Boosting the public voice and maintaining professional standards, political influence and reputation of civil engineering remain top of the list of the most important services demanded by ICE members.
But according to the results of this year’s comprehensive membership satisfaction survey, these issues continue to be the areas in which the membership is least satisfied.
While overall, members’ satisfaction with the ICE’s activities remains constant, if not slightly greater when compared to previous years, members continue to be most dissatisfied with the ICE’s ability to influence politicians and decisions makers - despite the recent heavy focus and success in this area by the public affairs and policy functions.
Problems with profile
The survey also showed that members remain dissatisfied with the ICE’s achievements in raising the profile of civil engineering, its importance to society and in encouraging young people into the profession, although the latter fell this year from 6th to 14th most important to members.
ICE vice president Peter Hansford said the Institution takes the results seriously and will be using them to plan activity in the coming year.
“The results have highlighted to us that we need to communicate ICE outputs and success much more effectively to our members. We have achieved some significant results over the past year in public voice - with infrastructure high on the political agenda throughout the election campaign and media coverage having almost doubled year on year - but our members are not aware of it. Going forward we will be making efforts to change this,” he said.
The good news is that, as in previous years, members remain most satisfied with the ICE’s ability to deliver a robust route to an internationally recognised qualification and its continued high professional standard for membership.
“The results have highlighted to us the need to communicate”
The survey results were based on a sample of 8,032 members and according to research firm The Leadership Factor, provides a reliable guide to the satisfaction of ICE members. Excluding the incorrect email addresses from the initial database, the survey achieved a response rate of 11% of the ICE membership.
But, the change in survey methodology from telephone interview to on-line survey did appear to have a significant impact on the results which, according to the research firm, prevented direct quantitative comparison with previous surveys in 2003, 2006 and 2008.
From a control telephone survey to 75 members it estimated that the new method could have reduced the overall satisfaction index result by up to 5%.
Satisfaction from younger members and from overseas
While the overall satisfaction index of 70.3% is marginally down on 2008’s figure of 72.9%. For students, the satisfaction index climbs to 79.7%. For those outside the UK it also climbs to 74.4% and for women to 73%.
NCE remains in the top three things that ICE members are most satisfied with, unchanged compared to the last survey. Results show that some 96% of members read the magazine and rate it overall at 7.8 out of 10 for satisfaction.
NCE also saw its importance rating to members rise to 8.02 out of 10 from 7.8 last year. Its overall impact rating - a stronger measure of the differentiators in terms of creating satisfaction - nearly doubled from 0.31 to 0.56 out of 1.0 this year.
Others issues highlighted included the fact that members were more dissatisfied with subscription levels. But, as in previous years’ surveys, this factor remains one of the least important to members.
Other findings were the fact that over nine out of 10 members have visited the ICE website in the past 12 months and that 1 in 4 members have contacted central ICE in the past year. This contact with the ICE only scored an average of 7.5 for the quality of this experience.
Around the ICE’s UK regions, Northern Ireland members were most satisfied with an index of 73%. The least satisfied members are in the North East region with an index of 66.5% .
Outside the UK the most satisfied ICE members are in India, who reported an index of 82.2% with the Republic of Ireland and Australia reporting 70.5% and the Americas lowest with 69.6%.