Updates to our Bylaws & Regulations

There have been no major changes to our Bylaws and Regulations since we were incorporated by Royal Charter in 1982. The Institute continues to grow year on year and as we enter a period of unprecedented growth in forestry with political support for tree planting and management, we need to ensure that our governing documents are fit for purpose for a modern, forward-looking profession.

A Message from the President

“Changes to the Bylaws & Regulations governing the Institute are long overdue and much needed. The past twelve months has amply demonstrated that the current Bylaws & Regulations are not fit for purpose! The changes recently approved by members at the AGM offer the Institute, led by Council, greater flexibility and authority to act, with accountability within a framework of well-established effective governance.

Changing climate poses the greatest challenge society has ever faced. The Institute and members will collectively need to meet that challenge. Whether through offering mitigation, adaptation, innovation or collective advocacy, for the critical role that trees, forests and wood will have to play. This challenge extends to providing a credible voice that will champion the sustainable management of wider ecosystems. The Institute will need the capacity, agency, to provide leadership at all levels in our sectors, working with stakeholders to achieve this, through leadership, learning and advocacy.

The integration of expertise that encompass such disciplines as, for example, logistics, timber harvesting and marketing, plant pathology, climate science, soils and water, communications, engineering and environmental specialisms and compliance, must lead to the strengthening of our ability to both influence and deliver sustainable solutions. It is critical to the development of competence in health and safety management. Protecting those working in our industry’s supply chains, which currently experience such a high risk of death and injury compared to other industries. It’s important for raising the reputation of professionals in allied industries and with potential for mitigation of reputational damage to the industry and the individual.

Respondents to our research have unanimously agreed that technical membership offers great potential to help address skills shortages and the need to bring some roles up to recognised professional status. The Institute has amply demonstrated its ability to rise to challenges in the past twelve months and to manage the consequences of rapid change. For these reasons Council will support the investment needed to provide robust assessment, first-class service provision and support for an extended membership.

Technical membership will be a key focus of the Institute’s strategic planning over the next three years and beyond, contributing to the pillars of our strategy, a Strong Profession, a Strong Voice and Strong Organisation and strong future. Now is the time to take these bold steps forward.”

Alastair Sandels FICFor

2021 revisions to the Bylaws & Regulations

These changes aim to improve the clarity and consistency between the documents, to ensure that they adopt best practice and to remove any inconsistencies with what happens in practice. Members voted at our AGM in favour of the following:

  • Revise the definition of ‘forestry’ to an internationally accepted norm and incorporate the term ‘arboriculture’ reflecting the importance of this branch of the profession
  • Allow for electronic means of attendance and voting at General Meetings
  • Allow virtual and hybrid General Meetings
  • Remove the role of Treasurer – this is a staff role so it’s not necessary to define in our governing documents as it would fall under the responsibility of the Executive Director to recruit a Finance Manager or Director
  • Add the role of Executive Director which does not currently exist in the Bylaws
  • Have only one type of Regulation requiring Council approval rather than special resolution at a General meeting (this also requires an update to the Charter) but crucially keeping subscription changes a voting matter for members
  • The addition of Technical Member grade of membership and what rights this should have
  • Removal of the Terms of Reference from the governing documents – these will be reviewed and updated as a separate piece of work
  • Removal of the complaint’s procedure from the governing documents – this will be reviewed and updated as a separate piece of work.

Definition of forestry

Members have voted to revise the definition of ‘forestry’ to an internationally accepted norm and incorporate the term ‘arboriculture’ reflecting the importance of urban forestry:

Forestry shall include arboriculture and all aspects of the science, economics, conservation, amenity and art of establishing, cultivating, protecting, managing, harvesting, and marketing forests, woodlands and trees for economic, environmental or social outcomes.

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