Members of the Ad-hoc Working Group met at the Naval Club on the 7th of October 2011.
The plan to create new classes of Professional Membership was discussed at our 2011 AGM at IOSC in Portland Oregon, USA. The initiative was approved and welcomed by the meeting but a number of concerns were raised about (a) the rigorousness of the vetting process needed to ensure that applicants meet the required standards for the various classes of Professional Membership and (b) the adequacy of the proposed membership fees in relation to the costs of managing the Professional Membership initiative.
At a side-meeting some members of the Executive Committee also raised concerns about potential liability exposure that might arise if award of Professional Membership were to be wrongly perceived as some kind of “guarantee” on the part of ISCO regarding the professional competency of Professional Members and any acts or omissions for which they might be held to account.
Because of these concerns it was decided that the Professional Membership initiative be regarded as a “work in progress” and that its full implementation should be slowed down in order to allow time for issues to be addressed.
The London meeting of the Working Group, was attended by David Usher, Rear Admiral Stacey, John McMurtrie and Dr Douglas Cormack with apologies from Simon Rickaby, Dan Sheehan and Marc Shaye. An invited insurance advisor also attended to give advice on liability insurance.
The meeting resolved to (a) seek legal advice on appropriate disclaimers that should be included in Professional Membership documentation and related matters, (b) further investigate the obtaining of insurance cover to give protection against liability exposure, (c) to further assess the rigorousness of the vetting process for Professional Membership applicants, to progress finalising of the Rules and Guidelines relating to Professional Membership, and to produce a Code of Practice for Professional Members. It was also agreed that the proposed fees for initial Assessment and Annual Membership of Professional Members be kept under review with an option to increase these fees at a later time should this prove necessary.