Paul Sheffield, ICE Senior Vice President, shares what was discussed at the Trustee Board meeting held on 26 February 2019.
The Trustee Board spent the first half of the meeting taking forward the debate started at Council in December. The Trustees are very keen to ensure that our membership is provided with the very best insight; and they recognised that this would only come by encouraging others to see the ICE as their natural home.
They concluded that the ICE should welcome all those who look to the Institution for leadership, guidance and insight; and noted the strength of our global network that would result. They recognised that there are a whole range of disciplines who work together to deliver civil engineering and infrastructure programmes across the world, and that, if the ICE is to remain relevant to our members, the Institution will need to be able to provide greater, and broader, access to knowledge and understanding.
The Trustee Board also noted the success of the Global Engineering Congress (GEC) and the energy and passion it generated. It recognised that the Institution had acted as a catalyst bringing together civil engineers from across the world. The trustees are keen to work with a network of alliances to take forward the GEC outcomes.
The Trustee Board noted that in a rapidly changing world, with an increasingly diverse and geographically mobile professional workforce, the Institution will have to improve the way in which knowledge is delivered digitally to ensure members have the most up to date, insightful and relevant information. Underpinning this digital delivery will be the need for strong, agile and informed networks on which our members can rely to keep them at the cutting edge of engineering.
Finally, Trustees recognised the importance of re-energising the passion and vibrancy of the debate. That means going out and talking to people. The Trustees drew on the lessons of ICE 200 and the importance of engaging with the public and other professions to understand their needs and concerns. Trustees, Council members (especially regional members), UKRAC and regional committees are a powerful tool in taking forward the discussion. They reiterated the importance of talking with the public, about issues which are relevant to the public, in a language the public understands.
The Trustee Board will be looking to Council, UKRAC, International Committee, the Learning Society Committee, the Graduate and Students Committee and the Membership Committee to drive the debate; and Trustees will visit regions frequently to set out the issues the profession faces, listen to what the membership has to say, and debate with them.
The Board then considered ways in which the Institution might better serve its international membership. It was agreed that the ICE should adopt a more focussed approach to engaging with our international membership, ensuring the Institution supports them with the insight and networks they need to operate at the cutting edge of the profession.
The Board received a report from Ed McCann, the Vice President for the Learning Societies. Ed highlighted the importance of implementing the recommendations of Peter Hansford’s In Plain Sight review, the Hackitt Report and any emerging findings from the Moore-Bick Inquiry. He reminded the Trustee Board that the ICE membership had been working over several years to look at skills and competence. He set out a plan showing how the Institution could implement all the recommendations simply and effectively. The Trustees agreed the Plan and that work will be taken forward as a matter of urgency.