Over 82 per cent of voters agreed with Sir John Armitt's call to grasp the opportunity to widen their knowledge and collaborate with a wider range of built environment professionals in the vote which closed last week.
One of the themes of his Presidential year has been to explore the opportunities that broadening of ICE's membership base offers to the Institution and its members. In his viewpoint piece for June's New Civil Engineer magazine, he acknowledged the value of membership to engineers but pointed to the many other professionals who spend their whole careers contributing to the creation of infrastructure.
Many of these, he said, may never seek to qualify as engineers but would value and benefit from a closer relationship with the ICE, one that they will now be able to take advantage of. He pointed to projects such as Crossrail, Thames Tideway and the Queensferry Crossing which rely not only on the expertise and ingenuity of civil engineers and technicians, but also from other professionals including lawyers, planners, architects and project managers.
He said giving access to this broader range of built environment professionals would be of mutual benefit to the Institution and its members, offering the prospect of extending professional networks as well as offering access to the very widest knowledge pool. It was this he said, that would allow members to be the best at what they do.
ICE Director of Membership Seán Harris said:
"I am delighted that members have approved ICE's proposals to make the Associate Member grade accessible to a wider group of built environment professionals. As a result of these changes, the Institution will be able to better reflect the professional community that delivers civil engineering projects and schemes.
Subject to approval of the changes by the Privy Council, we now intend to build on the research that was done in advance of the ballot in order to craft a set of compelling offers for individuals working in allied professions so that they are also able to benefit from the Institution's world-recognised knowledge and thought leadership programmes."
In a separate proposal, ICE members also voted to approve an amendment to the Royal Charter and By-laws to permit the use of designatory letters by Graduate members (GMICE). The change, subject to approval by the Privy Council, will ensure that Graduate Members have comparable benefits to the new 'knowledge-pathway' Associate Members.