complaints against the financial services regulators. He’s also Chair of the UK and Ireland Regulatory Board of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
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, professional representatives and government.
Antony’s earlier career was with the Home Office, where he worked primarily on criminal justice issues.
John Cullen - Member ACCA Regulatory Board (Council)
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 Harris Lipman LLP. He has a background in business recovery, insolvency and best practice development of the industry.
Geoffrey Podger - Member ACCA 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 - Member ACCA Regulatory Board (Council)
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 for 26 years, having previously worked in a number of industries, professional practice and consultancy.
His has extensive experience of designing and delivering academic, professional and vocation 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 - Member ACCA Regulatory Board (lay)
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.
Frances Walker - Member ACCA Regulatory Board (lay)
Frances qualified as a solicitor, specialising initially in family and child care law, and has now retired from private practice to concentrate on work as a tribunal judge hearing social security, medical appeals/disability and child support appeals. She also sits as a judge on the Criminal Injury Compensation Appeals Tribunal and as a legal chair of the Registration and Certification Appeal Panels for the General Medical Council.
Frances sat for some years on our Disciplinary and Regulatory Committees and then chaired our Appeal and Admissions and Licensing Committees.
Her past experience includes membership of the Parole Board, the Local Review Committee at Acklington Prison, Northumberland and she was a non-executive director of her local Health Care Trust and is also a trained mediator.
Hobbies include theatre, tennis and swimming and enjoying time with two adorable grandchildren.
Dr Suzy Walton - Member ACCA Regulatory Board (lay)
Suzy is a former Senior Civil Servant from the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Defence with a PhD gained from classified research in the Ministry of Defence. Suzy is a Chartered Director, Chartered Scientist and Chartered Occupational Psychologist.
Suzy serves on various boards and committees, including many in Government, such as the State Honours Committee. She is currently a Board member for the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), which is the regulator and funder of the university sector, and she sits on their Audit Committee. She is Deputy Chairman of the Board for the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), which is a London based think-tank. She is also on the RSA’s Audit Committee.
Suzy is on the Board of Combat Stress, which operates hospitals for war veterans with PTSD. She is also chairman of the Medical Services Committee for Combat Stress, and is on the Board of the Institute of Directors.
Suzy has served as the Deputy Chairman of the body that regulates the internet against child sexual abuse (Internet Watch Foundation) and she was on the Board of Birmingham Children’s Hospital. She is a mother of six children, the youngest being born in 2014.
Rosalind Wright - Member ACCA Regulatory Board (lay)
Rosalind is a retired barrister who worked mainly in the public and regulatory sector. She retired from the Serious Fraud Office, where she was Director, in 2003 and since then has been a non-executive director of the Office For Trading, the Department of Trade and Industry (now BIS), the Supervisory Committee of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) based in Brussels and of the Insolvency Service.
She has been chair of the Fraud Advisory Panel, an independent ‘think-tank’, based (and supported by) the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales since 2003. She is a member of various disciplinary committees, including the National Register of Public Service Interpreters and the Association of Accounting Technicians and, until recently, chaired disciplinary tribunals for the Council of the Inns of Court.