The Portman Group is delighted to announce the appointment of Rachel Childs as new Chair of the Independent Complaints Panel (ICP), following seven years as a serving member.

Rachel was appointed as the Panel’s first Deputy Chair in January 2022 and took over as interim Chair of the Panel in September 2023.

Her breadth of experience and commitment to alcohol regulation well equips her to lead the Independent Complaints Panel, which considers complaints brought forward on the naming, packaging, promotion and sponsorship of alcoholic drinks based on the Portman Group’s Codes of Practice.

This followed the departure of Nicola Williams in September 2023 who after a successful term stepped down from the role to focus on her wider portfolio of work as a part-time Crown Court Judge and Penguin published author.

As a former headteacher with an impressive and varied career spanning over ten years in regulation, Rachel has a wealth of experience to bring to the role. She served on the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) Council between 2011 and 2019, and currently sits on the Advertising Advisory Committee, providing consumer input into the development of the CAP and BCAP codes.

Rachel also works for several regulators across a variety of industries. She is a Fitness to Practise Committee Panel Chair at the Nursing and Midwifery Council and a Lay Member of the Professional Conduct Committee at the Architects Registration Board. She also sits as a Chair and Panellist for the Independent Appeals Panel assessing Third Stage Penalty Fares Appeals.

On top of this Rachel also currently sits as Safeguarding Trustee on the board of Priors Court Foundation, a large charity near Newbury providing residential care and education for young people with complex autism.

Matt Lambert, CEO of the Portman Group said: “I am delighted to appoint Rachel as Chair of the Independent Complaints Panel following our recruitment process.

“Having sat on the panel since 2016, two years of which she spent as Deputy Chair, I know Rachel brings a wealth of experience and commitment to the role which will enable her to successfully lead the Panel as they continue to ensure irresponsible alcohol marketing is addressed as quickly and robustly as possible.”

New Chair of the Independent Complaints Panel Rachel Childs said: “I’m incredibly proud and hugely excited to have been appointed as Chair of the ICP, leading a strong and experienced Panel who are committed to making careful, considered and fair decisions on alcohol products in order to regulate the alcohol industry.

“Past decisions of the Panel have led to more than 170 irresponsible and inappropriate products either being re-branded or removed from the market, in turn driving industry changes and protecting consumers, so it is a hugely valuable role and I am looking forward to getting started.”