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Trustee Board recommends amendments to ICE's Royal Charter and By-laws

24 February 2021

Members will be asked to vote on the proposed amendments in a membership ballot over the summer.

Trustee Board recommends amendments to ICE's Royal Charter and By-laws

Following extensive discussions with the ICE Council, the Trustee Board met on 23 February 2021 and agreed a series of proposed amendments to the Royal Charter and By-laws.

Corporate members will be asked to vote on the following changes in a membership ballot over the summer.

Introducing the Chartered Infrastructure Engineer

In recent years, there has been much debate within the membership about the changing nature of civil engineering, with a recognition that the successful delivery of complex civil engineering projects requires a whole suite of skills.

To that end, the Trustee Board has identified a significant and exciting opportunity for the Institution which would enable suitably qualified professionals working in infrastructure to apply to join the Institution as a Chartered Infrastructure Engineer if they're able to demonstrate the necessary competences.

The aspirant Infrastructure Engineer would be required to demonstrate their skillset, based on their specialism, contextualised within civil engineering at Professional Review.

The high standard of technical competence would remain the same as it would for a civil engineer, as would all other aspects of the review – the difference would be the technical report on which they would be questioned and their role within the project.

The Trustees and Council believe this is a significant opportunity for the Institution to secure a protected title in the same way as it secured the title of Chartered Civil Engineer almost a century ago.

To secure the title, the Institution will need to amend the Royal Charter and By-laws. A more detailed breakdown of what this opportunity means for the Institution can be found on the Governance Updates webpage.

Voting rights

Over the past 18 months, there has been much discussion about members’ voting rights.

Technician Members are currently Non-Corporate Members and have limited voting rights. Trustees and Council agreed that Technicians, as professionally qualified members, should be treated in the same way as our Chartered and Incorporated Members.

They recommend that the Royal Charter and By-Laws should be amended to re-designate Technician Members as ‘Corporate Members’ with full voting rights.

Trustees and Council have also made a number of recommendations in regards to the voting rights of Graduate members.

The By-laws currently allow Graduate members to vote only in the election of Graduate members to the Council. Both Trustees and Council recommend that the Institution amend its By-laws to extend the voting rights for Graduate members to entitle them to vote on subscription rate changes, elections of Ordinary Members to the Trustee Board, elections of members to the Council and resolutions at Annual General Meetings and Special General Meetings.

The Trustee Board and Council were undecided as to whether Graduate members should be entitled to requisition the Trustee Board to convene a Special General Meeting, and so members will be asked to vote on this proposal with no recommendation either way from the trustees or Council.

Professional conduct

In 2020, the Engineering Council asked the Institution to review its by-law regarding the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Following a review by the ICE’s Professional Conduct Panel and Disciplinary Board, the Trustee Board has recommended that the language used within the By-Laws should be amended to bring them in line with the Engineering Council Guidance on Disciplinary procedures.

The Trustees have also sought to use this opportunity to provide greater clarity within the By-Laws and have proposed the deletion of inactive membership grades and further minor amendments to ensure correct capitalisation is used throughout.

If you would like more information about any of the proposed governance changes, visit the Governance Updates page or get in touch at [email protected]

  • Jack Buckee, information manager at ICE