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'Duty' to report bogus members

Investigating Panel chairman Mike Cottell this week claimed it was the professional duty of members to report those falsely claiming ICE membership. Cottell, a former ICE president and county surveyor of both Kent and Northamptonshire, spoke after reports began to emerge over the last 18 months of members and non-members misusing the designatory letters AMICE, MICE and FICE.

The IP chairman speculated that the rise in complaints may be due to the number of members who were struck off for non-payment during the recession and still continue to practise.

ICE members who claim a higher grade of membership can be dealt with by the Investigating Panel. Non-members who claim ICE membership have to be reported to local Trading Standards Officers, who are increasingly taking action against offenders.

Cottell said most reports of misuse came from ICE members, who had checked up following doubts over a person's competence. The IP chairman praised this action as 'in the interests of the Institution' and part of a member's 'professional duty'. He also called on employers to check qualifications more carefully when taking on new recruits.

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