Institution news

'Inside Track' - latest update from our President

Phil Peel, President, Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Welcome to the latest edition of "Inside Track" which provides an update on the Institution's Trustee Board activities.

This edition focuses on the Trustee Board meeting held on 8 March 2023.

Diversity and Inclusion moment

We had an interesting D&I moment from Helena Rivers – a video from Deloitte on inclusive behaviours.

Falzani membership modelling

This is the statistical model the IMechE uses to set membership targets each year. The newer Trustees said they would welcome a quick learning session on the basis of the modelling and it would also be offered to the existing Trustees as a refresher.

Culture and People Committee

The concept of a Culture and People Committee was discussed, and we saw good support in principle. The idea is to bring together Ethics, EDI as well as Values and Behaviours across members and staff. Trustees have asked the Executive Team to draw up a scope for the committee and structure for the April TB meeting. This would in essence help lead the strategic enabler around ‘well supported and engaged professional staff and volunteers working in close partnership’.

Special Awards Panel

The Board discussed creating a Special Awards Panel (to cover Honorary Fellowship and Royal Honours, etc.) and the TB is keen to get this group going. This will be one of the priorities for the new Head of Governance and Risk (due to start in post from early May).

Strategy Committee

The TB received an update from Giles Hartill, Chair of the Strategy Committee and Deputy President, including a recap on the work done so far as well as presentation of the proposed strategic objectives and goals. A number of key themes were highlighted that were cross-cutting including in particular Digital, Inclusion and Engagement, and Sustainability (finance, people etc).

Next steps will be:

a) further consultation with staff and key member groups

b) development of multiyear roadmaps (3 year planning cycles) for each strategic objectives/ goals including projected estimate costs

c) develop monitoring and measuring processes. The top line strategy will be launched in the Annual Report in early May and included in Giles’ Presidential Address to be held on 7 June. After that, there will be the review and approval of the detailed roadmaps at the September Trustee Board. A big thank you from Giles to all those involved and all their efforts to date.

Qualifications and Membership Board

Board Chair Ralph Melhuish gave a report on H2 2022 activities. Main comments relating to QMB:

a) Stability issues with IT – acknowledge efforts are being made to stabilise but would like regular communications on progress to help with volunteer resilience.

b) consideration of a mechanism to agree topics we wish to influence with Engineering Council etc via the Licenced Bodies Coordination Committee. Some discussion here around more formal links on this with TSB and ESSB and some of the wider Professional Engineers Committee discussions.

c) A review of the Ethics Principles Committee is being undertaken this year.

d) An ask to ensure TB decisions are cascaded appropriately to QMB.

e) Review of Qualifications and Training Regulations (as an appendix to the bylaws) in progress and an ask to update QMB when the Bylaws review would start up again.

Chief Technology Officer Jake Fraser will be asked to create a system for regular communications on IT with current focus on stabilisation for QMB. This may also be useful for other operating Committees.

Audit and Risk Committee

The ARC report was presented by the Chair Vijay Raman, International Vice President. TB asked to review Corporate Risk Register, policy and manual. Cyber risks are now included in the CSRR. The 2023 audit programme was approved as part of a 3-year cycle.

Finance Board

Finance Board update by Dr Clive Hickman, Deputy President. For the annual audit, bank details for all international accounts are now available. A formal mid-year review of budget is planned to assess spend. The final 2022 surplus ended at about £300k, which is £50k above budget. A concern around the late release of the international budgets by ISB for 2023 was raised. TB offered their support and suggested the idea of developing a more formal process for release and communications of budgets A 3-year financial planning model is being developed.

Birdcage Walk HQ Project

Trustees received feedback on the HQ Working Group’s business case from the Finance Board, ARC and Strategy Committee. Lengthy discussion on the topic analysing financial modelling on each option, risk profiles as well as risks associated with not making a decision. Council consultation still awaited and due in April.

Membership targets

Membership targets for 2023 were approved, with the assumption that we will move to 3-year ambitions for 2024 onwards as part of the longer-term strategy.  TB would like a detailed review on 2023 progress in the June TB meeting alongside the review of the 2024 membership fees and budget.


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