Your Congress

Be the voice. Make a difference.

The information below gives a brief summary of IChemE’s new member advisory body, Congress. Further detail is provided in the Institution’s handbook – Your Congress.

Role Descriptions for Congress member, Congress Chair and Vice-Chair have been developed to outline anticipated responsibilities and duties.

To find out more, and to ask questions ahead of the nominations opening, why not join our final series of webinars:

Watch a recording of the webinar, hosted by John McGagh on IChemE's YouTube channel.

Congress Elections 2018

Nominations for candidates to stand closed at 23:59 BST on Friday 21 September 2018

IChemE has now announced the candidates who will stand for election in 2018 for Congress.

View the candidates' biographies and election statements. This is only accessible to IChemE members. Members will need to be logged in via MyIChemE.

If you have any further questions, please join dedicated threads on Interface or email your questions to congress@icheme.org.

Congress, as with any other aspect of IChemE’s governance structure, can be traced back to the Institution’s Royal Charter. More detail is provided in the By-laws. Operational detail is outlined in the Regulations.

What is Congress?

Congress is a member advisory body of the Institution comprising of up to 40 volunteer members elected by their peers. It will act as a sounding board and advise the Board of Trustees on matters of interest to IChemE and its members. To make it easy for the volunteers to engage, it will hold most of its sessions online.

Nominations will open for seats on the inaugural Congress in September 2018. The first session of the Congress is planned to open at the end of October 2018.

Why was it set up?

The Congress is part of the Institution’s ongoing plans to modernise its governance. It will help to ensure that decisions by the Board of Trustees are informed by the collective view of IChemE members.

Changes to the Institution’s Royal Charter and By-laws, outlining the existence of a member advisory body named Congress, were supported by Voting Members of IChemE at the AGM in May 2018. The changes were formally adopted following Privy Council approval in June 2018.

The set-up and modus operandi of Congress was informed by good practice amongst similar Professional Engineering Institutions and feedback from members via IChemE’s member-only online forum, Interface.

How will it represent the membership of IChemE?

Congress has been established to ensure that every member of IChemE, regardless of grade or geography, has a pathway to make their voice heard. The members of Congress are nominated and elected by their peers within two electoral colleges: functional (up to 15 seats) and regional (up to 25).

The functional college is designed to provide a mechanism for greater engagement in the Board of Trustees decision-making by all members. Chartered Members and Fellows have an allocation of four seats each respectively. The remaining seats are allocated to Associate Members, Affiliate Members, Technician Members and Student Members.

In the regional college, seats are distributed based on the number of Chartered Members and Fellows residing in that region. Therefore, only Chartered Members and Fellows residing in these regions are eligible to stand, nominate, and vote for those vacancies.

Congress was designed to be dynamic and reflect changes in the composition of IChemE’s membership, by geography or by grade. Congress will review the membership composition annually to ensure that any significant changes are reflected in the seat allocation.

When will the first Congress be established?

Role descriptions, providing an overview of the main duties and activities of Congress members, will be made available shortly to encourage nominations from the IChemE membership. The nominations period will open in early September with a view to hold a campaign period for two weeks before voting opens. The inaugural Congress will be up and running at the end of October.

What are the main duties of an IChemE Congress member?

Congress members will participate in the online discussions, vote on issues if requested by the Congress Chair and contribute to the collective and joint advice submitted to the Board of Trustees for consideration. The agenda and format of outputs will be agreed by the Congress Chair. When required, the Board of Trustees may submit specific items for consultation. The Chair may be invited to a part of the Board of Trustees meeting to represent the Congress.

Congress members will act as a ‘voice’ of the membership and therefore engagement with wider membership will be part of their duties.

Due to predominantly virtual nature of the activities, Congress members will be able to carry out their duties at their convenience; during the working hours or evenings/weekends. A dedicated online platform will be designed for their activities. If set up by the Congress Chair, a physical meeting may be held once a year.

How will Congress inform the decisions of the Board of Trustees?

Congress members will be the ‘voice’ of the membership – representing the interests of their constituencies and that of the wider IChemE membership. The views of the members will be channelled via the Congress representatives, who will bring matters of importance to the Board of Trustees. Trustees may also choose to approach Congress to gain valuable member insight. The Congress will use its experience and expertise to provide joint and collective advice to the Board of Trustees to inform their decision-making for the benefit of society.

How do I become a member of Congress?

The nominations process will be handled by an independent third-party provider, Mi-Voice. As far as practically possible, the nominations and election process will be conducted electronically to ensure that members can engage wherever they are: in the office, at home or on the go.

Eligible IChemE members will receive an automated email with an invitation to stand for a seat or seats in their regional or functional college. Members must choose a vacancy in one college only – even if they are eligible to stand in both. As a part of the nomination, prospective candidates should provide details of two members in good standing to verify their nomination. The supporting members must be eligible to vote in the constituency that the candidate is standing for. For example, if a member is standing as a Student Member, his or her nomination must be supported by two Student Members.

Once the nominations close and all candidates and their nominators are verified against the eligibility criteria, a two-week campaign period will begin before voting starts. The campaign period was introduced following suggestions by the members on Interface. During this time, candidates are encouraged to engage with their peers via personal networks, Interface, and social media.

Following the campaign period, an electronic ballot will be then held. No proxy voting arrangements are available for this ballot.

How do I know which seat(s) I’m eligible for?

To stand in Congress elections, a member must:

  • fall into one of the qualifying categories of membership
  • be nominated by two members in good standing that fall in the same category
  • be a member in good standing
  • be able to access an online debate forum
     

The email that you will receive will only invite you to stand for a seat or seats that you are eligible to be nominated for. A member must choose a vacancy in one college only – even if they are eligible to stand in both.

There are process diagrams in the handbook, Your Congress, to demonstrate eligibility for the functional and regional vacancies. You may also find the examples below useful:

Member A: If you are a Chartered Member or a Fellow of IChemE based in the South West (UK & IRE), you can stand for a Congress seat as a Chartered Member or a Fellow respectively, or as a regional representative for the South West (UK & IRE). You are also eligible to nominate and vote for members running for either of these seats.

Member B: If you are a Student Member of IChemE based in North West and North Wales (UK & IRE), you are only eligible to stand as a Student member representative. Student Members anywhere in the world will be able to nominate and vote for members running as a Student Member representative. You are not eligible to stand, nominate or vote for regional representatives as North West and North Wales (UK & IRE) regional seat is reserved for Chartered members and Fellows residing in North West and North Wales (UK & IRE) only.

Member C: If you are an Associate Member based in Australia with less than 9 years of experience (self-declared) you are eligible to stand as an Early Career representative and nominate/vote in this category. Similarly, to Member B, you are not eligible to stand, nominate or vote for an Australia seat. However, if you are an Associate Member with more than 9 years’ experience (self-declared) you can only nominate and vote for Early Career representatives and are not able to stand yourself.

 

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1A member in good standing is one that has complied with all of their explicit obligations, while not being subject to any form of sanction, suspension or disciplinary censure.

 

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