I write as a result of reading the article 'Call for exam fees to be scrapped' (NCE 13 January). It is put forward that if members are not chartered by the age of 32, they do not bother. I would suggest there are two main reasons why.
When I left University in the early 1980s, I joined a contractor and have worked for one ever since. I never had the opportunity to take a year in the design office and gain the necessary experience to have access to membership by what could be considered to be the orthodox or traditional route. It was not until my employer Nuttall, which is very keen to develop its staff, pointed out the possibility of membership by the senior candidate route that I realised the possibility of becoming chartered.
With the encouragement of the company training officer, I decided to pursue an application for membership of the Institution. I duly made application to become a graduate member and requested details to make application for membership by the senior route.
When I received the details, the first thing I studied was the cost. I found that not only would I have the examination fee of £375 to pay but, in addition, an ICE entrance fee of £245 as I had not been a member for more than two years. The prospect of a bill for £620 was sufficient to deter me from pursuing an application for membership and question whether I should continue as a graduate member.
I would like to wish Mr. Whitby success in his attempts to reform the fee structure and suggest that there may well be more people in similar circumstances to my own who would join the Institution if the exam fees were not so prohibitive.
J B Hancock, 7 Arundel Close, Sandiacre, Nottingham NG10 5BG