Member Consultation on Proposed Changes to Governance - August 2017

Strengthening our membership voice

IChemE Royal CharterIn August 2017, we consulted with our members on the future shape of the Institution’s governance. The aim was to boost member participation in our decision-making at all levels, and to improve communications between our membership and IChemE’s governing bodies and staff.

The review was initiated by past President Jonathan Seville and carried through to completion by his successor John McGagh, who reported the findings to Council in May 2017. Personal contributions from members at regional group and special interest group meetings, and on social media, were taken into account.

Our President’s report contained options for change that address all of the key aspects of our governance, including: the composition of Council; terms of reference for the President and other senior officers; devolution of powers to national boards; simplification of internal committee structures; and new arrangements to involve members in all aspects of our activities via a fully-elected and fully-representative ‘Congress’.

Speaking at a meeting of Council on 24 July 2017, Jonathan Seville said:

“We are IChemE and like other professional bodies, we face changes on several fronts. Our membership is changing rapidly, as are the industries that they support. This in turn prompts changes in the nature of volunteer input, not least as a result of increasing pressure on volunteer time.”

Citing globalisation and the rapid spread of digital technology as key drivers for change in society, John McGagh added:

“The world is changing fast, and with it, the expectations of our 44,000 members and the communities that they serve. IChemE is an independent, public-benefit charity committed to advancing chemical engineering worldwide – a mission that was supported by an overwhelmingly large majority of our members in last year’s strategy consultation. We want to be the organisation of choice for chemical engineers and this demands a new approach to governance that will put us up there with the best. Professional chemical engineers deserve nothing less, and we need member input to get this right.”

The consultation period began on Tuesday 1 August 2017 and ran for six weeks. It included an online survey and one-to-one interviews with leaders and influencers throughout IChemE’s diverse community, including the regional member groups and special interest groups, where a large amount of volunteer effort is directed.

Individual members were also invited to share their views.

The responses will be considered by Council during October, November and December 2017, and incorporated into a draft set of changes to IChemE’s Charter and By-Laws in February 2018.

We expect that the proposals which emerge from this process will be put to a General Meeting in May 2018. To find out more, follow the links below.


My IChemE

IChemE is a registered charity in England & Wales (214379), and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 039661).