RECENT RECRUITMENT of Stewart Crichton as the ICE's new 'head of areas' is a clear indication that the ICE treats regionalisation seriously.
Crichton will link One Great George Street with the newly appointed UK regional managers and four international areas.
But he is keen to stress that each region will effectively run itself and that his role is purely supportive.
'Regionalisation is a way of serving the membership better - making the regions more responsive, efficient and effective, ' says Crichton.
'They [the regions] will benefit from the continuity of a permanent support team, leaving the committees more time to work on policy making rather than administration, ' he adds.
Incoming ICE president Colin Clinton firmly supports the restructuring which should be fully implemented during his term in office.
To Clinton, the regions are synonymous with the ICE and regionalisation is about channelling ICE activities through regional offices rather than the London headquarters.
'Long gone are the days of regional managers just reporting to headquarters what they are up to, ' he says. Two regional managers have been appointed:
Steve Feeley in the Midlands and Alan Butler in the North West region. Managers for South West and East of England are being placed.
'Regionalisation allows each area to work out its priorities and how to spend its budget.
We're now negotiating the budget for each region, ' explains Crichton.
Each region is allocated £50,000 a year for a regional support team to cover the roles of regional manager, membership and training work, internal and external communication and administration. Each regional committee will decide how the money is spent.
Crichton will also ensure that each region works in line with the ICE's overall business plan: to raise the profile of civil engineering, influence government and liase with universities and local businesses.
'At a regional level, the ICE can be very powerful - we can be seen as the good guys presenting the best solution for local projects, not just the technicians who make a project work, ' says Crichton.
Clinton is confident that the ICE's new structure will help forge better links with UK regions and regions around the world.
'Ultimately it gives us greater strength and opportunity to influence government, ' he says.