THE ICE executive board will next week debate the Engineering & Technology Board's (ETB) decision to raise its annual registration fee by £3.
The £3 increase takes effect next year and will add further to the 15% rise in the ICE subscription, already agreed by Council (NCE 2 June).
The Institution has so far declined to comment on the extra contribution which will have to be met by chartered, incorporated and technician members of the ICE.
Chartered ICE members will see their combined ICE subscription and ETB registration fee rise from £205 this year to £235 in 2006.
A paper on the fee increase will be put to the ICE executive board on 22 September, after which the Institution will be able to comment on the issue.
The ETB is a charity set up in 2001 to promote science, engineering and technology to ensure there are enough qualifi d professionals to meet UK industry needs. It is financed by the registration fees of 250,000 engineers, industry sponsorship and core funding from the Department for Trade & Industry.
ETB funds also finance the work of the Engineering Council (ECUK) which sets and maintains professional competence standards for all engineers.
The ETB annual registration fee has not risen since 1999, but a spokeswoman said that the increase is in line with inflation over the six-year period, and that as ETB is now doing more work, extra funding was needed.
The decision to increase the fee was taken by the ETB board and registrants panel, which includes ICE council member Russell Calderwood.
'I didn't have an opinion when the decision was made, but I believe [the ETB] needs to be more proactive about communicating its message. They have to take on engineering issues - which isn't happening now, ' said Calderwood.
The increased registration fee will help offset the ETB's decision to waive the joining fee for new applicants in 2006. Free registration is being offered to newcomers in a bid to halt declining numbers of registrants, said the spokesman.
Joining fees are currently £40.50 for chartered engineers, £32 for incorporated engineers and £13.30 for engineering technicians. ETB corporate planning director Paul Langdell said that infl ation over the past six years had hit the pockets of ECUK and the ETB, making it harder for them to deliver their programmes.
An incentive is needed to get new members to join, he said.