The Government has announced that a review will be carried out into the Voluntary Code of Conduct that the executive search industry uses during the board appointment search process (‘the Code’). The Code was drawn up in July 2011 by the executive search community in light of a recommendation made by Lord Davies following his report into Women on Boards of the same year.

The aim of the review is to test the strength of the Code (which sets out nine key principles of best practice to be followed throughout the search process), to develop areas of accountability and to identify the practical changes that have been made to the recruitment process as a result of its use. It will also consider whether women are still accounting for 30% of the initial long-lists of candidates submitted to companies by executive search firms, with the Government expecting that a similar level of representation be demonstrated on the subsequent short-lists. The review will be conducted by Charlotte Sweeney, previously International Head of Diversity and Inclusion for Nomura International PLC. It is anticipated that her report will be ready by the end of the year.

Government Press Release: Cable announces review of executive search code of conduct, 09/09/2013 available at:

The Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms is available at: