The Society has been established following wide ranging discussions about the need for an authoritative environment sector body to co-ordinate the views, and speak with one voice, on cross cutting environmental issues and to regulate standards of professional practice.
Representatives of the ten Institutions and Learned Societies involved have formed a Steering Group and signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) which commits them to working towards a set of goals. These goals will raise the status and profile of the environment profession while maintaining the identity of the constituent bodies. One of the key objectives and first tasks of SocEnv will be to submit a petition for a Royal Charter and to establish a new qualification of ‘Chartered Environmentalist’ (C.Env). Preliminary discussions with the Privy Council have already taken place on this matter.
Terms of Reference (ToR) and a Vision Statement for the new body have been agreed and work has now begun on a Business Plan. SocEnv will be a Company Limited by Guarantee, in the first instance, and a Board of Directors from the ten founder bodies will be established under the Chairmanship of Mr Will Pope.
Membership of SocEnv will be available to qualifying environmental organisations so the present membership of the Society is expected to increase and this will be encouraged. The current list of constituent bodies is as follows:
- Chartered Institute of Wastes Management (CIWM)
- Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM)
- Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE)
- Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (IEEM)
- Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA)
- Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES)
- Institute of Fisheries Management (IFM)
- Institute of Professional Soil Scientists (IPSS)
- Institution of Water Officers (IWO)
- Royal Meteorological Society (RMS)
Statement of Intent (SoI)
We are exploring the concept of an association of professional bodies recognised as an authoritative independent organisation representing members in all environmental disciplines. This we have designated as “Society for the Environment” (“SocEnv”).
Our aim is to reach a formal arrangement for SocEnv which will go beyond a simple co-ordination of our affairs; our first task as the Founder Constituent Bodies of SocEnv shall be to agree:
- a vision statement
- terms of reference
- a timetable
all based on the significant progress made by Founder Constituent Bodies to date.
We agree that:
the identities and pre-eminence of our respective professional sectors must be preserved; SocEnv shall embody mechanisms which bring us together under one umbrella, whilst at the same time allowing the identities of the constituent bodies to be maintained and their primacy and centres of specific excellence to be recognised and enhanced;
we shall continue to seek the inclusion in SocEnv of other professional bodies which have a significant interest in the environment;
the final agreement shall be subject to the approval of our members, and we individually reserve the right to withdraw from this process;
We shall ensure that the outcome of this process will add value to the service and support of our members and not add unnecessary burdens on membership fees.
We share the goal of establishing the qualification of ‘Chartered Environmentalist’, or an equivalent designation, in addition to the existing opportunities for our members. Such a status would be achieved by a process comparable with those of other organisations that award Chartered Status to individual members. The criteria for “Chartered Environmentalist” will be based on:
- professional and ethical conduct.
This qualification will be awarded under the auspices of SocEnv which will be the custodian of the Charter.
It is important that all members of constituent bodies are encouraged to participate in the affairs of their constituent bodies and hence, the new body itself, thus assisting in the delivery of the agreed Vision Statement, which will embody our aims and aspirations. We will continue to seek to exploit opportunities to arrange joint meetings and activities for the mutual benefit of our members.
We aim to progress discussions as quickly as possible and in accordance with the agreed timetable.
We shall seek to have this Statement of Intent endorsed by our respective Councils at the earliest opportunity and in the meantime the Founder Constituent Bodies intend to continue progress towards the formation of SocEnv.
SocEnv – Terms of Reference (ToR)
SocEnv comprises representatives of Constituent Bodies with a focus on the environment.
All Constituent Bodies will be equal members of SocEnv including having equal voting status (each Constituent Body having one vote).
Each of the Constituent Bodes will retain their identity, institutional activities, and registered address. SocEnv will establish a separate registered address.
SocEnv will promote co-operation between the Constituent Bodies, encourage common interests and activities and create added value for all of their members through this partnership.
SocEnv will seek a Royal Charter that will allow the conferment of chartered status on suitably qualified individual members of Constituent Bodies – the designation being termed, “Chartered Environmentalist” pro-tem. Award of a Charter will not preclude Constituent Bodes having or obtaining their own Charter. In developing a petition for a Royal Charter, SocEnv, under the guidance of the Privy Council, will also develop appropriate criteria for the chartered status of the individual members of the Constituent Bodies.
SocEnv will have the responsibility for matters arising from the Charter, including the criteria for the award of chartered status to individuals.
SocEnv will act as the principal focal point for its Constituent Bodies when dealing with external organisations in a proactive and reactive way where collective response is required. This will not prejudice the expressing of individual views by the Constituent Bodies.
Governance rules for admission, organisational structures and responsibilities and administrative functions are to be developed by the Council and incorporated in a full constitution.
*The governance of SocEnv will be invested in a Council made up initially of two representatives from each of the Constituent Bodies who will normally be the President (or equivalent) and Chief Executive (or equivalent) of each Constituent Body, or their nominated representatives. SocEnv will be Chaired by each of the Presidents (Chairmen) of the Constituent Bodies by rotation. The Chairmanship will be of twelve months duration. Council will be supported by a Secretariat in accordance with arrangements to be agreed by the Council.
*SocEnv will be resourced by each Constituent Body in accordance with a formula to be agreed by the Council of SocEnv.
Initially all activities of SocEnv are subject to review and ratification by the individual Councils of the Constituent Bodies. (The Constitution will define the safeguards for subsequent operation).
SocEnv aspires to be the leading and co-ordinating Professional body in environmental matters and a pre-eminent champion of a sustainable environment. It will achieve this by nurturing and harnessing the combined resources, knowledge, expertise and achievements of its Constituent professional and learned Bodies and their members.
SocEnv will foster a culture of inclusivity and ethical behaviour for the common good. The identity of its Constituent Bodies will be maintained and their primacy and the centres of excellence within their fields recognised and enhanced.
Regular updates on the SocEnv will be posted here.
Posted on 9th December 2002
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