IChemE governance reforms pass at AGM

Article by Adam Duckett

MEMBERS have voted in support of a package of reforms that will modernise IChemE’s governance and enable members to more actively manage the Institution’s affairs.

The results, announced at IChemE’s AGM in London on 21 May, saw three resolutions aimed at modifying the Royal Charter and By-laws pass with more than 90% support.

“Resolution 1 – designating the board of trustees” was passed by 92% of those who voted (1,145 votes for; 98 against). This will replace the existing Council with a smaller, more focused 12-person Board of Trustees, with all positions nominated and elected by members.

“Resolution 2 – creating the congress” was passed by 92% of those who voted (1,144 votes for; 96 against). This will establish a Congress to act 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.

“Resolution 3 – general matters” was passed by 93% of those who voted (1,143 votes for; 89 against). This will make several changes to simplify and clarify the Charter and By-laws and bring them in line with good practice elsewhere.

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.”

A formal petition for IChemE’s new Charter and By-laws will be submitted to the Privy Council in June. If approved, the revised changes will be published in Q4 this year, and the formal structure will be implemented in January 2019. In the meantime, the Trustees will establish a shadow member Congress to establish how the official Congress will work.

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.

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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