FIVE PRIORITY improvement areas will be targeted by the ICE in response to a membership survey that labelled the Institution 'best of a bad bunch'.
The survey reported members' overall satisfaction with the Institution's function and services at 6.6 out of 10, a figure described by researchers as being in the bottom quartile of customer satisfaction.
But the research revealed that members put the ICE ahead of other professional institutions.
Forty two per cent regarded the ICE as the best or better than most institutions and 68% said it was at least as good as the others.
Only 12% of members said the ICE performed worse than other professional bodies.
'The survey has highlighted that members feel the ICE is the best of a bad bunch, ' ICE vice president Colin Clinton admitted in his presentation to Council last week. 'But if we take the action identified we really can put some clear water between us and the rest.'
The five key issues to be targeted immediately are:
formation of a clear strategic direction
raising the importance of civil engineering to society
raising the profile of civil engineers
influencing politicians and decision makers
encouraging young people into civil engineering.
These issues were identified by the survey as the most important, with the lowest satisfaction. Targeting them, said Clinton, would help the ICE to 'do best what matters most' to members.
He emphasised that it was also vital the ICE communicated results back to members. 'We must act and be seen to deliver, ' he said.
'We need a reality check on everything that we do. We must ask: 'did our members want this and will it improve their satisfaction?'.'
The survey was carried out for the ICE by market research company the Leadership Factor.
During February and March this year 1,224 ICE members were contacted by telephone and asked questions based around 14 key issues. Another 1,250 'active' ICE members and staff were also polled by email.
Many areas came out well with members reporting high satisfaction levels for reputation, friendliness and helpfulness, and ability to maintain a high professional standard and route to a professional qualification.
But others, such as influence on politicians, ability to raise the profile of the profession and importance in society, came off worse.