INSTITUTE OF PROFESSIONAL SOIL SCIENTISTS ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION THE ROLE OF A PROFESSIONAL INSTITUTE 1. The Institute of Professional Soil Scientists (IPSS), founded in 1991, is a professional body that aims to promote and enhance the status of soil science and allied disciplines. IPSS prescribes the professional standards accepted by its members and strives continually to advance their competence to scientific/technical expertise. The Institute aims at all times to: build an active membership of soil scientists to promote and support the application of soil science and its role in the conservation, management and utilisation of the world’s land-based resources; establish links with individuals, public/private Institutes and decision/policy making organisations (national and international) affecting activities within soil science and allied areas, such as land resource management, conservation policy and environmental protection; ensure that the authoritative voice of the Institute is heard on all matters of interest to its members, and the profession; provide a professional, effective and wide ranging service which is responsive to the wishes and requirements of the membership. The Institute will fulfil its representational role on behalf of the profession through a range of initiatives, including: initiate contacts and sustain dialogue with a range of public/private organisations at the Regional, National and International level to promote and enhance the status, involvement and work of soil scientists, and to review and respond to policy which affects soil science; working to ensure that soil scientists receive appropriate education and training prior to and during their career. Continue professional development services might include: guidance in setting up consultancies; guidance on acting as an expert witness; information on particular problems and requirements associated with conducting assignments in other countries; respond to enquiries, submit evidence or initiate publicity on issues where the views of professional soil scientists merit expression, or where professionalism in soil science needs representing or protecting; 2. 3. public promotion of the Institute and all aspects of the profession according to demand and circumstances, using all media channels; investigation and negotiation on behalf of members for personal services such as: reliable supplier(s) of professional indemnity insurance; agreement with the Inland Revenue to accept membership fees as tax deductible; publication, at regular intervals, of a Directory of member services for distribution to members and to client/employer bodies; circulation of a regular newsletter and information for members; organisation/sponsorship of meetings/seminars/forums (in collaboration with other bodies when appropriate) on topics of interest to members to promote scientific development, communication, understanding and professionalism among members and the general public; prepare and keep the membership up-to-date on all aspects of public policy involving soil-related issues, for example changes in environmental policy and/or standards. While the affairs of the Institute will be managed by the Council, members are encouraged to play their full part by promoting and strengthening the Institute for the good of the overall membership and the general public. All members are bound by the Institute’s Code of Conduct and professional competence is assured through strict entry requirements, continuing professional development and the validation of qualifying courses. 4. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR MEMBERSHIP Membership is open to all soil scientists and those with allied professional interests. To be eligible for registration, candidates must fulfil the following requirements: i ii Have an appropriate academic qualification. Have practical experience in one of the branches of the profession. Eligibility rests upon the strict application of these dual requirements. In cases where the basic educational requirement for membership cannot be fully met, periods of satisfactory experience longer than the prescribed minimum will be taken into account. Applicants holding established professional positions, and having long experience, will be considered in the light of their individual cases. 5. CLASSES OF MEMBERSHIP There are five categories of membership that can be achieved by application; the last three have corporate status and carry full voting rights. i Student Member: This non-corporate category aims to provide a foundation for future professional membership. It is offered to bona fide students attending approved full or part time degree or equivalent courses in soil science or related scientific subjects at universities or colleges. Minimum age 18. ii Associate Member: The category of Associate Member is primarily intended for recent graduates who are in the early stages of their career and are gaining experience prior to applying for corporate membership. The usual entrance qualification is a recognised honours degree (Table 1) but graduates with non-honours degrees or honours degrees in other subjects (Table 2) may be eligible if they are in employment which provides appropriate experience capable of leading to corporate membership. iii Member: The category of Member is the grade of corporate membership into which experienced soil scientists and allied disciplines normally seek entry. The entrance qualification is a recognised honours degree (Table 1) followed by a minimum of 5 years of suitable professional experience. Graduates with non-honours degrees or honours degrees in other subjects (Table 2) may be eligible but will normally be required to have gained at least 7 years suitable experience. iv Fellow: Council may award the Fellow category to members who have achieved an important level of responsibility and professional experience and have become recognised nationally/internationally within the profession. The candidate would normally have been a Member of the Institute for 5 years. The Fellow retains corporate status. v Non-Practising Member: This covers the Member who, for various reasons, is temporarily not practising professionally or is a retired colleague who wishes to contribute to Institute affairs. Corporate rights and privileges are retained. A. Abbreviated Titles The undernoted members shall be entitled to the exclusive use of appropriate initials after their names: Student Member Associate Member Member Fellow Non Practising Member No initials permitted No initials permitted M.I.Soil Sci. F.I.Soil Sci. Initials retained and shall use no other title or abbreviation to indicate their category within the Institute. Such letters may not be used by any person who has ceased to be a member, nor in any manner which the Council may determine to be inappropriate. B. Certification of Membership Subject to such regulations and payment of such fees as the Council may from time to time prescribe, the Council may issue to any member of any category, a certificate showing the category to which the member belongs. Every such certificate shall remain the property of, and shall on demand be returned to, the Institute. 6. ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS i. The minimum standard is normally that of 3 rd class honours degree in a relevant subject. Appropriate qualifications are listed in Table 1. Table 1 Undergraduate degrees Soil Science Agriculture Earth Science Environmental Science Forestry Geography Geology Postgraduate degrees Postgraduate courses, either taught or via research ii. A non-honours degree in the subjects listed in Table 1 and honours degrees in the subjects listed in Table 2 may be registered. Table 2 Science based honours degrees Technology based honours degrees (The subjects must be appropriate to the branch of soil science being practised by the candidate) iii. Candidates with qualifications other than those listed in Tables 1 and 2 and those without formal qualifications may be registered providing the period of satisfactory experience is longer than the prescribed minimum periods. ) ) ) with strong soils bias ) ) ) 7. PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE FOR MEMBER CATEGORY i. Candidates are assessed on the basis of professional experience. The periods of professional experience may include up to 2 years in full-time postgraduate studies that have led to a higher degree. ii. The professional experience of the candidate will normally be assessed from a professional report supplemented where appropriate, with accompanying professional documents. A professional interview may be required. 8. PROFESSIONAL REPORT AND DOCUMENTS The report, which shall accompany the application form, should cover training and experience received since first graduating and include the levels of responsibility and names of supervisors. It should highlight any special technical problems covered and specific areas within which extensive experience has been obtained. Supporting documents should be submitted indicating the level of the work and these could be in the form of reports, papers, plans, maps, design documents, teaching syllabuses, etc. 9. PROFESSIONAL TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE Soil science embraces a diverse range of activities and any guidelines on professional training and experience must be flexible enough to meet individual needs and circumstances. There are certain fields of training and experience that will normally be highly desirable for all soil scientists and these can be supplemented by others that are likely to be more specific to the individual. i. Type of Training and Experience desirable for all Soil Scientists The list below provides guidelines only and it is not expected that a candidate will cover all aspects: A. Opportunity to evaluate and interpret the various sources of soil data in the context of agricultural, horticultural, forestry, environmental and social requirements. Applications of information technology. Field and laboratory assessment methods: planning, measurements, analytical techniques, mapping, classification. Preparation and presentation of oral and written reports. Co-ordination and participation in work programmes on an interdisciplinary basis with other specialists. Project identification, proposal preparation, knowledge of contractual procedures, including tender documents. Evidence of basic mathematical competence and numeracy. Awareness of environmental, economic and social factors, including basic resource development, strategy and planning. Involvement in continuous education and training, e.g. attendance at short courses, conferences and scientific meetings. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. ii. Type of Training and Experience desirable in Specific Areas Most soil scientists will be applying their skills in soil physics, chemistry, microbiology, pedology, surveying or engineering, etc. within one or more of the following fields: A. Survey and Land Evaluation Survey, classification and documentation of soils, soil/plant/climatic interactions, interpretation of soils information for evaluation of alternate land use, suitability of soils and land for specific agricultural, environmental, amenity uses and enterprises, application of remote sensing techniques and development of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for land evaluation. B. Agricultural, Horticultural and Forestry Extension and Development Use of soil examination for assessing crop problems, cultivation needs, crop suitability, strategies, diagnosis of mineral deficiencies, prediction of crop response to applied nutrients, assessment and control of chemical pollution of soils, control of fertiliser in soils and soil-less growing media including the planning of fertiliser use based on soil analysis. C. Environmental Monitoring, Protection and Management Monitoring and analysis of soils, water quality and contaminants, evaluation of land management systems in terms of their environmental impact, determination of effects of toxic materials on soil biomass and plant growth, development of sampling, monitoring and evaluation programmes for assessment of pollution and environmental changes, influences of water abstraction on vegetation cover, impact of land management practices on archaeological and historical features of the landscape, evaluation and monitoring of soil erosion and factors affecting soil loss. D. Soil and Water Engineering Soil evaluation for irrigation and drainage requirements, irrigation scheduling, design of irrigation and drainage systems, scheme design for erosion control, water harvesting requirements in arid areas, design for small scale water supply, restoration procedure for mineral working, soil handling and amelioration plans, supervision of operations, reclamation of saline and acid sulphate soils, soil stabilisation procedures. E. Research and Development Research and development topics within relevant fields of work. To illustrate – a soil chemist could research nutrient uptake and availability to crops, nutrient dynamics in soil, soil/water pollution, interactions between soil particles. A candidate in research must demonstrate through reports, papers, books, etc. that he/she has made significant original contributions to soils knowledge. F. Education Candidates must be involved in advanced level soils teaching for about half their time or more, initiate and implement curriculum and syllabus development and be involved with examination boards and development of teaching aids. Involvement with research and development or extension is also desirable. 10. COUNCIL The Council shall consist of: One President One President-Elect The Immediate Past President An Honorary Treasurer An Honorary Secretary An Honorary Editor of Newsletter/Journal 6 Ordinary Members* * should include representation from the BSSS Council The President shall retire annually at the end of each session but shall be eligible for re-election. No person shall hold the office of President for more than three years. The President-Elect is, or will have been, a member of Council. The Honorary Treasurer and Honorary Secretary shall be corporate members. The Ordinary Members shall be representative of the Corporate grades of membership. Two ordinary members shall retire at the end of each session. No person shall hold office as an ordinary member of Council for more than three years in succession. The Council may fill any casual vacancy and can establish ad-hoc committees. Each ad-hoc committee will include at least one Council member. i. Election of the Council Elections to Council will be by postal ballot. Not later than seven weeks before the Annual General Meeting, any two corporate members may nominate any duly qualified person to fill any vacancy on Council by delivery of such nomination in writing to the Honorary Secretary, together with the written consent of the nominee. At least four weeks before the Annual General Meeting in each year, the Council shall send to each member a list of duly qualified persons whom it nominates, together with other nominations, for election to Council. The persons elected shall take office at the beginning of the following session. ii. Procedures At least seven clear days shall be given of every Meeting of Council. Such notice shall specify generally the business to be transacted by the Meeting. The financial year of the Institute shall end on the 31 st day of December in each year. The accounts of the Institute shall be made up each year to that date and, after having been examined and found correct by an Auditor and approved by the Council, shall be laid down before the following Annual General Meeting. The Honorary Treasurer may, with the consent of the Council, invest in the name of the Institute any monies not immediately required for the purposes of the Institute in or upon any of the investments authorised by the Trustee Investing Act 1961, or by any statutory modification thereof for the time being in force. iii. Fees/Subscriptions The application fee for members in each grade shall be as recommended by the Council and confirmed by members in the Annual General Meeting. The annual subscription for members in each grade shall be as recommended by the Council and confirmed by members in the Annual General Meeting. On transfer from one membership grade to another, the transfer fee for members in each grade shall be as recommended by the Council and confirmed by members in the Annual General Meeting. iv. Termination of Membership Membership of the Institute shall cease and the name of the member be removed from the appropriate Directory at the discretion of the Council: a. b. if any member fails to pay the annual subscription within three months after it becomes due; for any other reason at the discretion of the Council including conduct prejudicial to the professional status of the Institute. 11. FEES AND SUBSCRIPTIONS i. An application fee must accompany each application and the level of this fee may be changed at any time on the recommendation of the Council. The fee is not returnable as it is intended to cover the costs incurred by the Institute in processing the application. If the application is unsuccessful the fee will be forfeited. ii. Subscriptions are due on confirmation of membership and will be valid for 12 months. Notification to the member will be given when subsequent subscriptions are required. iii. Direct Debit is the preferred method of payment of subscriptions. Direct debit is possible only from those with bank accounts in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (including National Giro). iv. Cheques, money orders, etc. should be made payable to “The Institute of Professional Soil Scientists”. v. The scale of charges for fees and subscriptions is shown on a separate sheet. Members who reside outside the United Kingdom must make payment in pounds sterling, free of all charges and deductions. 12. DIRECTORY A Directory will be maintained containing the names and addresses of the members together with the membership grade and field of specialism. The Directory will be published and made available to members, clients and others. 13. CODE OF CONDUCT Objectives The objectives of the Institute are: To advance the study and practice of soil science and allied disciplines, to develop their application within the industry and society, and to promote and improve the professional standards of members so engaged. To promote awareness and understanding of the overall global importance of soils, and to encourage the responsible use of the Earth’s land resources; To prescribe and uphold standards of qualifications, competence and conduct; To co-operate with universities, other educational institutions and authorities, for the initiation and furtherance of education in Soil Science or practice; To establish, maintain and promote the professional qualifications, status and standards of those engaged in the practice of soil science, land use and environmental management; To promote an ethic of environmental care within the profession and to organisations employing members; and To act, both nationally and internationally, in an advisory consultative and representative capacity in all matters connected with soils, related to the above objectives. In fulfilling the objectives of the Institute as laid down in Clause 13, members are bound by this Code of Professional Conduct, which demonstrates and enforces their standard of commitment, integrity, self discipline and professional competence. Acceptance of the code is a condition of membership. The Council of the Institute has the right and duty to remove from membership or take other action as appropriate, regarding any member who has contravened the Code. In accordance with Clause 10ii of the Articles of Association, this Code will take effect on the date of adoption by the Annual General Meeting. The Code shall be construed in accordance with the Laws of England and Wales, or of Scotland, and the members hereby subject to the jurisdiction of the Courts for such purpose. Basic Principles Members of the IPSS shall always give priority to respecting and protecting the environment in the widest sense during their professional work and agree to: encourage the integration of environmental considerations in land management, the effective application of international conventions, national laws and regulation of directives relating to environmental matters; promote the exchange of information on soil science and related environmental matters locally, nationally and internationally. Professional Obligations Members shall at all times: uphold the dignity and reputation of the profession of Soil Science by safeguarding the world’s land resource and the public interest in matters concerning the environment; discharge their responsibilities with integrity and due scientific and technical competence; accept fully the moral, creative, cultural, scientific and economic responsibilities and challenges implied by environmental stewardship; ensure that at all times they do not do, or omit to do, anything which might bring the Institute into disrepute or be inconsistent with or harmful to the objectives of the Institute; uphold the principle of equal opportunity and non-discrimination in all activities; maintain a high standard of awareness of new developments in environmental practice, ecology and environmental management; conform to the Institute’s requirements for continuing professional development; wherever possible, make scientific data collected during the course of the work available to appropriate recording centres; be held responsible for the acts of staff under their supervision in so far as they relate to matters coming within the scope of the Institute’s working practice, whether or not the staff are members of the Institute; recognise and respect the professional status of fellow members and members of other qualified institutions active in environmental management; not represent themselves as spokesperson for the Institute without the Council’s authority; ensure that they (or their employer) carries adequate professional indemnity insurance. Employment Principles In their dealings with employers, members shall: inform their employers of this Code and advise them that all professional business will be conducted in accordance with its provisions; keep good faith with their employers by agreeing at the outset the terms and conditions under which any services will be provided. Defence of Members The Institute will support any member who may be subject to improper pressure by or on behalf of their employer with the object of preventing the normal exercise of their profession or biasing their professional advice, and shall provide all reasonable assistance to any member who is unjustly accused, criticised or suffers professional discrimination in pursuance of the Code. Any fees or costs incurred in providing such support may be charged to the Member. Interpretation Any dispute concerning the interpretation of the Code shall be referred to the Council (through the Secretary) which may, if necessary, appoint an independent expert to give an interpretation. The Council or any appointed person shall be deemed to act as an expert and not as an arbitrator. Such decision shall be within 30 days of notice and shall be final and binding on the parties. Any fees or costs for so acting shall be borne by the parties in equal shares unless circumstances (i.e. particular conduct by either party) dictate that a particular party shall bear all of such costs. In the event that the Council of the Institute is one of the disputing parties, an independent expert will be appointed jointly by both parties and any fees or costs jointly shared. Again, such person shall be deemed to act as an expert and not as an arbitrator; shall give the decision within 30 days of notice and such decision shall be final and binding on both parties. 14. DISCRIPLINARY CODE Rules of Conduct The Council may, from time to time, promulgate rules of conduct which shall be in accordance with the Code of Conduct and all members will be required to conform. The Rules may be amended, varied or rescinded, provided that they shall not be inconsistent with the principles of the Code. Procedure for Malpractice Adjudication Any Member may bring to the attention of the Institute (normally in writing to the Secretary) evidence of conduct in breach of this Code by a member to be dealt with in accordance with the Procedure of Malpractice appended herewith in accordance with Clause 13 of the Articles of Association of the Institute. Details of the case will be heard by a specially appointed tribunal which will then make a recommendation on disciplinary (if any) action to be taken. Such tribunal may request a hearing to cross examine witnesses and the accused. The concerned Member may be suspended during the process. Associated fees and costs will be levied. Decision of Council can be appealed by either party. After due and fair hearing the Tribunal may recommend that the: Member be expelled and struck from the Directory in the case of gross breach of conduct; Member be cautioned in the case of a lesser misconduct and such caution may be accompanied by a fine, probation or re-classification of membership; Case be dismissed. Where a Member is expelled or cautioned, the Membership Committee shall be notified and details of the case placed on the Institute files. 15. CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT The Institute seeks to ensure that Members: possess the scientific knowledge needed to perform their work effectively; have the necessary management skills to ensure that their views have an impact on decision making; skills are fully acknowledged in their membership; and are recompensed through salary and career structures. To this end, the Institute will strive to be involved at the forefront in planning the future of professionals, both those practising now and potential members. Where possible, the Institute will seek to guide those who provide education and training facilities in ways which will enhance course content and the development of appropriate graduate skills. In doing so, the Institute will co-operate with the BSSS, universities, other educational institutions and authorities. 16. SESSIONS AND MEETINGS The annual session of the Institute shall begin at the close of the Annual General Meeting and terminate at the close of the following Annual General Meeting. The meetings of the Institute shall be held at such places and at such times as the Council may appoint. i. Ordinary Meetings of the Institute shall be conducted as prescribed by the Council from time to time and the Council shall determine the conditions of admission of such meetings. ii. The Annual General Meeting will be convened to consider the Report of the Council and the Accounts of the Institute for the past year, to appoint Officers and Auditors (with the approval of the Council), to transact any other business that may be properly transacted at an Annual General Meeting and of which notice in writing shall have been given to the Secretary at least 28 days before such Meeting. All members shall be allowed to attend and vote. iii. An Extra-ordinary General Meeting may be convened by the Council, after giving at least 28 days notice to members. 17. SECRETARY The Secretary of the Institute shall be appointed by the Council, who shall determine the terms and conditions of the appointment. 18. ACTIVITIES i. Constantly review, respond to and initiate contacts with a range of public bodies and organisations with the aim of expanding the involvement and work of soil scientists. The Institute will mostly fulfil its representational role on behalf of the profession by responding to enquiries or submitting evidence or initiating publicity on issues where the views of professional soil scientists merit expression or where professionalism in soil science needs representing or protecting. ii. The Institute will aim to ensure that soil scientists receive appropriate education and training, both prior to and throughout their careers. This will encompass professional development and guidance, e.g. in setting up consultancies, on acting as an expert witness, information on particular problem and requirements associated with work in the UK and overseas. Courses and seminars (sometimes in collaboration with other bodies) will be organised in order to fulfil these responsibilities. iii. Publicly promote the Institute and all aspects of professional soil science, using all media channels. iv. Explore and arrange personal services for members and their family in such areas as insurance, travel, discounts, etc.