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Bylaws overhaul creates presidential fast track

PROPOSED BYLAW changes will allow aspiring ICE Presidents to forgo serving a three year term on Council as a condition of succeeding to the pinnacle of the Institution.

A proposed change to ICE's by-law 55 would deem that 'Vice Presidents who have given significant service to the Institution during their career' could succeed directly to the Presidency without involvement in the inner workings of the ICE. Those who wish to sit on Council could serve two concurrent terms of three years rather than observing a three year gap in the middle.

The proposals are some of many bylaw changes approved by Council recently before being put to a ballot of the ICE membership in April. Approval from the Privy Council later in the year would bring to fruition the Future Framework Commission's remodelling of the way the ICE organises its affairs.

Changes are headed up by the proposal to designate Technician members TMICE, further integrating it with other classes of membership. Approval would lead to the first change to the ICE's Royal Charter since 1982.

Other changes to bylaws include the virtual removal of Associate members who have not completed a professional review. At present there are 448 Associate members who were not professionally qualified. The bylaw working party chaired by Director General and Secretary Roger Dobson proposed that 'those Associate Members who have not undertaken a professional review should be encouraged to do so, and allowed a five year grace period in which to complete their qualification. Associate Members who do not complete their qualification would be transferred to Affiliate membership.'

All references in bylaws to male prefixes such as 'his/he' are to be replaced by 'their/the candidate', and references to British Isles, deemed inappropriate for an international body, will be removed.

Sweeteners for enlarging membership would include bylaw changes to remove the age limit to entry for any class of membership and free membership for students, and members of 50 years standing.

Changes were needed to tidy up the composition of the by-laws themselves. Proposed bylaw changes have been divided up into categories, grouping similar bylaws together to ensure consistency. With the introduction of new bylaws and the loss of others, resequencing has also been planned. An Institution spokesperson said: 'We need to tidy them up, make them more user friendly and reduce cross referencing. Changes to some bylaws have made others nonsensical.'

Council approved a letter to be sent from succeeding Chief Executive Mike Casebourne summarising the main changes which had been drafted by the bylaw working party since publication of the Future Framework report. The letter will be sent out with Council Ballot papers in April.

The ICE is hoping for a higher voting turn out than usual for what are regarded as important changes.

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