ASSOCIATE MEMBERS of the Institution of Civil Engineers are set to gain similar status to full members under a proposal to be considered by the ICE Council.
Council was last week invited to discuss an initiative which would allow any ICE member registered as an incorporated engineer with the Engineering Council to become known as MICE (IEng). Full members would retain the title MICE (CEng).
The proposal from the Professional Development Committee would require the ICE to modify its Standards and Routes to Registration (SARTOR) agreement with the Engineering Council. As it stands, candidates taking three year BEng degrees can only qualify for Associate Membership.
But ICE Chief Executive Mike Casebourne said: 'Consideration is being given to the possibility of combining the Member and Associate Member class within the one class Member.
'Under the SARTOR requirements we will be increasing the number of people who would qualify for Associate Membership. We have already taken steps to increase the importance of the AMICE grade within the membership but the feeling is that we have not gone far enough.'
The proposals are expected to get round the Engineering Council's new requirement under SARTOR by making the two grades of membership equal only in the eyes of the ICE. On the Engineering Council's register they will be distinguished as CEng and IEng. Chairman of professional development committee Mark Whitby commended the initiative - which comes after the Council vote in December to grant Associate Members corporate status - and denied that it would devalue the MICE grade.
'It would celebrate the professional status of the Engineering Council's new IEng registration which we are licensed to award to AMICEs,' he said. 'In my opinion there is little difference between CEng and IEng.'
Whitby is supported by Scott Steedman, chairman of the ICE training and professional review panel. Steedman said: 'Because we are placing such a high value on the Engineering Council's IEng qualification, it's entirely logical that such people should be recognised as MICE.'
A paper will be presented to the executive committee on 14 March before Council takes a vote in April.
If approved, ICE members would be balloted on the bylaw change and the Privy Council would be asked to change the Institution's Royal Charter.