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Council update December 2022

03 January 2023

In its first session of the presidential year, the ICE Council welcomed the Joint Board of Moderators, discussed the ICE’s governance arrangements, and looked at CPD.

Council update December 2022
ICE President Keith Howells.

Once again, the day began with strategy sessions looking at learnings for our industry from the recent COP27 summit in Egypt and the launch of a horizon scan report which showcases the crucial challenges and opportunities for civil engineers in the coming year and beyond.

The ICE educational pathway

Council was pleased to receive presentations from Professor Mukesh Limbachiya, vice chair, Joint Board of Moderators, and Paul Skerry, Industrial Advisory Board.

The presentations offered a great deal of insight into the processes which the ICE has in place to ensure that the courses it recognises are meeting the requirements of the industry.

It was very valuable to understand the mechanism by which these workforce needs are captured and understood.

It is crucial that we are able to continue to assure society that civil engineers are properly qualified when they come out of universities and colleges, and that higher and further education is delivering the qualified personnel that industry needs.

Council was reassured that the processes that are in place are well thought out and effective.

Governance improvements

As those who regularly read these updates will know, David Porter, as chair of the Audit Committee, was asked by trustees to identify any lessons from the 2019 Orr Review into governance of the ICE, and his own report on the Nominations Committee processes, now that they have been tested over a number of years.

Both the Orr and Porter reviews were designed to ensure that the institution is being governed in a robust manner in line with Charity Commission best practice.

David Porter briefed council on the work earlier in the year and asked for their input over summer 2022. David took council through a number of recommended clarifications and amendments to the By-laws.

Council noted that a small group of trustees had examined the issues and were content with the paper as written but it was keen to point out that the ICE’s Nominations Committee makes decisions that have an impact on the institution for several years and so its importance cannot be understated.

While the reviews addressed specific process improvements, David reported that trustees are mindful that governance is an evolving issue, subject to continuous review as experience is obtained.

ICE CPD Framework

Director of membership Séan Harris took council members through a recap of the journey that the ICE has taken in getting to the point of recommending a range of topics that members should undertake as part of their CPD.

Trustees and council have already supported the idea of moving progressively towards the goal of further ensuring the competence of engineers.

Through-career competency checks is just one example of how this might be achieved.

Council agreed that a membership consultation should take place over the coming year, the terms of reference for which will be drafted by the director general and secretary (DG&S) shortly.

It was an interesting discussion, and many viewpoints were heard.

Council agreed that it had an important role to play in ensuring that the views of as many members as possible are heard in order to get a good understanding of the consensus of opinion.

Members will be invited to feed into the consultation soon.

Knowledge agenda for 2023

At October 2022’s meeting, council members were offered a chance to offer their views on the contemporary knowledge topics that the ICE should be looking at across the next 18 months.

At December’s session, council received a summary of the discussion, and a forward plan of the knowledge topics that derived from it.

Building competence is the bedrock of the ICE’s knowledge offer and the plan will help further develop the Knowledge Hub.

As the pinnacle of the Learning Society, council was encouraged to review the plan and the hub and submit its feedback.

  • Keith Howells, president 2022/23 at Institution of Civil Engineers