Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014
The Board undertakes a number of tasks at its meetings and follow a typical agenda that allows for the fair and considered administration of the society. The activities in which we engage are very similar to those of a Chapter Management Committees (CMC). Minutes of
previous meetings and actions arising are tabled and reported on, outcomes are discussed, and, any issues arising that are necessary for completion or advancing the activity are allocated for action. The inclusion of items that are in addition to the current activities of the Board are made through the agenda item of ‘other business.’ This can come from any communication or correspondence received by the society, or, from any request by any member of the society that is tabled through a Board member. This is not a unique approach but one offered by ASIC as one that has been tried and tested over many years by countless organisations and it works very well. It has been included hear because you, the members of the society, should be aware that you can communicate at anytime with either their CMC, which is preferable for many reasons, or, the Board directly if they so wish. It is your society. The CMC and the Board are tasked with running it certainly but it does so on behalf of the membership.
The items currently before the board which occupy much of its time are:
- Financial position of the society
- The Procedures Manual
- Succession planning and formation of sub‐committees for; Constitution & By‐laws (C+B), Status and Qualification (S+Q), & the two new sub‐committees of Conduct and Ethics (C+E) and the Disciplinary Committee.
- Strategic directions – SPARC & SPARC Design
- Publications and Marketing
- Lighting Guides
- Corporate Brand and Website
This is not an exhaustive list by any means but they are the main areas the Board is working on at this time and will provide the framework for the remainder of this report.
Financial position of the society.
As you would have seen from the last annual report the society posted as significant deficit for its operations last financial year. This was the first deficit for the society in three years. This was mainly through some significant shortfalls in state awards dinners and the National Awards Program that ran immediately after SPARC and the principal failure was to attract any sponsorship. Avoidance of these outcomes are essential for the society to flourish, and the way forward for the society is for more rigorous control of membership funds. Initiatives will be scoped and costed thoroughly within the budget, and expenditure closely monitored to ensure expectations are met. This applies at both Board and CMC level. The CMC will continue to determine their own expenditure through their state budget. The Board has no plans to alter this because this system works well if responsibly enacted. These recent deficits are thankfully rare and result from poor monitoring and lack of action rather than a breakdown in the system.
More discussion on income streams and expenditure incurred by Board activities such as use of Skype or Go‐To meeting offer significant benefits and are ongoing. The Board will also investigate value for money across all expenditure items. However, these areas often
contain substantial legacy issues such that abrupt changes on the basis of lower cost may cause more harm than good. Outcomes will be reported on at a later date.
The Procedures Manual ‐ The Procedures Manual exercise is a migration of key procedural elements from the constitution and by‐laws into a manual of procedures that offers greater flexibility and clearer direction to CMC’s, sub committees and new Board members. The production of the Procedures Manual has been an item for far too long on the Board’s agenda and must be completed as soon as practically possible, certainly within the next 12‐ 18 months but hopefully sooner.
The intension of the Procedures Manual is to capture and outline clearly in one document the key procedures and responsibilities of those entities and office bearers within the society. In this way anyone joining the Board, a CMC or a sub‐committee will be able to review the Procedures Manual and gain the guidance and direction they need to fulfil their new role. Eventually it will also offer the same to the general membership where their rights, obligations and administrative processes are listed. Whilst the Manual will embody constitutional and by‐law content it can be far more fluid in accommodating minor changes and this avoids the more rigorous and involved protocol of making such changes to the constitution or by‐laws. Just to make this very clear, the Procedures Manual does not replace the constitution or by‐laws, these remain as the regulatory instruments of the society. The Procedures Manual is a ‘how to’ set of procedures, explanations and pathways to instruct those engaged with society activities how to go about them in a constitutionally and by‐law correct manner.
Current activities before the Board on this issue are for the company secretary, Bryan Douglas, and the nation President, Barry Gull, to meet with the Derrick Kendrick, Mick Trounson and Brian Ellis of the Constitution and By‐laws committee to iron out a pathway for completion of the Procedures Manual. This has yet to be arranged but is likely not to occur before the next Board Meeting in mid February.
More on this will be reported at a later date.
Education ‐ Continuation of the education initiative following the education summit meeting in Sydney earlier this year. The primary aims of this summit were to examine the education environment for IESANZ endorsed courses within Australia and New Zealand and also
examine what options exist for those states which currently have no IESANZ accredited education outlet, these being South Australia and Western Australia. The discussion that followed made it quite clear that the government imposed regulations that surround courses offered through tertiary institutions and recognised by them are rigorous and inflexible in making accommodation for those that wish to undertake their courses. This was certainly the reason behind the direction that the QUT course must now take. It was also clear that the costs of these courses varied significantly and that were generally considered as high and beyond the reach of many wishing to obtain the necessary education in lighting. In all instances where regulations were an issue these were beyond the control of the institutions involved and whilst these regulations were an impediment there were quite sound reasons why they exist. The issue of cost was a key item, but as with the government regulation, beyond the influence of the course co‐ordinators and set by institutions, and once subsidies were taken into account is really only a reflection of the cost of higher education in Australia and New Zealand.
The Board resolved to investigate the option of offering its own course in South Australia and Western Australia. This was seen as a necessary action to take to ensure continuity of supply of higher levels of membership. The course follows the framework of the old CNF 76 syllabus with minor changes and additions required to ensure currency and be comprehensive. The CNF 76 syllabus is a two year program that has been used as the substantive basis for the education audits the society undertakes, and is considered the
standard suitable for the education component required for Technical Associate of the society and on to Member. Year one has been written, and with thanks to the assistance provided by both SA and WA members both corporate and individual, will be available for delivery in February 2014. The second year material is being worked on currently, with the intension of no interruption to delivery for those graduating year one that wish to go on to year two.
In addition, the Board has resolved to work toward having the society recognised as being an accredited training provider. This gives us ownership of the material, and the ability to offer the course nationally within Australia.
This endeavour has been a significant step forward for the society and higher levels of lighting education in general.
The Enlightenment program which is the basic/entry level education program continues. It is the intension of the Board to market the course beyond the conventional areas of electrical wholesalers and lighting retailers to sectors that would benefit from the knowledge imparted as well as raising the profile of the society and accessing opportunities for engagement in these sectors for our membership. Discussions about this are ongoing and will be reported on at a later date.
Awards ‐ From a Board perspective Awards essentially means the National Awards and these will now be incorporated within SPARC Design for 2014. This will avoid the conflict that was so detrimental to the 2013 program. Planning has started on how the presentation within SPARC Design 2014 will be made, and planning for the judging will also commence early in the New Year. State based awards continue to be well run and no plans are currently on the Board’s horizon to affect or alter how states go about this. At this point I believe it beneficial to point out that the IESANZ puts great store in the fact that where it is practical to do so each entrant is physically viewed by the judges, this is at odds with the trend to judge installations on photographic evidence alone. In this sense the exercise remains a visual assessment of an installation, people seeing what other people will see rather than images containing the perceptions and artistic license of a photographer. Lighting, and the context in which it is placed conveys far more than can be captured by camera alone. Once more we are indebted to our judges for giving of their time to assist in our awards program.
Strategic Directions ‐ This essentially deals with the relationship between the Lighting Council of Australia (LCA) and the society as they deal with issues within the lighting industry pertinent to their respective interest areas. There are number of elements within the lighting industry in which the LCA and the society share common interests such as standards, government regulation and the general perception of the lighting industry by the wider community. We also have joint ventures in SPARC and SPARC Design. The executive of the LCA and the society hold meetings of the Strategic Directions Committee (SDC) to discuss these issues. This occurs on average about every six months or so as needs arise. The discussions encompass the mutual interests outlined above and details of the society’s involvement are covered in other areas of this report under their respective subjects. Areas that will need to be covered separately are those of SPARC and SPARC Design. These are events that have many facets but essentially are events held in alternate years that showcase the lighting industry from a technology and design perspective and the LCA and the society are the joint stakeholders. The LCA and the society occupy positions on the SDC which provides policy direction for the SPARC Organising Committee (SOC) or SPARC Design Organising Committee (SDOC). The LCA and the society meet the expenses of their members that participate in the organisation of the event, with the intension that each event be self funded from sponsorship or other revenue streams. SPARC has been successfully run for two iterations and SPARC Design only for one, with Sydney being chosen as the perpetual host city for its international identity and as a partner with the Vivid festival and the cooperation of Events New South Wales. All these were seen as being best fit scenarios for showcasing the lighting industry in the southern hemisphere.
SPARC Design 2014 is the current event and it’s planning is well underway. With SPARC 2014 we are fortunate in being able to be embedded within DesignEX being held from 28th ‐30th May 2014, at the Glebe Island event space. With the DesignEX and patrons being exactly the target audience for SPARC Design this opportunity was seen as an ideal outcome that will be an excellent foundation on which to plan the event. More on the content of SPARC Design will be distributed by SPARC Design itself in the coming months.
CPD ‐ Continued Professional Development is a necessary part of most professional working lives and include all forms of endeavour with the lighting design profession being no different. Currently only the grade of RLP has compulsory CPD as part of its conduct framework but all higher technical grades of practicing and assessing persons will be added to this in the coming months. Why is it necessary to have the other technical grades of (MIES and above) undertake compulsory CPD? There are a number of tasks that the wider community wishes to have either certified or sanctioned by an appropriately trained person, these include lighting design to appropriate standards, BCA J6 assessments and so on. Many of these tasks can and are undertaken by an MIES or higher grade, and the society is very pleased that this recognition is growing following many years of advocacy by past and current members of the board. As a board we need to ensure that appropriate conduct and level of competency demonstrated by our technical grade members is sufficiently maintained and CPD is a key part of this. The current view of the board is that the grade of RLP will attract a higher CPD point count as a predominantly design oriented membership grade the work these people do is exposed to more regulation and hence the need to be across these regulations is heightened. MIES and higher grades held by those members that offer such advice will attract less CPD point collection over the evaluation period but it will be necessary none the less. This may not be seen as palatable by all members but it is nothing more than a responsible approach to a wider community need.
For those not familiar with the CPD process I would urge you to go to the appropriate page of our website for more details, however, it is simply the collection of a number of points for a range of activities collected over an assessment period. Those that need to maintain their CPD will need to record the points they received for the activity they undertook and when this activity was undertaken. The society has no wish to burden anyone with more work than is necessary but such a system as CPD can only be undertaken in this way. It is the intention of the society to make this record keeping as easy as possible and planning to be able to do this through the Member Management System (MMS) is underway. A member need only log on to the society website, navigate to the appropriate page and record their CPD points and how these were earned and when. Please note that this facility is not yet available as testing is still underway. The society will inform all members when this facility will be available.
Currently, those members that have to maintain their CPD will need to maintain their own
records for now. It is envisaged that the need for higher technical grades to undertake
compulsory CPD will coincide with t he record keeping facility going live.
Standards ‐ The work the society does on standards continues much as it ever has thanks largely to those that give of their time to work on standards committees. The relatively recent change to the Standards Australia review process has meant that alterations and review are more of an administrative burden than before. The Lighting Council of Australia and the society work together to ensure that the standards reviews and revisions process are maintained. For more information refer to the standards page of the IESANZ website.
Also, should you wish to put forward a review or revision item on a current standard by all means let us know what you believe that should be and why. Citing examples of deficiencies is always helpful in getting the right outcomes from regulations so please consider making either the CMC or the board aware of these.
Publications and Marketing ‐ The board has been working with RALA to make the Lighting Magazine a more vibrant, informative and efficient publication, and the board believes that the discussions had have resulted in exactly that. Whilst Lighting Magazine remains the society’s main publication outlet we are always interested in broadening the promotion of the society and maintain good relations with other publications as do they with us.
The board intends to become more active in marketing, principally the Enlightenment program at this stage. This is an initiative still in its infancy and more will be reported on this in the future.
Lighting Guides ‐ In September the society published the first of what are hoped to be a number of Lighting Guides, LG 4.01 Guidelines for illumination of outdoor cricket venues. The intension is to help fill the voids that exist between currently available standards and codes of practice and the necessity of providing adequate information about a fuller range of lighting needs. The cricket guidelines was a logical step since there was no Australian Standard for this game despite it being one of the most commonly played sports in this
Further guidelines are planned for other aspects of lighting not currently catered for in the existing suite of publications such as domestic lighting for one.
If there is some aspect of lighting that you believe should be covered more thoroughly for which no existing standard or code of practice currently exists, then we would like to hear from you.
Corporate Brand and Website ‐ The corporate brand of the society or more precisely, the protection of the corporate brand of the society is an aspect that encompasses many areas and is something the board takes very seriously. It is not limited to inappropriate or unauthorised use of IESANZ logo or material it has produced. Protection of the IESANZ corporate brand starts with the conduct of individual members and permeates throughout all aspects and levels of the society’s activity. In this regard it is one of the most important tasks to undertake as our collective and individual conduct reflects on the society and the wider community perception of us. Fortunately, abuses of the corporate brand are thankfully rare and during the 7 years I have been on the board I can recall only one. That said the ethics and disciplinary committees proposed by the constitution and by‐laws committee are under consideration and will help protection of the brand. In and of themselves these committees are not likely to deter any wilful abuses but as a sound set of rules and procedures to rely on they should ensure a consistency of approach and a broad understanding of expectations.
The website is an aspect of the society activity that by its very nature will continue to evolve. Individual content and facilities of the website notwithstanding, the key aspects that the board considers for the website are:
1. Topicality of content
2. Ease of use.
It is not only the board that has access to content, each CMC has access to its own state page and can update content at any time. The board encourages the CMC to make the best use of this facility as websites are increasingly the face of organisations and a functioning, current website is an essential communication tool for the society. The access at CMC level is but one area the board wishes to encourage, we would also encourage each member to keep their information current through the member login. Keeping these records up to date ensures our membership administration is current. We also encourage members to put themselves forward for the searchable data base of lighting related services, if you have not seen this or used it before I encourage you to do so.
As with all things the board wishes to have your feedback, how can things be made better? What do we not do now that would be valuable for the future? As stated above the website by its very nature is one that will evolve over time and your involvement and engagement are essential in driving this evolution.
Advocacy ‐ This part of board activity will always be ongoing as the opportunities that best provide for effective advocacy are often outside of the board’s control or capability to pursue effectively. The best avenues are always through arms of government, be that local,
state or federal. Recognition of MIES has been successfully included within New South Wales and Victorian sustainability regulation frameworks. Also, the board is trying to build relationships with allied professions such as building certifiers and maintaining those it has
with architects and engineers. It is also the intension of the society to build relationships with the sustainability community to ensure correct and adequate consideration of illumination as an energy consumer. Such relationships are not always easy to establish when that community appears to lack a representative body like the IESANZ, this appears to be the case with the sustainability community. As mentioned above this aspect of the board activity is ongoing, discussions will continue and further contacts will be made. However, advocacy is not limited to the board or CMC or any one part of the society, I believe that it is incumbent on all members of the society to make the best of any opportunity that makes itself available. Should you chance upon such an opportunity then pursue it as you see fit,
however, should you believe the society can assist then by all means make either the board or your CMC aware of the opportunity.
This concludes the report on the board’s activity. From here on the report will be thankfully shorter and will only contain updates on initiatives and outlines of new ones.
Thank you and regards.
Barry Gull MIES – President Illuminating Engineering Society.