At a historic joint meeting of the two institutions, ICE president Gordon Masterton and IMechE president Alec Osborn tabled a series of papers this week detailing the implications of convergence of the two organisations. The 10 papers are summarised here.
Vision and values There is a high level of convergence between the two institutions in this over arching area Vision ICE - 'to be recognised as the leading source of knowledge and skills required to create a sustainable natural and built environment for the benet of future generations'.
IMechE - 'to be the natural professional home for all involved in mechanical engineering'.
Core values ICE - 'trust honesty, ethical behaviour and integrity, high standards, quality and professionalism.' IMechE - 'all members shall conduct their professional work and relationships with integrity and objectivity and with due regard for the welfare of the people, the organisation and the environment with which they interact'.
Code of Conduct - broadly similar ICE has 6 basic 'rules' underpinned by guidance notes IMechE has 20 'rules' Top ve membership priorities ICE1. The reputation of the ICE 2. Maintain high professional standard for membership 3. Raise the prole of a civil engineer 4. Provide a route to a recognised professional qualication 5. Encourage young people into civil engineering IMechE 1. Promote benets of engineering as a career 2. Promote benets of chartered status to companies 3. Statements from IMechE of engineering issues 4. Promote the benets of chartered status to engineers 5. In uence government Learned Society Existing engineering structures are highly aligned ICE has 16 'boards' IMechE has 18 'divisions and groups' Future opportunities Joint policy and position statements Joint research and innovation Joint library and information services Joint technical task groups Joint conferences and events Joint training Joint publications UK regions ICE and IMechE have similar regional organisations run by members providing a range of learned society activities, professional membership support and promotion for the profession.
l ICE: 60,000 members and 52 staff across 13 regions of the UK. ICE has a fully regional support structure.
l IMechE: 66,000 members and eight staff across 16 regions in the UK and Eire.
IMechE regions are primarily supported centrally.
International Both have broadly aligned international activities although IMechE commits greater financial support per member.
Already have a joint office in Hong Kong with two staff ICE: 16,000 members in 142 countries l 95 country representatives and 20 international regional committees l Budget - £90,000 = £8.30 per member (excl HQ support) IMechE: 11,000 members in 128 countries l 7 branches, 11 joint groups 67 corresponding members l Budget - £267,000 = £17.10 per member Graduates and Students/ Young members Both institutions have proactive and highly motivated graduate and students memberships providing support services such as lectures and career development activities.
Each has young member representation within their governing body.
ICE: approx 26,000 graduate and student members IMechE: approx 20,000 graduate and student members Marketing and communications Both institutions have dedicated marketing and communication departments which assist in promoting the value and importance of their respective bodies to the membership as well as raising their profile to key external audiences.
Publishing and other commercial activities Both institution have commercial companies for most of their commercial activities:
l ICE: Thomas Telford Ltd - £14.5M turnover l IMechE: Professional Engineering Publishing Ltd - £7.5M turnover Magazines and journals ICE has weekly NCE and Monthly NCEI magazines - published under agreement by Emap IMechE has a fortnightly Professional Engineer magazine - published in-house No change to this arrangement is envisaged.
Each institution publishes 15 or so journals and year - envisaged that these professional proceedings titles would remain separate for the foreseeable future.
There may be scope for cost savings from bringing the publishing operations together.
However, caution was expressed over the very high commercial risk of creating a single magazine or single suite of journals.
Finance and administration Both institutions are financially sound 2005 fi gures ICEtotal income = £24.7M total expenditure = £24.6M pension liability = £7.7M fixed assets = £15.6M investments = £11.1M IMechE total income = £16.2M total expenditure = £12.4M pension liability = £11.9M fixed assets = £2.8M investments = £17.9M The 'mechanics of bringing the institutions together are reasonably straightforward' - although there are 'a number of governance issues that would need to be addressed' Overhead cost savings from a merger could be possible.
Added Value of merger l Combined institution would be the second largest engineering institution in the UK - and keep it in the forefront of any further consolidation l With over 150,000 members across civil and mechanical engineering it would become the most influential voice of engineering.
l Wider range of globally recognised professional qualifications l More and better services for members with economies of scale.
l Single focus and one-stop-shop for assistance to government, policy makers and media.
l Powerful lead to other professional bodies that could encourage further convergence l Economies of scale - probable streamlining of governance and administration Added Value of convergence l Wider range of more integrated inter-disciplinary publications, conferences, lectures, meetings, seminars and CPD l New interdisciplinary specialist groups, technical projects, public policy campaigns and learned society programmes.
l Wider and more diverse membership networks l Central London location - ability to develop the potential of the buildings l Young members - convergence would allow more networking, development opportunities and career counselling, taking into account the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of future employment.
Membership and professional development A 'reasonable amount of work' will be required to achieve a common standard for processes and procedures in this area.
In particular there are significant differences in membership structure that would require a 'considerable amount of work' to resolve.
ICE has three grades of professionally qualified membership:
Technician, Associate, Member plus Student, Graduate, Affiliate, Companion and Fellow grades of membership IMechE has three grades of membership:
Affi liate, Associate and Corporate Member (for professionally qualified members) Plus Corporate member (Fellow), Presidential route to membership (invited) and Honorary Fellow ICE/IMechE: to merge or converge?
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co. uk and vote in NCE's poll at www. nceplus. co, uk Membership ICE: 77,792 (as of 31 July 2006) EC(UK) registrants: 42,000 16,046 resident outside the UK IMechE: 77,302 (as of 31 July 2006) EC(UK) registrants: 40,000, 11,142 resident outside the UK and Eire Staff ICE: 209 (+ 85 in trading arm) IMechE: 92 (+ 48 in trading arm) Membership costs differ IMechE basic member = £135 plus £25 EC(UK) fee ICE basic member rate = £210 including EC(UK) fee