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Annual Report & Financial
Statements 2015
International Society of Ultrasound
in Obstetrics and Gynecology

1

13662

ISUOG members in 128 countries

53% growth

1719

ATTENDEES TO THE WORLD
CONGRESS IN MONTRÉAL

+25%

94% interested
in attending another one

82
LEARNING
ACTIVITIES
IN THE CME
PLATFORM

98%

+30%

+50%

+172%

isuog

.org

Celebrating 25 years #LoveUltrasound

2015

+59%

+24%

32 trainee

partnerships

4494

2609 NEW MEMBERS
gained from 67 approved courses

trainees

ISU G
learning

263 DELEGATES ONSITE

919 LIVE STREAMED

SATISFACTION

743 BASIC TRAINING DELEGATES

Outreach
trip to Ghana
4 TRAINERS
+ 22 TRAINEES

across 3 hospitals
in Kumasi
region

UOG

3.853

IMPACT FACTOR
1,787,104 DOWNLOADS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Trustees’ report for the year ended 31 December 2015

1

Objectives and activities

2

Review of activities and achievements

4

Financial review

9

Future developments

13

Statement of responsibilities of the Board

15

Independent auditor’s report to the members of ISUOG

16

Statement of financial activities

18

Balance sheet

19

Statement of cash flows

20

Notes to the accounts to 31 December 2015

21

Legal and administrative information

32

6 GUIDELINES
and Basic Training
recommendations
translated into

14 LANGUAGES
2

3

International Society of Ultrasound
in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Annual report and financial
statements 2015

TRUSTEES’ REPORT FOR THE
YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2015

isuog

.org

The Board of Trustees is pleased to present its
report together with the financial statements of the
charity for the year ended 31 December 2015. The
legal and administrative information page 32 forms
part of this report.

ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE,
GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT
INTRODUCTION: ACHIEVING STRATEGIC GOALS
2015 has been a year of significant achievements for ISUOG: achieving and indeed surpassing our goal
of 10,000 members by 2015 within the year as well as the increase in the Impact Factor for our Journal
Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology, to its highest ever level at 3.853. With over 13,500 members in
128 countries by the year end, our goal now moves to retaining and engaging these new members as we
move into our 25th anniversary year. With the support and guidance of our established Advisory members
and Ambassadors resulting in the complete translation of our guidelines into key languages and the planning
for re-development of ISUOG’s website well underway, membership engagement will be at the forefront of
ISUOG’s activities in 2016.
The Montréal Congress received the highest overall satisfaction score of the past four years and we received
strong response to evaluation surveys to support further development and improvement of the scientific
programme. Registration in house has resulted in a streamlined process, ensuring a higher quality customer
service and we began the process of increased engagement with the successful launch of the #LoveUltrasound
campaign and 25th birthday celebrations.
ISUOG’s Basic Training programme went from strength to strength with over 650 participants through our new
Satellite teaching methods in Montréal, with a broader reach through our Ambassadors’ facilitation, whilst the
availability of online continuing professional development through our Continuing Medical Education (CME)
platform grew to 82 learning activities, currently available freely to all ISUOG members.
As we progress further into 2016 we are beginning to review ISUOG’s strategic plan and resetting the goal
posts for the next decade of development.

Dr. A. Ngu Ms S Johnson

4

RECRUITMENT AND APPOINTMENT
OF TRUSTEES
The Trustee term lasts for four years, after which they
are retired by rotation. The post is renewable once,
or exceptionally more if an appointment is made as
an Officer. Nominations for new appointments are
put forward by the Board and Advisory members and
nominees supply candidacy statements and skills
assessments to support their nomination. Nominees
are shortlisted by the Board and Advisory members
with the assistance of the Nominations Committee,
and Trustees are elected annually by the members
at the Annual General Meeting.

INDUCTION AND TRAINING OF
TRUSTEES


President, ISUOG

The International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics
and Gynecology is a charitable company limited by
guarantee and a registered charity governed by its
Memorandum and Articles of Association (charity
number 1030406; company number 2722770).
Referred to collectively throughout the report as the
Board (and as Trustees in the Articles of Association),
these individuals comprise the Trustees of the Charity
for the purpose of charity law, and the directors of
the company.

Chief Executive Officer, ISUOG

New Trustees receive a complete orientation manual
on policies and procedures and join a Board meeting
prior to their appointment. In addition they are invited

to attend a face to face induction meeting with the
CEO, President and Honorary Secretary to affirm
Trustee requirements and responsibilities and to
highlight key areas of interest for them to contribute
to during their term. They are also encouraged to
attend the ISUOG office to review the operating and
support procedures in place.
An external governance review was undertaken in
2013 and recommendations form part of an ongoing
review. A skills self-assessment is undertaken by
each Board member at appointment and reviewed
annually and a process of reflective self-appraisal
was implemented in 2015, with a group review
of collective performance at the Congress Board
meeting. Added to the process for 2016 will be a
one-to-one meeting with one of the Presidents.
The Trustees being Board members meet in person
at least twice yearly to set and review the key
objectives of the charity and in addition by telephone
at least quarterly. The annual Strategy Planning
Meeting is an opportunity to evaluate and make
recommendations for future direction. Day to day
supervision and decision making is delegated to
the Executive Committee, who meets with the Chief
Executive Officer (CEO) a minimum of once per
month by telephone.
The Board elects a number of officers and committee
chairs from amongst its number, and appoints chairs
of sub committees who may or may not be Board
members. Operations are co-ordinated by the CEO
from the company’s London office in liaison with the
various specialist committees.

COMMITTEES


The Executive Committee of the Society,
comprising the Presidents, Honorary Secretary
and Treasurer, oversee day to day activities on
behalf of the Board.



The Finance Committee, led by the Treasurer
and including the Honorary Secretary,
President, President Elect, past Treasurer
and additional co-opted members undertakes
detailed assessments of risk, reserves and
investment policies and acts as an advisory
committee to the Board.

1





The Editors of the Journal, led by the Editorin-Chief and supported by an Editorial Board,
ensure technical standards and quality for
Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The Scientific Committee oversees
development of the direction and content of the
Society’s World Congress and other Scientific
Meetings / activities.



The Education Committee supports the
development of global educational initiatives
with the support of project based task forces.



The Outreach Committee is in place to oversee
service development, support and training in
underserved countries.



The Clinical Standards Committee oversees the
production and review of ISUOG publications
on standards for practice.



The Safety Committee specifically reviews
the safety of ultrasound within the field and
publishes statements to update members.



The Bids Committee evaluates new Congress
and International Symposia bids and supports
the implementation of the Congress in new
sites as necessary.

A number of task forces support current projects,
including a Continuing Medical Education task force,

OBJECTIVES AND ACTIVITIES
IMPROVING HEALTH OUTCOMES FOR
WOMEN
As the leading international society for women’s
imaging, ISUOG exists to protect and preserve
health through the promotion of the science of
ultrasound in obstetrics and gynecology and the
education therein for the benefit of the public (as
listed in its Memorandum of Articles).

OUR VISION
Our vision is for all women to have access to
ultrasound; for all scan providers to be competent
and for the diagnosis of obstetric and gynecological
conditions to be effective so that health outcomes for
women across the world continue to improve.

OUR MISSION AND ACTIVITIES
Our mission to this end is the provision and broadest
possible dissemination of the highest quality
education and training in the field. Our primary
activities to achieve our mission are:


assigned to develop high quality online learning for
a new CME platform, as well as multiple special
interest / focus groups to focus on developments in
particular subspecialty areas.



the delivery of a truly international World
Congress, of the highest quality standards,
disseminating cutting-edge science and clinical
guidance;



the implementation of specialist education
courses to address specific training and
education needs;



the provision of up-to-date and accessible
online resources to support practical and
theoretical training;

The Society employs a total of fifteen staff: The
Chief Executive Officer, the Operations Manager,
the Communications Manager, the Managing Editor
of the Journal, the Event Manager, Education
Development Manager and nine activity and project
support staff. Four staff are part time.

2

the publication and wide distribution of the
leading peer reviewed Journal Ultrasound in
Obstetrics and Gynecology, to the highest
standards;



the provision of a comprehensive basic training
programme



the documentation and dissemination of the
latest standards and guidelines for clinical care;



ISUOG’s Outreach programme to increase the
availability of competent ultrasound services in
under-resourced or poorly performing regions;



the advocacy of global health initiatives around
maternal health through partnerships with
relevant organisations and engagement with
end beneficiaries;



the continued international expansion of
our membership to both support the wide
dissemination of our resources and to provide
insight into the needs of this specialist
community.

DELIVERING PUBLIC BENEFIT
In setting ISUOG’s objectives and planning activities,
the Trustees have given careful consideration to the
Charity Commission guidance on public benefit,
in particular the guidance on the advancement of
education.
ISUOG’s primary beneficiaries, mostly its members,
are health professionals practicing in the field of
ultrasound in obstetrics and gynecology and the
women they provide health services to are the ultimate
beneficiaries of the improvements in knowledge and
skills resulting from ISUOG’s activities.

MAXIMISING PUBLIC BENEFIT
Approximately 800 women die from pregnancy
related complications each day, worldwide. Known
risk factors of morbidity and mortality in pregnant
women, such as ectopic pregnancy, placenta previa,
multiple pregnancies, fetal malposition and abnormal
fetal growth, as well as life threatening gynecological
conditions, can be diagnosed using ultrasound.

ISUOG believes that the effective use of ultrasound
can improve maternal and perinatal health outcomes
and reduce morbidity rates. We work with the
leading practitioners in our field to deliver the
highest quality education courses, resources and
provide opportunities for health professionals to
share knowledge of best practice and engage in our
learning environment.
Ensuring a comprehensive education program that
is accessible to our diverse membership remains
a constant priority. ISUOG’s educational offering
spans ISUOG Outreach to underserved regions
and the ISUOG Basic Training programme for
entry level practitioners in the field, continuing
professional development through its online CME
programme, up to advanced and specialist teaching,
all supplemented by ongoing online learning
opportunities.
Membership growth is also a key goal for ISUOG
to ensure that our work reaches all corners of
our international community. Accessible pricing
structures, a free entry level membership for trainees
just embarking on their careers and partnerships
with national societies are priorities to this end.
Quality and innovation are core values for ISUOG
and, across all our activities, we work to ensure that
our educational and scientific resources are of the
highest standard, reflect the latest scientific evidence
and are as accessible as possible through our online
learning and remote access platforms.
Our Journal strives to publish evidence with the
highest clinical impact and to influence national
guidelines for care. Our clinical guidelines
supplement this influence on practice for countries
without formal protocols. In collaboration with our
network of members, we also seek opportunities to
bring our quality teaching to remote regions where
ultrasound services are comprised, through our
Outreach program.

EVALUATING PUBLIC BENEFIT
ISUOG works closely with its membership community
and wider stakeholders to continually evaluate the
value and benefit it offers. Progress is reviewed
regularly and projects revised accordingly.

3



In 2015 Ultrasound in Obstetrics and
Gynecology achieved its highest ever impact
factor of 3.853 and increased its ranking to 6th
in the wider field of obstetrics and gynecology.
It continues to be considered the leading peer
reviewed Journal within the niche ultrasound
speciality due to the high quality submissions
received and high quality of production.



Downloads also increased to 1,787,104, a
13% increase from 2014, with an increase
in free and open-access papers (32 and 6
respectively).



The Editorial team continued the drive for
high clinical impact papers and increased
submissions in allied specialties around
prenatal screening to increase relevance to
the target audience with a call for papers
around non-invasive pre-natal testing resulting
in 38 publications in this new emerging area
of clinical practice, increasing citations to the
Journal.

SETTING STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES
At the heart of our strategic development is the
clearest understanding of what is important to our
members and wider stakeholders and setting goals
which align with ISUOG’s key values of quality,
learning, innovation and opportunity. ISUOG’s
annual member survey was answered by 1,335
individuals (11%) and objectives under ISUOG’s
strategic objectives aligned with these.

KEY OBJECTIVES FOR 2015
1. Maintain quality and increase discoverability
of our scientific work (Journal and Congress)
We said that we would complete a review of ISUOG’s
Journal to provide recommendations through which
the Society can increase impact in these areas.
4

We also decided to review and reposition the
delivery models for ISUOG’s scientific content at the
Congress to maximise engagement with content.

5.70
5.50
5.30
5.10
4.90
4.70

2015 Montréal

Overall scrores for the meeting

5.90

2014 Barcelona

The Congress fulfilled my educational requirements

6.10

2013 Sydney

Delegate feedback was strong with the
Congress scoring an average of 5.96 out of 7
for overall satisfaction (5.53 in Barcelona, 5.64
in Sydney). The highest rated sessions were
the masterclasses, workshops and live scan
sessions.

Congress satisfaction scores

2012 Copenhagen



New to the Congress in 2015 were our
interactive hub sessions which included a
variety of research discussions, workshops
and hands-on simulation training which were
rated highly and increased interaction and
engagement of the audience. 94% of delegates
expressed their interest in attending another
World Congress in the future.

2011 Los Angeles



2010 Prague

We also aimed to expand the content of the Journal
into new areas of research relevant to obstetrics
and gynecology; ensuring the continued high quality
of the Journal whilst also maintaining growth in
readership and downloads rate, in the context of a
reducing subscriber group.

The user experience was also improved
through the launch of the new mobile
application and more engagement opportunities
through the monthly Journal club articles.

2009 Hamburg

REVIEW OF ACTIVITIES AND
ACHIEVEMENTS

Furthermore ISUOG’s publishing contract with
John Wiley was reviewed and retendered to
three companies, with the conclusion that John
Wiley was best placed to support ISUOG’s
strategic goals to continue to increase impact
and dissemination. A new publishing contract
was negotiated



2008 Chicago

ISUOG strives for excellence in operations to
maximise impact and ad hoc, independent, thorough
reviews are carried out to evaluate the progress of
key activities in line with the Society’s objectives
and to identify further opportunities to maximise the
impact of our work.



The Journal Oversight Committee (JOC)
carried out a review of the Journal and provided
their recommendations to the Board in March
2015, concluding overall that Ultrasound in
Obstetrics and Gynecology is a very high
quality Journal and the performance measures
are in accordance with expectations with the
highest ever impact factor, and new strategic
approaches to increasing awareness and
accessibility to the Journal. The review
committee recommended clearer terms of
reference of the Editor in Chief’s role and
relationship with ISUOG’s Board, as well as a
review of staffing and Editorial budgets which
were both completed within the year.

2007 Florence

In depth needs assessment ensures that Outreach
programs are delivered to areas most likely to
succeed. Sustainable improvements in healthcare
and detailed monitoring and evaluation protocols
remain a priority for the continued success of
ISUOG’s Outreach work.



2006 London

Success is measured through key strategic indicators:
continued growth of its membership (as a proxy for
influence in the speciality); the Journal impact factor
and downloads (as a measure of quality of research
dissemination); quality and satisfaction evaluations
(and attendance figures) across all events as an
indicator of eventual impact on clinical practice, as
well as an annual membership survey. The launch
of the Advisory membership group in 2014 provides
further opportunity to assess in detail the value of
new resources and membership activities.

5

2. Deliver a fully comprehensive education
offering in 2017
We

committed

to

understand

the

myriad

of

components required to develop accessible education
resources aimed at improving clinical care and which

We launched a Continuing Medical Education (CME)
accreditation platform for ISUOG’s online learning,
which allows members to assess and track their
learning.


are applicable for our diversifying membership.






The Basic Training theoretical course was
fine tuned in 2015 and successfully delivered
in Montréal to 78 onsite delegates from 18
countries as well as to 665 live streamed
attendees. To increase the dissemination
of the event, Ambassador connections and
international partnerships were utilised, with
24 for 23 satellite groups in 13 countries.
The event was simultaneously translated and
recorded in French, Spanish and Portuguese.
Development of the Basic Training offering
now focuses on the production of a theoretical
examination, video-based learning resources
and simulation modules. A pilot, hands-on
basic training simulation workshop was held
in Montréal and partnerships with simulation
companies are in progress to incorporate
practical elements to basic training.
ISUOG ran 5 specialist education courses in
2015 attracting a total of 263 delegates, as
well as introducing live streaming and satellite
sessions to 254 remote attendees increasing
accessibility and being highly scored by remote
delegates for satisfaction (average 6.28/7).



The platform hosts a total of 82 learning
activities (including 18 new activities from
sessions at the Congress in Montréal)
comprised of 69 lectures, 9 journal club articles
and 3 guidelines.
Evaluations confirm positive user experience
with 98% of users satisfied with the content
of activities, and 93% agreeing that ISUOG
CME activities had improved their professional
effectiveness.

14000
12000
10000
8000
6000
4000
2000
0

2011

2012

Print

Online



7 new VISUOG gynecology chapters are now
available taking completed chapters up to 45,
covering 48 topics in total. The latest chapters
added include Ovarian Dysgerminoma, Struma
Ovarii, Primary carcinoma of the Fallopian Tube
and Endometriomas. Chapters are anticipated
around specialised stromal cells, transitional
cells/tumours and borderline ovarian tumours.

We are currently working with our Ambassadors and
Advisory members on developing a comprehensive
education offering which is of relevance in their
regions.

We have been working to expand our reach (with
the goal of 10,000 members by 2015 as a measure)
focusing on underrepresented groups (such as
trainees) and regions.


We achieved our goal by June 2015, ending
the year with 13,662 members in total across
128 countries. It is notable that most of that
growth has been around trainee memberships,
particularly through new partnerships in Latin
America.

2013
Core

2014

2015

Core £10

Trainee

Membership 2015 by regions

Africa
3%
Australasia
3%

We aimed to build on the education content available
on VISUOG, ISUOG’s visual encyclopedia, with
particular focus on VISUOG gynecology

3. Increase membership growth and value

6

Membership growth by type

South and
Central
America
28%
North
America
9%

Europe
32%

Far East
20%

We aimed to improve membership retention as a
measure of success in meeting the needs of our
members.


Retention rates of 2015 members stand at
43% overall against the goal of 65%, which is a
reflection of the changing demographic of our
members into the complimentary trainee and
Approved Course groups.



Retention in the paid member groups is still
high at 56% overall (Print 82%, Online 68% and
45% core).



Retention of Approved Course attendees
and trainees remain low (11% and 5%) and
engagement of these groups is a focus for 2016.

Middle East
5%



Low cost membership inclusions through
Approved courses and International Symposia
continue to boost numbers in underrepresented
regions with 2,609 (6.4% increase on 2014)
new members gained from 67 Approved
courses in 2015 and 289 from the 11th
International Symposium resulting in increased
participation particularly in Latin America, India
and the Asia Pacific regions.

We began to explore more flexible membership
offerings (6 months, multi-year and bespoke
subscriptions to suit our diverse members’ needs)
with the goal of introducing new offerings by the end
of 2016. We continue to work with Ambassadors and
Advisory members to maximise impact of strategy in
different regions.
4. Increase partnerships and collaboration
We said we would utilise partnerships to maximise
promotion of our North American Congress as well
as develop joint activities within our own and other
relevant congresses.


ISUOG proactively sought out partnerships with
national societies for the cross-promotion of
events and resources that are of relevance to
our mutual audiences. 2015 partners included:
AIUM, ASUM, FIGO, ISPD, Karger publications,
RANZCOG, RCOG and SMFM.

7



We ran education programs with the Society of
Maternal Fetal Medicine and the International
Society of Prenatal Diagnosis too at our
respective meetings in 2015, and agreed to
further collaboration on joint guidelines and
curriculum building for 2016.



An increase in focused social media campaigns
and activities has resulted in a 50% rise in
our Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram following.
YouTube remains a popular way to access our
members, for example a video on improving
images reaching more than 12,000 viewers.

We said we would increase trainee membership
partnerships.



We have a total of 32 trainee partnerships
resulting in 4,494 trainee members.
Throughout 2015 we saw an increase in
trainee members through new partnerships
with Lebanon, Turkey, Argentina, Brazil and
the University of South Australia through our
Ambassadors and Advisory Members.

We aimed to utilise partnerships to increase the
impact of basic training, and ISUOG teaching
teachers concepts offering basic training satellite
teaching to 13 countries through 24 ambassador
facilitators.
5. Increase impact through communication
We said we would provide more tailored
communications and opportunities for our members
to engage proactively in the Society’s vision and
mission and contribute to our strategy.




8

1,335 members responded to our member
survey, which aids us in planning future
activities more effectively and ensuring member
feedback is incorporated in to ISUOG’s
strategies.
2015 saw the successful launch of our
#LoveUltrasound campaign in aid of
ISUOG’s 25th birthday, where members
were encouraged to tell us why they
#LoveUltrasound. Over 9,500 social media
interactions were registered from delegates
throughout the Congress in Montréal and we
plan to continue this campaign throughout 2016
and beyond.

A comprehensive communications plan was
developed to better plan activities holistically across
the organisation to theme communications.
We committed to continue to increase number and
translation of ISUOG guidelines and disseminate
these as broadly as possible.




As of the end of 2015, a total of 6 guidelines
and the Basic Training Recommendations have
been developed in 14 languages with a further
6 planned and underway for 2016, covering
topics in Basic Invasive Procedures and Fetal
MRI.
We now have full practice guidelines available
in French, Chinese, Spanish, Russian and
Portuguese, with Italian soon to be available. All
ISUOG practice guidelines and Basic Training
recommendations were in French (6 in total)
in time for the Montreal Congress. ISUOG is
currently working on completing translation in to
Italian in time for Rome Congress 2016.

6. Review Outreach model to improve
sustainability and monitoring
The Outreach Oversight Committee review
highlighted recommendations for improvement of
outreach sustainability and agreed to:


Consolidate different training templates and
methods across Outreach and Basic Training
and to provide a fully reproducible, modular,
teaching methodology flexible to all regions



Test centralised ‘teaching teachers’ training
methodology for NGOs.



Produce clearer monitoring and evaluation
protocols for Outreach to increase
sustainability.

ISUOG’s new CMS platform and website and
JJDB Limited to rebuild ISUOG’s CRM system
and scoping works were underway by the year
end for launch in 2016.
A self-appraisal process for the Board was
implemented in 2015 and following a review by the
Board in Montréal, is to be supplemented with oneon-one annual interviews between Board members
and the President as well as a review of the Board’s
performance as a whole.
ISUOG’s first face to face financial planning meeting
of a subgroup of the Board took place successfully
in 2015, identifying key projects for expenditure for
2015 – 2017 as well as reviewing risk, reserves and
investment strategies to focus on effective financial
management.

7. Maximise quality and efficiency of operations
and governance
We retendered Journal publication services to
ensure an ideal contract for publication ‘default
online’ from 2016.


Following the Board decision to re-appoint
John Wiley & Sons, contract negotiations
were finalised with the inclusion of strategic
objectives and specific targets set for
achievements in marketing, communication and
dissemination. The contract was finalised and
signed in December 2015.



Monthly marketing meetings and quarterly
corporate sales calls were instated to ensure
seamless and cohesive planning on Journal
activities.

A review of ISUOG’s Outreach programme was
completed and scalable recommendations provided
to the Outreach Committee through which the
Society can increase impact in this area.
We aimed to develop a new website and improved
membership database.


Following a call for tenders and the subsequent
provision of a recommendation for future
service providers to the Board in Montréal, the
Board appointed Pixl8 Interactive to provide

FINANCIAL REVIEW
The Statement of Financial Activities is on page 18
summarises income and expenditure for the year
for the Charity. The Balance Sheet which shows the
position of the Charitable Company at the year end
and which the Board members consider to be strong
is on page 19. The Trustees consider that the level of
resources is sufficient to meet future commitments.
The charity’s income was significantly lower overall
in 2015 at £2,087,818 (2014: £3,201,404) due to
the anticipated decrease in income from the World
Congress (2015: £1,018,232; 2014: £1,497,127)
with lower delegates for an event outside Europe,
and also due to the timing of receipt of income from
the sale of the Blythe Mews property at the very
end of 2014 which was later invested. Nevertheless
the Congress remains the charity’s largest single
income stream.
Expenditure also decreased overall (2015:
£1,653,359; 2014: £1,813,958) and ISUOG is able
to report another successful year financially with an
overall surplus on the year’s activities of £584,063
(2014: £1,471,194), or 28% against the Society’s
goal to achieve overall 20% surplus on activities for
future investment.

9

10 year income and expenditure

To manage risk in this income environment, ISUOG
operates a contingency reserve policy to hold 1824 months of operating budget to protect against
catastrophic unforeseen events leading to the
complete failure of the World Congress which may
affect income streams in any one year, and to allow
for the full and effective continued operation of the
Society for its current and future members over the
following 18 months. This also includes protection
of its fixed assets (secretariat building) to continue
to operate in such circumstances. Reserves are
also held in multiple currencies as risk management
against foreign exchange exposure.

3,500
3,000
2,500
2,000
1,500
1,000
500

Total income

Total costs

In spite of a 52.9% increase in member numbers
(2015: 13,662; 2014: 8,935), the trend from the
more expensive full membership to online and
growth of the ‘entry level’ core membership means
membership income increased by only 10.8% by
contrast to 2014 (2015: £559,385; 2014: £504,755).
Efficiency measures have also reduced member
costs (2015: £309,709; 2014: £331,861).
Membership income
16000

£600,000

14000

£500,000

12000

£400,000

10000

£300,000

8000
6000

£200,000

4000

£100,000

Members

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

0

2010

2000

£0

Membership income

As anticipated Journal royalty payments from the
publisher have decreased due to lower advertising
revenues leaving overall income at £307,843 (2014:
£314,777) whilst Editorial costs are similar (2015:
£231,324; 2014: £233,300) so this income stream
continues to flatten / decrease.
10

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2006

-500

2007

0

Investment gain/loss

Course income decreased to £100,487 (2014:
£170,243) reflecting the lower number of delegates
in 2015, and a trend towards smaller in-house
courses. Expenditure also decreased to £107,806
(2014: £157,184) due to more in-house programmes
for smaller audiences. Whilst course activities broke
even, there was an overall deficit on courses for the
year of £7,319 (2014: surplus £13,059) due to the
requirement to apply governance costs.

RESERVES POLICY
ISUOG has just three main income streams
(membership, Journal and congress) making it
vulnerable to changes in customer behaviour and the
economic environment. Journal income has been
gradually declining based on trends in the publishing
environment towards free and open access research,
and the World Congress is the largest single
contributing income stream, but is highly variable
depending on location and unpredictable in times of
economic uncertainty. Strategies for membership
are around growth and reach rather than around
income. At the same time long term strategies focus
on international education development and larger
scale investment in educational resources.

Further reserves are designated, and held in
investment funds designed for charities, to fund
the future (growing) cost centres in education, so
that ISUOG’s primary purposes in education can
continue irrespective of other income streams.
ISUOG’s 2016 operating budget is £2,235,024
leaving target reserves at £3.35m (18 months) to
£4.47m (24 months). Year-end free reserves stood
at £3,793,578, in line with this policy (20.53 months
of budgeted operating costs).
Year-end net assets stood at £8,877,329 which
includes the free reserve, fixed assets of £1,911,512
in ISUOG’s secretariat property, and a further
£3,172,239 invested in the designated long term
investment fund for education. This fund is capable,
in the current market, of generating £123,000 of
income if desired. The current support costs to
fund education stand at £173,000 per annum so
the current goal is to build the fund to £5 million in
order to fund that core cost in the longer term in the
absence of other income streams.
Liquid reserves are to be held at a minimum of
£500,000 (immediately available as cash) at any one
time in line with ISUOG’s cash flow predictions, with
the remainder held in the highest available interest
bearing accounts, or in short notice accessible
investments. Reserves are split across a minimum
of two institutions to protect against failure of any one
banking institution and kept in several currencies
to mitigate unnecessary foreign exchange rate
fluctuation exposure.
Any reserve accumulated beyond the minimum 18
month minimum reserve is allocated to project based
expenditure over the following year, or invested into

the designated education investment fund, as a long
term funding stream for educational cost centres.
The reserves policy is reviewed annually by the
Finance Committee, in line with the identified risks
to the organisation at the time, and approved by the
Board.

INVESTMENT POLICY
The main risk to the charity from its investments is
that of potential uncertainty of equity and investment
markets due to wider economic conditions. The
charity manages this risk by retaining expert
investment advisers and operating an investment
policy providing for a high degree of diversification
of holdings within lower risk investment classes
that are quoted on recognised stock exchanges.
Investments are held for the long term so that any
adverse short term volatility in market conditions can
be weathered.
ISUOG holds Common Investment Funds with
CCLA with the long term goal of achieving a fourth
sustainable income stream, earmarked for cost based
educational projects (such as ISUOG Outreach and
Basic Training). These cost centres have been
primarily funded by surpluses on other activities
to date, but with growing expenditure in education
(currently budgeted at £102,795 for 2016), the goal
is to establish this fund so that dividend income can
be a primary funding stream over time. The total
combined fund able to achieve income dividends
of £111,000 at the present time if all converted to
income units, so ISUOG retains its reserves policy
to allow for increased investment in years when
operating surpluses exceed the operational goals.
Proceeds from the sale of ISUOG’s Blythe Mews
office premises were separately invested in the
CCLA ethical fund with primary goals to maximise
return, but with the understanding that capital on
this fund is also available for mid-term larger scale
project funding required.
The CCLA fund continues to perform well with 5%
growth over the year. An additional £1,871,684
(including proceeds from the Blythe Mews sale) was
invested in CCLA funds during the year reaching
a market value of £3,342,412 overall in December
2015 (2014: £1,343,726).
11

With ISUOG’s policy of holding multiple currencies,
and with very low interest rates available for
foreign currency held within the UK and income
for the Congress in USD for 2015, a new US dollar
investment fund of £785,293 was set up, managed
by Vestra Wealth Management. The value of these
investments had risen to £807,892 by 31 December
2015.
ISUOG chose to draw down £27,000 in dividend
income in 2015 towards its educational project
expenditure (14.9% of the Education and Outreach
cost centre expenditure for the year) and expects
to draw down £27,000 in 2016. Surpluses in the
year are considered sufficient to fund immediate
education expenditure needs.
ISUOG continues to instruct Vestra Wealth
Management to manage rebalancing of currency
to ensure sufficient cash flow in sterling whilst
maximising interest through Dual Currency Deposits,
and reducing risk of currency exposure and with the
goal of optimising currency balances at 55-60%
Sterling, 30-35% US Dollars and 5-10% EUR based
on current independent advice and analysis of future
income and expenditure planning.

GRANT MAKING POLICY
Grant applications may be considered for obstetric
and gynecological research and development
which will make a significant contribution to new
scientific advances in these areas. The Trustees
have not prioritised this area of activity to date as
it is considered to be expensive without predictable
gains. The Trustees are experts in this field of
medicine and are therefore well placed to consider
each grant application on its own merits should this
be prioritised.

RELATED PARTIES AND KEY
MANAGEMENT PERSONNEL
The Trustees consider the Board of Trustees and
the Senior Management Team (SMT) comprise
the Key Management Personnel of the charity.
All Trustees give their time freely and no Trustee
received remuneration in the year. Details of
12

Trustees’ expenses and related party transactions
are disclosed in note 16 to the accounts. The charity
benchmarks remuneration of its SMT on joining
the organisation and thereafter in accordance with
achievements and within their specified pay band.

AUDITORS
The independent audit is carried out by MHA
MacIntyre Hudson who were reappointed (by the
Trustees) during the year.

RISK MANAGEMENT
The Trustees have undertaken a full risk review
assessing and scoring for probability and the
potential impact of the risks to which the Charity is
exposed. Systems are already in place to mitigate
the risks and these are agreed as being appropriate
to ISUOG requirements.
Higher impact and higher probability activities have
been reviewed in detail and financial risks still focus
on decreasing income for, or complete failure of,
the World Congress, the most important source of
income for the organisation. Risks for the Congress
are minimised through careful cost control and
budgetary planning as well as a continued focus on
exploring new delegate markets and the creation
of a high quality scientific program. Careful global
rotation, destination and venue selection is also a
mitigating factor as well as close partnerships with
regular industry supporters and with other national
or international bodies for meetings outside Europe.
European congresses attract high attendance and
are repeated at least every other year. The impact of
the complete failure of any one Congress is mitigated
through the reserves policy.
With the Congress operating across the globe
foreign exchange risk is also heightened in the
current economic climate and this was highlighted
for increased attention in 2015. Rebalancing of
currency required in line with cash flow is spread
across the year and returns are also maximised
through the use of DCDs.
Communication risks are perceived around increased
engagement on social media, with press and

partnerships with other societies and organisations
that are an important part of the society’s network.
Mitigating negative reputational impact is important
and the appointment of a Communications and
Marketing Manager to oversee these developments
in 2013 supported this area of growth and remains
a focus. The need to ensure continuous review
and robust procedures around data protection was
highlighted in the risk review for 2015 around the
increase in video and image based content online.
The increasing use of technology in delivering
education (via the website and live streaming)
increases reliance on technology and back up plans
for support / recovery need to be reviewed and
strengthened to reflect this new environment
Competition with other niche societies remains
a consideration. ISUOG continues to engage in
positive collaborations of mutual benefit.
Reliance on individual staff members remains a
risk for a small organisation and development and
learning within the staff team remains a priority. A
governance review in 2013 highlighted the need
to keep ISUOG’s governance structures current
and in line with activity growth. A skills evaluation
has identified relative strengths and weaknesses.
Trustee appointments are more closely targeted to
address these needs and a review of structure of
governance is ongoing.

FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS
We will continue to work towards our strategies set
to 2017, and will also review our strategy in 2016 to
set goals for the next five years.

GOALS FOR 2016
1. To achieve the highest quality, dissemination,
discoverability and accessibility of scientific
information (Journal and Congress)
We will continue to work to publish research with
high clinical relevance and impact and to improve
dissemination, and contacts with media, for further
reach. We will work closely with our Publisher John

Wiley & Sons to improve user and author experience
of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
We will continue to improve access and opportunities
for trainees and young researchers at the Congress
and introduce a Congress Travel Grant; in the first
instance supporting 5 researchers from underserved
regions to attend the 2016 Congress.
2. To continue to build our educational
programmes towards a comprehensive
educational offering for all members
We will continue to restructure online educational
resources into a comprehensive modular teaching
framework, and build understanding of the
necessary components required to achieve a
full online theoretical curriculum with completion
certificate options for members. We will complete
the next development stage of the basic training
programme to test this learning tool aiming for a full
theoretical curriculum, and begin building practical
learning support. Our online learning delivery will be
supported by a new enhanced website including a
modernization of its platform.
3. To increase membership retention and
engagement towards increasing reach and
growth
We will aim to increase engagement of members
in our lower retention groups such as trainees and
approved course delegates in order to continue
growth in membership and access to our products
and services. Strategies include the development of
the ‘enhance your learning’ approach to educational
communications giving access to relevant ISUOG
content online.
We will explore more bespoke subscription options
to suit our diverse members’ needs and review
and target newsletters and communication with
members.
4. To increase partnerships and collaboration,
towards increased influence
We will aim to work with more international and
national bodies to maximise dissemination of ISUOG
guidelines and training, our free trainee programme,

13


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