IRSO 2003

Well, what a long hot summer we’ve had. A pity then, that the weather wasn’t kinder to the East Midlands Group during the very enjoyable IRSO conference in Lincoln in early July. It didn’t dampen members spirits, nevertheless, and those of us that were there will probably agree: “small but perfectly formed”! My thanks, on behalf of Council, to the members of the East Midlands Organising Group who made us all feel very welcome and ensured another very interesting and well presented conference.

There are a number of items that may interest members following the Annual Business Forum and Annual General Meeting held over the course of the conference.

The Annual Business Forum (ABF)

This is the opportunity for all members of the Council of Management - Board and Area Reps - to get together to confirm membership of the various committees and look at forthcoming issues likely to affect the running of the Institute. I’ve set out below the main committees and who is in them. (VC indicates the vice-chairman for that committee.) Council has arranged another business planning weekend at the end of September in Wiltshire as an opportunity for all committees to meet and plan work for the year ahead. Last year’s event was very successful and particularly welcomed by Area Reps.

I know I am speaking for all committee chairmen when I say that additional committee members are always welcome. Please do get in touch with any of them if you want to know more about the business of the committee or if you want to volunteer to be part of it. I would add that most of the committee’s make every effort to do their work by email, fax and telephone so if you are worried about work commitments, travelling to additional meetings is not an issue.

Other issues that were covered at the ABF:

1 - The East Anglia group has now been formally disbanded. Funds from the settling of their account have gone into the main IRSO account, with the majority ring-fenced for any future reforming of the group.

2 - Protocols were agreed and signed by the relevant committee chairmen for: Road Safety Awards and Publicity, and Use of the IRSO logo, Post-Nominals and Document Formatting. Contact Darren Divall (PRO) or your Area Rep for further details.

3 - A number of potential changes to membership (overseas members, “life” members and non-corporate membership) were discussed, but it was felt that further information should be sought before any changes were agreed. If you have strong feelings about any of these, I would suggest you speak to Kevin Senior as Membership Committee Chairman.

4 - Finance Committee outlined plans for use of the IRSO Education Fund - The Institute has for a long time held a separate account with funds in it for the purpose of supporting or giving awards to Corporate Members for approved professional or qualification related courses. It has been known for many years as “The Education Fund” by the Council of Management, and those Members who know of its existence. This Fund has in the last few years been “topped up” by the generous donations of those Area Groups who have organised and run the annual National IRSO Conference and made a surplus. Finance Committee would like to make these funds more easily available for Corporate Members to apply for, in support of any legitimate continuing professional development. There will be an article in InRoads giving you more information about this.

The Annual General Meeting (AGM)

The AGM was again well attended and discussion was lively. The two main topics were the Business Plan and Resolution, the former highlighting the very positive benefits that several regions have been able to show by making links with LARSOA regional groups in providing training activities. In several cases this has led to an increase in membership for IRSO.

The resolution put before the AGM from members in Northern Ireland was to propose that the term of office for the Chairman and Vice-Chairman revert to three years. A very lengthy debate took place, with many long-standing IRSO members, and former National Chairmen, speaking eloquently for and against the proposal. Many felt that a six-year commitment (with the progression from three years as Vice Chairman) would be asking a lot for employers to support. When the vote was taken, there was a unanimous decision that to change the term of office for Chairman and Vice Chairman to three years from the current two, would not be of any benefit to the Institute at this time. However, it was suggested that IRSO should look at an amended resolution for next year, which would give the Council of Management the power to extend the term of office for a Chairman for a further one year, if it was deemed suitable at the time. This was looked on favourably by members present.

A small snapshot of the lighter side of the conference.

Nice to see old friends again…

and again…

Mr. ‘Benny’ Feest.

Relax and enjoy.

Which one’s ‘Old Rosie’?

…and the actress said to the bishop…

Hurrah, it’s your round!