The Constitutional Review Working Group (CWRG) has released a report following its recent consultation with members on ACS’s new constitution.

ACS members responded positively to the invitation to provide input on the question of what principles should drive the development of the constitution.

The consultation with members, which ran throughout October and early November, resulted in feedback from 160 contributors in the form of 30 written submissions, 400 postings to the online forum and meeting notes from 24 events.

Members were consulted via the CRWG website, events at Branch and national level, a series of national video meetings, and an online but interactive forum established by the Working Group.

CRWG co-convenor President-Elect Nick Tate said he welcomed the energy invested by members, and the clarity of the information they provided.

"It was particularly gratifying that the discussions, while lively, and embodying some diversity of opinions, were conducted in an entirely professional manner.

“The members' input has provided a firm foundation for the next phase, on the constitutional document's features, which is intended to commence in February."

Members reaffirmed the importance to them of the ACS as their professional society. Discussions emphasised the importance of criteria for entry, and for promotion to the various grades, with a strong emphasis on the professional division.

There was recognition that the Associate grade also needs more attention, to attract a stronger flow of Associates up to the professional grades.

Co-convenor Roger Clarke said the message was clearly conveyed that members have strong identification with their regional branches and chapters.

"They also place high value on professional networking as a significant component of events, and on the flexibility and dynamism of Special Interest Groups and communities-of-interest. These are recognised as essential to the retention of members, and as a selling-point for new members".

Members expressed the desire for the organisation to be much more agile, in order to address continual and rapid change in ICT, the diversity of professional profiles of employees in the ICT industry, and the varying expectations of members of different age-groups and at different stages of their careers.

To achieve agility, members perceive that there should be greater delegation of responsibilities to groups of members, in relation to both activities and policy formulation.

"Members recognise that all delegations must be subject to controls," Clarke said.

"However, members argue that this applies as much to the governing committee as it does to subsidiary committees at national and Branch levels, and the report includes some specific approaches that members suggest for implementation".

In addition, an electoral scheme is desired that achieves far more direct member involvement than the current electoral college arrangements, but that also protects against dominance by the larger numbers of members in larger states, Clarke added.