CIPR membership falls below 10,000 but accounts say 'significant improvement' in financial performance

Membership of the CIPR fell below 10,000 in 2016, and the institute registered a post-tax deficit for the year, although most of this is the result of setting aside money for costs associated with its impending office move.

The CIPR today published its financial report and its 'Integrated Report' for the year.

The accounts themselves show a deficit for the year of £132,909, although the board report contained within the financial statements says that the "final result after tax" for the CIPR was only £32,909. However, that lower figure does not appear within the official income statements.

The report says that the institute is obliged to recognise dilapidation costs - money that will be spent on returning to the condition it was in when the CIPR's tenancy started - before these are actually incurred. While the landlord of its Russell Square premises has estimated these at £168,000, the board said in its report that £100,000 "is more realistic". This sum takes the deficit to its final figure.

The CIPR's lease on the property ends in 2019, but it hopes to move sooner. A spokesman for the body said it should save £250,000 per year on rent after it has moved.

The CIPR had registered a loss of £159,936 in 2015, although its CEO told PRWeek at the time that it was "financially stable, despite difficult trading circumstances". The board report for 2016 says the reduced deficit "was a significant improvement on the 2015 performance, though it fell short of intentions".

Membership income for 2016 dropped slightly from £1.6m to £1.58m, but training income rose by nearly £50,000 to £1.02m. Awards income also rose, and overall income rose from £3.95m to £4.08m.

Aside from the money put aside for its premises move, and small rises in marketing and awards costs, expenditure dropped in all areas year on year. However, it spent £263,000 on its new member magazine. Expenditure therefore rose overall, from £4.1m to £4.18m

'Anticipated' membership fall

The integrated report shows that overall membership numbers fell from 10,337 at the start of 2016 to 9,907 at the end. At the start of 2015, membership totalled 11,125.

It says: "The decrease was anticipated – candidates for CIPR qualifications were previously obliged to become CIPR members, but from 1 April 2015, this requirement ceased. As a result, the number of new recruits fell, while the number of those completing their qualification and lapsing their membership remained the same as in previous years."

The accounts also show that the institute had an average staff count of 30 in the year, compared to 34 in 2015. One employee was paid a salary of more than £75,000.

Read next: PRCA revenue up 15 per cent but again rings up loss for the year

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