Member Consultation on Governance Review August 2017

Strengthening our membership voice

IChemE Royal CharterWe are consulting our members on the future shape of the Institution’s governance. The aim is 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, have been taken into account.

Our President’s report contains 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 the latest meeting of Council, which was held 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 will begin on Tuesday 1 August 2017 and run for six weeks. It will include 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 will also be invited to share their views. To get involved please follow the link below to the member consultation pack, and send your thoughts to: with your name and membership number.

The responses will be considered by Council during October and November 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.


If you are not an IChemE member leader or influencer (Board Chair, Committee Chair, SIG Chair, MG Chair etc.) let us know your thoughts on the above proposal via email: – please remember to include your name, phone number and membership number.


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