December 16, 2014, by ICCSR

Getting the lowdown on CSR’s new professional body

We were recently served up with an interesting summary of the ins and outs of the UK’s new Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (ICRS), which was launched in July 2014 as a professional body to represent the interests of corporate responsibility professionals.

Paul Burke, who heads the secretariat of the ICRS and is a sustainability expert at Carnstone Consultants, came up to Nottingham to provide us with a briefing on the new organisation’s aims and ambitions.

You can hear a recording of his talk, complete with accompanying slides, at

Paul reported that the ICRS has already approved around 150 applicants for membership, against a target of 400 for the first year and around 1000 by years three and four. He said surveys have shown that the ICRS ‘has a decent sized market to go for’ as there are about 4,000 people employed full-time in corporate responsibility in the UK, and another 25,000 have roles that involve some aspect of CSR.

The roots of the ICRS lie in the Corporate Responsibility Group, which was set up in 1987 by a group of companies in London as a support network for corporate responsibility professionals.

The new body has four levels of membership – affiliate, associate, member, and fellow, although no fellows will be created in its first year. It offers its own code of conduct, a strong emphasis on professional development, a team of assessors to judge the competencies of applicants, and for members, the right to have the letters ‘MICRS’ after their name.

‘A huge amount of effort has been put into creating the ICRS,’ said Paul. ‘We’ve had help from an eclectic group of companies, including Boots, Camelot, Linklaters and IBM – as well as in-kind support from ICCSR, for which we’re very grateful.’

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