EXPANSION OF the Institution was again top of the agenda at April's Council meeting with the unanimous approval of two moves to increase the breadth and depth of membership.
Council first approved the reintroduction of the system that will see members of ten other professional engineering bodies welcomed as either chartered or incorporated engineers. This had lapsed in 1999.
Then, in recognition of the importance placed on membership in the Far East, Council voted to award the Hong Kong local association full and permanent representation on Council with its own territorial member.
By re-introducing the system for entry from other professions, the Institution expects to draw from a vast pool of potential new members, including members of the Institution of Structural Engineers, the Institution of Highway Incorporated Engineers and the Chartered Institute of Water & Environmental Management.
Council backed the move after president Joe Dwyer assuaged fears from the Graduates & Students that the system would constitute 'entry through the back door'.
'It is open to a limited number of institutions and the career appraisal panel will review all applicants, ' Dwyer explained.
Meanwhile, the creation of a place on Council for the Hong Kong association recognises the sheer demand for membership on the island.
The association already has 3,600 members, comparable with any UK local association.
Up to £4,000 was earmarked to cover travel expenses to Council meetings.
The proposal got an eager response from Council and this prompted vice president Brian Crossley to pledge further international expansion immediately for Council membership.
'Hong Kong was the test case.
Given the positive reaction from Council we will now rapidly pursue other routes, ' promised Crossley.