VSJ – April 2004 – Members’ News

Mike Ryan, the IAP’s Director General, talks about a new initiative and launches our own Big (well, Average-sized, anyway) Conversation.

For many years, the IAP has had links to various organisations. For education and training bodies, these were formalised about six years ago into the Education Partnership scheme. Members will have seen reference in these pages to such partnerships formed with Sunderland, Hertfordshire, Oxford, Kingston and Lincoln universities, for instance. You’ll also know that we have had long-standing arrangements with a number of specialist recruitment agencies. From time to time, (and, latterly, more and more frequently) we get enquiries from other organisations, such as software houses and consultants, enquiring about corporate IAP membership. This is a difficult concept for a professional body because, clearly, we can only elect to membership those who have, by dint of their personal experience and qualifications, met the Institution’s requirements. An organisation can’t be described and measured in this way. So we’ve decided to expand the Partnership scheme into three distinct categories – Standard, Education and Recruitment. The ‘Standard’ category simply encapsulates the baseline services and benefits available under the scheme. The two other categories have additional benefits specifically relevant to organisations of these kinds.

Partners in all three categories get a number of personal IAP memberships bundled within the terms of the Agreement. Naturally, the individuals put forward for membership must meet the IAP’s normal entrance criteria and go through the usual admission procedure. But, while they remain employees (or students) of the partner in question, they will not be asked to pay subscriptions personally. The number of memberships per partner will depend on the category. For instance, all students at Education Partners who meet membership requirements (many third year undergraduates can meet the criteria for Licentiate) would be covered in this way. For a small software house, just five memberships would be allotted, but the benefit would continue until the member left the Partner’s employ, possibly after many years.

We will also offer a range of other benefits targeted at each category. As for individual members, partners will have access to these pages and to discounted advertising rates in VSJ and in the Yearbook. Similarly, partners have the right to declare their affiliation by using the IAP’s Coat of Arms in their publicity material. I don’t want to bore you with an exhaustive list of all the advantages here but these examples give a general idea of how we hope the scheme will work.

This is where you come in. We can sit in the office thinking beautiful thoughts and developing ever more attractive schemes but, unless they meet the needs of our members and prospective members in the real world, it’s wasted effort. So we want to know what you think. Would a scheme like this be attractive to your company? What specific benefits would be most useful? How can we best help you? Email me (dg@iap.org.uk) and I’ll send you the draft proposals. Then let me have your suggestions. Does the draft meet the case? What would you take out? What would you add?

The IAP’s development has been predicated on listening to its members and meeting their expressed needs. Usually, we do that informally and at the individual level. Here, we’re giving you the opportunity to influence our progress in a formal way.

[Don’t forget to email eo@iap.org.uk with items of news about you or your company.]

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