5. Disadvantages of joining an institute
- Membership fees can be expensive (>£100 per annum), especially if you join more than one organisation. But many organisations offer lower rates for associates and younger members and cheaper fees for retired members.
- You normally need at least a degree or an equivalent to qualify.
- Higher professional qualification can take many years to achieve. For example Chartered Engineer at the IET includes a face-to-face interview to prove that you have held responsible positions as evidence of your professional competence.
- You often need an existing member to propose you as a potential member. Sometimes this can be awkward if you move around a lot such as working as a sub-contractor.
- Members commit to follow the institute's code of conduct which is fine, but non-members may then act un-ethically to win a contract (e.g. offering 'incentives' to the buyer in order to be chosen for the work).
- Members commit to life-long learning which will cost both in terms of the time needed to do this and the cost of the training itself.
- Members may feel obligated to volunteer to sit on committees and work groups etc which can be difficult when working full time and have family obligations as well.