Membership is more a pain than a privilege

Nearly half – just under 45% – informed us that they were either quite, or
totally, irrelevant.

This shocking proportion of the nearly 800 professionals who took part in our
survey did not feel they were getting value for money from their subscriptions.
And while our poll is not perhaps the most scientific piece of research around,
the result will worry the heads of the institutes.

It could just be that members have seen the role of the institutes so
curtailed that they have yet to come to terms with what they actually do do.
Regulation, disciplinaries and standard setting have all passed into the hands
of others.

So what do the institutes do? Here’s what, and it’s crucial: education,
member services and lobbying (or research to put it in a less confrontational
way). If you can’t convince your members that you are doing a good job on these
elements, then you really are in trouble.

The 45% may have ignored the general benefit that arises from having a
qualification from a registered body, but they clearly think that their
institute should be offering more. They want to see their institute leading the
way in developing education, maintaining qualifications as prestige credentials
and achieving a high profile in the lobbying of government – especially when
that campaigning is directly in the interests of members.

While the number of members who were satisfied with their institutes almost
equalled the number of dissatisfied, that is surely not enough. The institutes
will have to resolve their merger issues and make a much bigger noise before the
majority of members start believing again that their subs are well spent.

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