Governance reforms approved at AGM

Governance reforms approved at AGM

22nd May 2018

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) has announced the results of votes taken at its Annual General Meeting (AGM), held on 21 May 2018 in London, UK. The proposals were backed by over 90% of those who voted – Chartered members and Fellows of IChemE. The proposals will now be passed to the Privy Council (the UK’s regulator for Chartered bodies such as IChemE) for approval.

The proposals were put forward to modernise the Institution’s governance and allow members to be more active in managing the Institution’s affairs. A two third majority vote in favour was required for the reforms to pass.

The amendments to the Royal Charter and By-laws were set out and voted on as three separate Resolutions. Voting members could nominate a proxy in advance of the meeting or attend and vote in person. The Resolutions were:

Resolution 1 – Designating the Board of Trustees

A smaller and more focused twelve-person Board of Trustees, replacing the larger Council, with all positions nominated and elected by members.

The Resolution was passed by 92% of those who voted (1145 votes in favour / 98 votes against).

Resolution 2 – Creating the Congress

A new Congress will be established as the member advisory body of the Institution. Its overriding purpose is to advise the Board on matters of interest to IChemE. The Congress will consist of up to 40 members elected from two colleges - one that reflects membership grade (Fellows, Chartered Members, early career members and student members); and one that reflects geographical diversity.

The Resolution was passed by 92% of those who voted (1144 votes in favour /96 votes against).

Resolution 3 – General Matters

Several changes are being made to simplify and clarify the Charter and By-laws to bring them in line with good practice elsewhere.

The Resolution was passed by 93% of those who voted (1143 votes in favour / 89 votes against).

The result was announced by Secretary of the meeting, IChemE Chief Executive Jon Prichard, at 19:20 on 21 May 2018. Following confirmation of the result, outgoing President John McGagh said:

“I am delighted that almost my last act as President is to announce that an important step has been taken in modernising IChemE’s governance. The changes will allow our members to play a full part in the affairs of this great Institution, thereby enabling more effective action by our profession in serving society.”

Shortly afterwards, John McGagh formally handed over the Chain of Office to the Institution’s Incoming President, Mr Ken Rivers. In his Presidential Address which followed, Rivers said:

“We have been bold in our decisions. We are clear on the goal, IChemE is member-led, and it supports its members to serve society.

“We are committed to keep the pace moving on governance reform and membership participation in decisions that matter to the Institution. This result means we are in an excellent position to do that.

“We have experienced the largest participation of our members in general meetings, Trustee elections and via our member-only forum during 2018. This is a trend we must maintain and grow. We will now move on from looking at ourselves internally. To get in good shape, we must realign our focus on the ‘real stuff’ – our fundamental value proposition of ensuring the professionalism of chemical engineers so that they can continue to make a difference, and to sharing this valuable knowledge to provide benefit to the public at large.”

“Central to this, is member engagement. Our Board, our Congress and our Staff engaging with members and non-members, and with each other across IChemE’s diverse community.

“There is an opportunity for some really profound mind-set shifts and transformational change.”

Find out more about the Presidential Address and new Trustee appointments here.

A formal petition for IChemE’s new Charter and By-laws will be submitted to the Privy Council next month. If approved, the revised changes will be published in Q4 of this year, and the formal structure will be implemented in January 2019.

Work will also begin on the Institution’s proposed ‘hub and spoke’ structure, to help better align its international community. Progress on this work will be communicated to members via the Institution’s member-only forum Interface.