A new kind of leadership: the revised Full and Fellow standards to launch next month

30th November 2016


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Gordon Smith

On 1 January, the new Full and Fellow membership standards go live. Both reinforce the strength and business relevance of the managerial and leadership grades, and members will see welcome changes to the application and assessment methods.

On 1 January, the new Full and Fellow membership standards go live. Both reinforce the strength and business relevance of the managerial and leadership grades, and members will see welcome changes to the application and assessment methods.

The changes follow six months of bedding in of the new IEMA membership journey. In June 2016, IEMA introduced the refreshed entry level and operational grades, as well as revealing the new Practitioner grade that many businesses had demanded.

The amends for the Full and Fellow grades were deliberately delayed to allow time for members to become acquainted with the new membership structure and to ensure those part-way through their upgrade to Full were not assessed against an unfamiliar standard.

The changes to the Full and Fellow standards are relatively light touch. The Full standard was reviewed in 2013 in line with amendments to the requirements for Chartered environmentalist. Feedback indicated it was largely fit for purpose, and just needed broadening to include sustainability principles and some business practices.

Feedback on the assessment process for Full indicated that, although it is appropriately thorough and upholds the high standards expected, it ought to be more supportive and inclusive to encourage more members to upgrade. The application process has also been refreshed. IEMA will continue to offer the upgrade support programme, which has proved immensely popular during recent months.

Designed to help those ready to take their next career step with confidence, the programme offers assessor feedback and access to a dedicated library of tools and resources to help prepare for the Full assessment.

Under the new approach, Fellows will be ‘a new kind of leader’, acting as inspirational representatives of the profession and of modern business values. Described by IEMA as a ‘new generation of ambassadors for sustainability – leaders who are challenging the norms and transforming the world’, this group of increasingly diverse experts will act as spokespeople for the profession.

The institute will work with Fellows to identify and tackle sustainability challenges, and ensure those with the wealth of experience and knowledge have the opportunity to share what they have learned with each other as well as members working in operational roles.

The application route for Fellows will also change from January, when members will be able to nominate those they believe represent the best of the profession. The standard has been broadened to welcome those who have made an impact in business through innovation, leadership or skills development. As wider business and sustainability skills increasingly need to be honed to operate at a senior level in any role, IEMA Fellows will start to come from an even more diverse range of backgrounds and specialisms.

The changes to Full and Fellow are the final pieces of the membership level review project that began in 2013 with an all-member consultation. As part of the Vision 2020 review, members said they needed IEMA’s professional standards at all levels to be more relevant to their roles and incorporate sustainability values, issues and focus areas. The review and relaunch of all membership grades is now complete, and the institute looks forward to introducing new opportunities for members to maximise the value of their membership and involve them in the IEMA community.

Members can view the new standards and details of how to apply or upgrade at iema.net. If you have a question, contact [email protected].

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