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Trustee Board update July 2019

07 August 2019

Andrew Wyllie, ICE President, shares what was discussed at the Institution's latest Trustee Board meeting.

Trustee Board update July 2019

Your Trustee Board met again in July and discussed a number of issues.

Board effectiveness

Trustees began by reviewing their effectiveness as part of normal governance process and considering the Interim Report from the Presidential Commission into Governance. The report is only at the interim stage, with a further member consultation process over the summer, but the Trustees were keen that they should take cognisance of the Commission’s emerging findings. The ICE Council will review the final report in December, but the Commission has already offered some practical suggestions to improve our governance.

Trustees have previously undertaken a detailed skills and competence analysis of the Board. Further work will take place over the summer in preparation for the next round of Trustee selections early in 2020.

The important issue for the Institution, is that we continue to evolve our structures and processes to ensure that they reflect developing market best practice and are robust enough to support clear leadership and decision-making for the future.


The Trustee Board were given a full and detailed analysis of the potential professional assurance models and options as the profession learns lessons as a result of the Grenfell Towers tragedy. It is hugely important that our members are able to provide assurance that they have the right experience and training, and that society has confidence in our ability. There will almost certainly be regulatory changes as a consequence of the investigation into Grenfell and Trustees want to ensure that we identify and implement those lessons.

There are many different bodies examining the lessons and the ICE In Plain Sight Working Group (IPSWG), chaired by Dr Julie Bregulla, has mapped the various report and review recommendations grouping them into three workstreams: governance, capacity building, and lessons learnt.

Progress is being made across each workstream. The ICE is keen to drive through the recommendations, and collaboration with the Engineering Council and other PEIs is underway to ensure the proposed regulatory regime is robust and deliverable.

To give the public confidence that infrastructure is being built and maintained correctly, the Trustees asked that every effort be made to expand the use of the confidential reporting model used by SCOSS/CROSS. Trustees have also asked for further advice on ICE CPD procedures.


Your Trustee Board also approved a three-year plan of self-funded works that will maintain the Institution’s Headquarters in One Great George Street. This plan focuses prudently on only the essential work that will follow a proper and comprehensive survey being carried out in advance.

Presidential Commission into ICE Governance

The Trustee Board received a presentation from Past President David Orr, Chair of the Presidential Commission into ICE Governance. Stage 2: Proposals for ICE Governance have now been completed and the Commission has:

  • Reviewed key issues, concerns and expectations from Stage 1 consultations
  • Considered all the key issues
  • Developed interim options and positions

Council members received the same presentation at their meeting that afternoon.

The Commission members will prepare reports on both sessions. These will be considered by the full Commission before it moves onto Stage 3: Consulting and Reporting which includes:

  • Publishing the Interim Report on 5 August
  • Consulting ICE membership, key ICE Boards and Committees and the Specialist Knowledge Societies on the findings in the Interim Report
  • Finalising the recommendations
  • Providing a final report to the ICE Council in Dec 2019

You can see the Commission's Terms of Reference, its membership and a range of other material on the Presidential Commission page.

Audit Committee

I am pleased to announce that three new appointments have been made to the Audit Committee. Mr. Ronnie Hunter and Mr. Steve Balliston have been appointed as members, and Mr. David Porter will take up the position as Chair of the Audit Committee later this year.

I look forward to updating you after the next Trustee Board meeting, which is due to take place in September 2019.

  • Andrew Wyllie, Institution of Civil Engineers' (ICE) 154th president