Lower fees for registered engineers have been proposed as part of the Engineering Council’s plan for a slimmed down, more flexible structure. More company sponsorship may be one alternative source of income.
Insiders believe the proposals aim to improve poor relations between the council and the 37 institutions it represents. Some doubt whether the council has the right people to carry out the review. ‘This could get lost in committees and not move forward,’ a source said.
Council director general Malcolm Shirley said: ‘Members pay the lion’s share of fees, but there are many more beneficiaries of our services.’
Shirley said the £22-a-year membership fee for a chartered engineer should be frozen for this year and possibly cut thereafter.
The Council, established in 1981 to provide a single voice for engineering, was relaunched in 1996. One senior insider said: ‘It seemed like the dawn of a new era. Then very quickly there was the proliferation of activities and posts.’
‘From now, the council will only do those things that other professional institutions can’t,’ the source said.
The council will concentrate on its core activities of setting professional standards and maintaining a qualified engineers register.