IFE News

11 September 2018

Member Poll on a Petition for a Royal Charter

The Board were very pleased at the number of members who responded to the recent ePoll on the subject of a Petition for a Royal Charter, and on the related matter of our name.

An overwhelming majority supported the Petition but, as expected, the proposition that we should change our name split members three ways. The Board is now considering how best to take matters forward in discussion with the Privy Council Office, the Engineering Council and other stakeholders. But of greater importance, the Board recognised, from the comments received from around the world, that there remained much misunderstanding amongst members on some issues and for this they accepted responsibility. Our principal objective over the next few months will be to engage more directly with members, not least through the aegis of the IGA. Led by our IP-elect, Richard Fowler, the Board will spend as much time as possible meeting Branch members, providing factual briefing and listening to members’ views.

We will provide regular updates on how matters are progressing, recognising that it is better to arrive at the right answer rather than to get a quick answer.


Paul King Mifiree   11/09/2018 at 17:08

With regard to the debate on the new name following the proposed Charter, I must admit that originally I felt the name change to The Chartered Institution of Fire, was a positive move. The more I think on this and the more views I seek from my colleagues (who are not in the fire profession and so representative of the public at large) I think such a name change seems a bit vague and would not have the desired impact. My own preference would be to hang our colours firmly to our engineering roots but include the word 'Safety' in the title. This would give the new title of The Chartered Institution of Fire Safety Engineers. I also think it is up to the Institution to persuade members that even though some do not consider themselves as engineers in the strict sense, they are still in fact engineers whether they are comfortable with this or not. I believe the standard definition for engineers, used by the Engineering Council, is broard enough to include the work carried out by most, if not all of our members to a greater or lesser degree. That does not mean to say that everyone should consider themselves worthy of registration as a Chartered Engineer through the EC, but nvertheless, everyone should feel comfortable with the engineer title. For example, many members are firefighters. Firefighting involves a number of activities that fall into the definition of engineer, for instance, calculating water pressure for hose lines, working out duration of breathing apparatus etc. Even employing knowledge of building construction when tackling fires would be considered as an engineering task. To recap, I do not think we need to shy away from the beloved engineer title, I think we need to market it more effectively, to both members and the public.

Bill Kehoe, Mifiree   12/09/2018 at 12:20

I support Mr. King's comments.

Gwyn Cardwell   17/09/2018 at 15:42

I support the above comments

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