31 March 2021

IOM3 Governance Modernisation – Phase 3

Following on from the governance changes that created the Advisory Council, Executive Board and the four pillars of IOM3 in 2019 (Phases 1 and 2), the Trustees are now consulting members on the third phase of changes.

Membership grade structure

The main part of these changes is a modernisation of the IOM3 membership grade structure. The current structure mainly dates from 1997, with some additions due to mergers since then. It is based around the then-current stages leading to professional registration through Engineering Council. However, that system has long since changed. IOM3 has also become far broader in its technical outreach in the last 20 years and now includes practitioners for whom engineering registration is not relevant to their professional lives. IOM3 also now offers registration with the Science Council and the Society for the Environment. Other professional institutions have changed their membership grade structures over this time, one or two more than once.

In drawing up the proposed new structure, Trustees have looked at best practice in membership bodies, examined what other relevant professional bodies do, considered where members sit currently, and reflected on the feedback the IOM3 team receives from actual and potential members. Trustees consider these proposals will offer members a structure that better meets the professional needs of the wide technical communities of IOM3 and that reflects best practice within the professional body community. This structure is also much more straightforward to understand, and it has clear professional progression pathways. The proposed new structure has six main grades instead of the current thirteen:


Proposed Grade

Fellow (FIMMM)†

Fellow (FIMMM)†


Member (MIMMM)†

Professional Member† (MIMMM)

Associate (AIMMM)†


Associate (AIMMM)†

Professional Graduate (ProfGradIMMM)

Graduate (GradIMMM)

Technician (TIMMM)† 21 and below


Technician (TIMMM)†

Technician (TIMMM)† 22-27

Technician (TIMMM)† 28 and above

Post-graduate Student



Affiliate 27 and below


Affiliate 28 and above



† Voting Grade *Redundant Grade

There is no change proposed to Fellow; the three Technician grades will be simplified into one and the two Affiliate grades into one. (The unused grade “Companion” will be removed.)

The main simplification comes from the merger of Professional Graduate and Graduate into Associate. These grades were originally intended to provide a staging post on the way to another grade of membership and registration in the old model, but this is no longer relevant. This merger will however enable members in those grades to keep a set of ‘post-nominals’ (letters after their name to show their professional status) and in addition will enable them to become voting members of the Institute. Associate membership will be open to individuals who have completed an HE or FE course or apprenticeship in a materials cycle or cognate subject. The minimum qualification level required to be awarded this grade would be a RQF L4/SCQF L7 (HNC) or equivalent. There will be no work experience requirement.

A second simplification will be to have only one Student grade, which will be open to everyone on relevant HE and FE courses and apprenticeships, and those undertaking postgraduate study or research.

Implications for membership fees

As part of its work to promote inclusion, diversity, and equality, IOM3 has removed age-based elements of its work wherever appropriate (for example with its Awards). In line with this, the different age-related fees in the Technician grade will be removed and replaced instead with levels that increase with the time in the grade to recognise the different career stages of members. A similar approach will be introduced for the newly-widened Associate grade. These levels will be set to match the fees of the current grades where possible and the Student grade fee structure will also mirror current practice. There will only be one fee level for Affiliate members because the current lower level is primarily designed for recently-graduated students who already have over a year of free membership as part of their package and will now at that point be eligible for Associate membership. The proposals will not change the fee levels for the other grades.

Other proposed changes

Alongside these changes, Trustees are also seeking the views of members on eight other sets of proposals:

  • Tidying up definitions
  • General Meetings arrangements – allowing for virtual meetings and clarifying various processes
  • Change to co-opted members of Executive Board
  • Clarification of membership status of Executive Board members
  • New provisions for removal of an unsatisfactory Trustee
  • Grace period for paying subscription fees before lapsing
  • Introduce gender-neutral language
  • Other minor changes

Full consultation

A full consultation document, including all the details of the proposed changes and information on how to comment via our survey, is avaliable via our Governance page at www.iom3.org/about-us/governance/governance-modernisation.html

The consultation is open until midnight (BST) on Wednesday 30 June 2021. The intention is to ask for approval of the proposals at a General Meeting in September (details to follow).