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INSTITuTION NEWS
Changes to the
membership structure
At the 2009 SGM, members voted to accept the Resolution
to make such changes to the By-Laws as may be necessary to
introduce changes to the membership structure.
T
he membership structure of encouraged by the differences in exemplary engineering qualification, is not understood,
the Institution has undergone a academic qualification, which leads to again particularly by non UK members. It
number of changes since 1860, professional competence being equated to does suggest that the individual is alongside,
both in the classes of membership and in academic achievement, whereby the Member rather than part of the Institution, and as
the requirements for election or transfer to with a 4-year MEng is implicitly considered such does not recognise the important
each class. The reasons for such changes to be professionally superior to the Associate contribution which such members make to
have usually been linked to changes in the Member with a 3-year BEng. the Institution.
academic requirements for registration with This view of the Associate-Member No changes are proposed to Student and
the predecessors of the EC(UK), and has class being ‘inferior’ to the Member class Junior Members.
therefore historically been more relevant to is particularly held by non UK members,
the UK membership for whom membership especially from those countries without Proposed changes to membership
was usually synonymous with registration. a culture of professional societies, and structure
However, it is considered that the rationale where status and the perception of status Council considers that a change of
of the current structure of membership are important. There is a desire to become membership structure and terminology
classes is not well understood both inside Members but a reluctance to apply to become is necessary to remove the confusion and
and outside the Institution, and does not Associate Members. The similarity in titles misconceptions which currently exist over the
best reflect either the internationalism of gives rise to further confusion over the differences between the membership classes,
the membership or the much wider scope difference between Associate-Members and by both members and non members.
of employment and therefore professional Associates, with the distinction being even It is therefore proposed that there should
competence of the naval architect today. less understood. be three classes of Corporate membership –
Fellows, Members and Associate Members - ,
Corporate members Non Corporate members distinguished by the level of responsibility (in
the case of Fellow) and by the achievement
Fellows are Corporate members who have Graduate Members of professional competence (in the case of
achieved a required period of superior There is a similar lack of understanding Members and Associate Members).
responsibility, and whilst invariably more over the experience and competence which
experienced, are not necessarily more those in the Graduate Member class may Fellows
professionally competent. Indeed, their possess. Since there is no time limitation As at present, Fellows would be those
superior responsibility may have been for being a Graduate Member, professional qualified for Member who have had the
achieved in a non-engineering field experience can therefore range from that required superior responsibility for a defined
The Member (MRINA), Associate- of new graduate to that of a graduate with period.
Member (AMRINA), and Associate several years’ experience and commensurate
(ARINA) classes of Corporate membership, responsibility. For those not on Graduate Members
and the corresponding EC(UK) registers for Training Programmes, achieving the scope Members would be those who had achieved
Chartered Engineer (CEng), Incorporated of professional competence and experience the standard of professional competence
Engineer (IEng) and Engineering Technician required for Corporate membership will defined for CEng, IEng or EngTech (or
(EngTech) are defined such as to describe invariably take longer, but during that time, recognised equivalents, eg CPEng). As
the way in which a member uses his or her the Graduate member may well have achieved at present, registration would not be a
professional knowledge, understanding and considerable professional competence requirement for Corporate membership.
skills. in specific areas, as well as responsibility.
However, the professional differences Graduate members are also subject to the Associate Members
between these classes of Corporate Institution’s Code of Professional Conduct. Associate Members would be those who had
membership are not generally understood, achieved the level of academic knowledge
and invariably perceived to be a ‘professional Companions and understanding considered necessary
hierarchy’, reflecting level rather than scope of The word ‘Companion’, in the context of that to underpin the professional skills required
professional competence. This perception is class of membership for those without an to achieve one of the defined standards
10 Rina affairs June 2009
RA JUNE 09.indd 10 02/06/2009 12:00:02
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