Our annual membership survey not only collects quantitative responses, but also gives members a chance to provide written feedback on our membership services.
Once we've summarised the numerical results (see our Membership Survey report), the Project Office discusses the written comments in detail. As a member-driven organisation, the membership survey is a vital tool for addressing members' concerns, queries and suggestions.
Several survey respondents expressed a wish to see more regional groups and events, outside of London. Access to free meeting space and the location of our staff means it is often more economical for us to run events in London where we are based, meaning we can offer them free of charge or at a lower rate. We do, however, make an effort to run events in other cities where possible. This year we will be holding events in Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham. If you have an idea for an event in your region and would like to volunteer meeting room space, please get in touch. We have also increased our webinar offering so that members can access our CPD wherever they are in the world. Details of forthcoming webinars can be found on our Events page.
There were a number of specific comments from survey respondents. As the survey is anonymous we can't answer you directly, so I have summarised below:
- It would be interesting to know how you intend to theme future journals so that members can submit articles for consideration at the right time - To find out the theme and planned publication dates of our forthcoming journals, please see the side bar of the Reports & Guidance page of our website. We welcome suggestions and contributions of articles from members so please get in touch with our Publications Officer.
- Options to receive IES journal and other communications in a digital format (paperless policy) - You can sign up for web access only to the journal through the Members’ Area. Just click on ‘Email Services’ and tick the ‘Electronic Journal’ box.
- More journals published - Each journal issue takes a significant amount of time to prepare, and significant resources to design, print and post. Other organisations publish their journals more regularly but they are a much shorter length and are full of advertising. On balance, we think that four high quality journals per year, which examine an issue in depth, is preferable to a higher number of lower quality journals that only skim the surface of an issue.
- I'm unable to get access to the LinkedIn groups - Please get in touch with our Membership & Project Officer, who will talk you through this process. You need to join the IES main group before joining any of the special interest or regional groups.
- Job postings? - All jobs advertised with us can be seen on the Jobs page of our website and are also featured in the jobs section of our monthly e-newsletter. We would love to have more jobs on there, so next time a vacancy comes up in your business make sure you advertise with the IES.
- A membership level for people who have a professional interest in environmental science, but work in a slightly distant field - Our Affiliate membership level is perfect for this! Affiliate members receive our monthly e-newsletter and electronic access to all our publications, as well as discounts for IES events.
- More about REnvTech - An announcement and timetable for when we will start accepting applications is coming shortly.
- IES CPD recording tool could have a 'save draft' functionality. For example if you are entering details on the go via a iPhone or tablet then to able to save the draft to allow you to return later on at home/work to upload evidence - You can save your changes, even if they are in draft form, and then go back and edit them later. We only read your record once a year if you are being audited. We will give plenty of warning before we do so, to give you time to make any edits you wish.
- Could put a link to past events on the events page with links to videos - Great suggestion. We've now added a link to our YouTube channel on our Events page, where you can watch any past events which were filmed.
- I would like to see more legal interpretation of changes in environmental services, upcoming changes in legislation, new legislation and a summary of the implications of [what] these laws will mean in practice - We will be launching a new Policy page on the website later this year.
- CEnv in a Day workshop roadshow - We are working on an in-house version of the CEnv workshop - contact the office if you are interested in receiving more information.
We asked members to suggest topics that they would like to see covered in our journal, reports, guidance and analysis. Thank you to those who did; we will be considering these when planning our future publications, and we are already acting on one of the suggestions for a journal in 2018. Some of the suggestions have already been addressed in a number of formats. We have outlined these below for easy access. We will continue to engage with these issues through our events, publications, analysis and policy work.
- The impact of Brexit on the environment and associated legislation was discussed in several articles in our journal Quadrophilia: How decentralisation has helped the environment, in two webinars, and in several analysis and news pieces. It was also the focus of the 2016 Burntwood Lecture.
- Air quality and pollution was the sole topic of our most recent journal, Time for a new Clean Air Act?, in collaboration with the Institute of Air Quality Management (IAQM). This issue includes articles on vehicle emissions, local air quality management, and electric vehicles, to name a few. Some asked for continual updates on latest air quality news - for this, please see the IAQM website and Twitter page, and also the LinkedIn group if you are an IAQM member.
- The circular economy was introduced in a webinar at the end of last year, and discussed in more detail in our March 2015 journal New materials and the circular economy.
- Our next journal will be focusing on science's role in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals.
Many thanks to all who filled in the survey. Your responses are much appreciated and directly contribute towards making the IES a better organisation. At any time of the year you can make comments or suggestions to the IES office and we will try our best to act upon them.