Every so often the topic of Corporate Membership comes to the fore.
It is something that the Society experimented with in its early days, to disastrous effect, but has been looked at several times over the years.
How and what formula would, or could you apply to any company to make it fair on everyone?
Why should a company that has 10 consultants pay the same as a Member who is a sole practitioner – when both get the same benefits but the ‘corporate’ may well be making more use of the Society’s resources?
Why should a corporate with 100 consultants brand itself and all 100 consultants as members of the Society when the Society does not know who the consultants are, normally, until something goes wrong, and the client of the company brings a complaint citing the individual as the consultant in question?
Around 22 years ago we introduced, what was and still is, we felt, the fairest method, and that is the Affiliated Membership.
The Affiliate Membership grade is one where the company can, if they wish, pay the membership annually against an annual invoice based on the numbers of Consultants they have, or more commonly, each consultant can be invoiced individually for their annual subscription.
We cannot see why anyone can object to this fee, arguably one could say that the Affiliate does not have access to the Technical Help facility offered by the Society; but logically, would you be comfortable with your consultants calling a third party for advice when you should be giving it, and don’t forget the Company, can ask for technical assistance on behalf of its consultant or drafters, it’s your business and it’s your consultant and your PII, but the Society does not want to get into disputes about who said what and when which is why we only accept technical assistance (except in emergencies) via email.
The Society also has costs, which is why the Affiliated Membership helps us, membership fees alone do not cover all our expenses, and in a fast changing world of complex and blended families, taxes and all the other unforeseen items, the Society above all others has to keep investing in knowledge to ensure you are kept informed and able to be the best.
One last comment. If your company is under the Society’s PII scheme through Jelf/Hiscox, and the company receives a notification, and the consultant is not a registered member, the claim will be void.
Brian W McMillan