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Our current Royal Charter and Bye-laws

Royal Charter and Bye-laws – Member Consultation

The IET was founded in 1871 and incorporated by Royal Charter in 1921. 

The current Royal Charter of the IET was allowed by the Privy Council on 14 November 2007 and came into effect from 1 January 2008, and the current Bye-laws were approved by the Privy Council on 27 September 2016 and came into effect on 1 October 2016.

The Board of Trustees reviews the Bye-laws from time to time, to consider whether amendments or additions are required. 

In 2021 it established a Working Party to do this, which reported to the Board in May 2022. 

It recommended a number of changes to the Bye-laws and suggested that the membership be consulted on two matters.  Its report was endorsed by the Board of Trustees.

A number of Bye-law amendments will be proposed to the membership in due course.  They fall into three categories:

  • Professional conduct – amendments to modernise the Bye-laws relating to breaches of professional conduct by aligning with the requirements of the Engineering Council on standards of conduct and non-compliance with Continuing Professional Development requirements.
  • Modernising governing instruments – to modernise elements of governance, including the ability to allow virtual attendance and voting at Annual General Meetings and the need to physically sign on admission as a member.  Also to update wording around powers and the management of conflicts of interests, in accordance with modern good practice and the expectations of the Charity Commission, and to provide clarity on both personal benefits and conflicts of interest.
  • Administration – administrative changes such as the removal of one instance of gender specific language and clauses relating to the 2016 transition arrangements.  These have been deliberately kept to the minimum to keep the changes manageable.

The Board of Trustees wishes to seek members’ views about two issues, to ascertain whether members favour a change and which of several options is preferred.

  • A proposal concerning Professional Conduct which recommended adding either or both of the words “respect” and “dignity” to Bye-laws 29-30.  The membership is asked on whether such an addition would be desirable.
  • A proposal to amend Bye-law 40, regarding the number of members required to requisition a Special General Meeting.  The requirement for 50 members to sign a requisition was set in 1921, at which time there were approximately 10,000 members.  The number of voting members is now approximately 105,000.  It had been suggested that the number should be increased to reflect the current situation or be linked to a specific percentage of voting members.  The membership is asked whether an absolute number or a percentage would be preferable.

You are invited to send your comments on the Royal Charter and Bye-laws and, in particular on the two proposals described above. 

Please write to the Chief Executive and Secretary at by 15 August 2022.