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Banbury report

THE ICE, having initially voiced scepticism of the Engineering Council's reformation plans, is now keen play its part.

'It is true to say that if there were no Engineering Council we would be content with the Construction Industry Council, ' said ICE chief executive Mike Casebourne. 'But there is, so we are keen to be seen as a supporter and to be one of the innovators, ' he added.

'All institutions have to be relevant, in the services they provide and the support they give to professional study.'

The ICE is speaking from a position of some authority, having recently commissioned an investigation into the role of professional institutions in construction.

The investigation sought the views of 17 professional institutions in construction and engineering, as well as companies, umbrella bodies, and the Government, the Privy Council, the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions and the Department of Trade & Industry.

These views were then combined into the Banbury Report, published last August.

The report concluded that institutions needed to 'modernise or die' and adopt the 'inclusive' rather than 'exclusive' approach.

It made a series of recommendations, the key one being the importance of forging alliances.

'Clearly there is much work being done by each of the institutions which would be better done by institutions together - pooling their resources and staff, ' said Casebourne.

'We need to identify times when it is appropriate to work together and when we need to stand alone. There are many issues in our industry which affect groups of professionals rather than individual professions.

'Professional institutions need to be flexible in dealing with these issues as they arise and be ready to work together to respond when it is appropriate, ' Casebourne added.

The report was debated by professional institutions in January, when it was agreed to investigate further the recommendations of the report under the leadership of the CIC.

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