ASSOCIATE MEMBERS of the ICE will be treated as equal to full Members in a planned campaign to publicise and promote the new routes to membership.
A paper revealed to the ICE's Professional Development Committee last week stated: 'The image of Associate Members needs raising. Linking Associate Members to Members will help achieve this aim.'
Precise details of how the AMICE grade would be promoted are unavailable. But it is known that, unlike many other engineering institutions, the ICE's campaign does not propose to give Associates full Corporate status.
The campaign will hail the ICE's New Routes to Membership initiative as 'the broadest and deepest structure for the professional training of engineers ever launched in this country'.
The paper explains: 'We are broadening and deepening the membership structure, allowing us to map ourselves more effectively on the industry. The technical advances in our industry over the past 20 years alone have ensured that the concept of a single grade of member is inadequate to reflect the huge range of raw talent, experience and jobs now required in our industry.'
The campaign will justify steps to broaden the membership by giving figures of those currently practising under the three different membership grades. Senior ICE members will be lobbied to support the changes. Other targets will be employers and potential candidates, universities and students.
David Rogers and Scott Steedman of the Professional Development Committee commended the paper. 'At the moment there seems to be a lot of misunderstanding out there from graduates to senior members,' said Rogers. 'We must get behind this first class document because nit picking is not going to get us anywhere.'
The committee heard that other engineering institutions, such as the Institution of Electrical Engineers, was seeking to give Corporate status to Associate Members. ICE's Board of Incorporated Engineers and Technicians representative Caroline Cleland said: 'This Institution is unique. I always thought we were years ahead. If we are not careful we are going to be years behind.'
But chief executive Mike Casebourne, who attended the committee, cautioned that the ICE would have to sell the AMICE grade 'as it stands'. The paper will be presented to Council in June.