IfL announces self-funding arrangements
Tuesday 8 February 2011
The Institute for Learning (IfL) has announced changes to its membership funding arrangements, as part of its transition to being a fully self-financed professional body. All teachers and trainers in the further education and skills sector will be asked to pay their own subscription fees from 1 April 2011. The standard fee will be £68 a year for Members, Affiliates and Associates, and £95 a year for Fellows. Concessionary rates will be available to members who have retired from the profession; are on a low income; are unemployed at the time of renewing their membership; or are undertaking a full‑time, pre-service teaching qualification. IfL is aware that some colleges and providers may support individual teachers and trainers by reimbursing part or all of their fees. Where individuals pay, they may claim tax relief.
For the membership year starting 1 April 2011, IfL has negotiated a transition grant from the government, most of which will be used to give members an 18-month membership for the price of 12 months. This will in future years bring the membership renewal date in line with the annual continuing professional development (CPD) declaration, thus simplifying members’ transactions with IfL.
The fee levels have been decided with the support of IfL’s Advisory Council, after careful research, consultation and consideration of the resources needed for IfL to provide cost-effective professional benefits and services to members and regulatory functions for the sector. These distinctive benefits include:
· REfLECT, IfL’s online personal learning space and e-portfolio, currently used by over 107,000 members to plan, record and share their CPD
· The conferral of the professional status of Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) or Associate Teacher Learning and Skills (ATLS) through IfL’s supportive system of professional formation
· The IfL Volunteer Connections programme, through which a growing network of some 700 IfL members benefit from a dedicated CPD programme designed by IfL, in return for supporting the CPD of teachers and trainers at a local level, in their workplace
· A network of advisers, based within Centres for Excellence in Teacher Training (CETTs), who provide information, advice and guidance for IfL members at a regional level
· The protection afforded to the profession, learners, employers and the public interest through IfL’s Code of Professional Practice and the systems for administering disciplinary procedures
· The regular dissemination of news and policy updates; member journals; practice-based case studies and impact studies
· A range of support for CPD, and the annual review of CPD, showcasing excellent teaching and training
· IfL’s advocacy and policy work with the government, employers, stakeholders and policymakers, through which it promotes the highest standards of teaching and learning; influences key policy and funding decisions; gives teachers and trainers an effective voice; raises their status and strengthens the regard in which the profession and their teaching and training of learners is held.
Toni Fazaeli, chief executive of IfL, said, “Like many other professionals, including midwives, accountants and lawyers, teachers and trainers are required to be members of their professional body, and will now be required to pay their own fee. IfL membership is a ‘licence to practise’, providing reassurance that teachers and trainers remain in good professional standing, are supported in their professional practice and can be prevented from practising if there is a serious breach of the IfL Code of Professional Practice.
“The government’s Skills for Growth white paper, published in November 2009, indicated that IfL would be expected to become self-financing. The subsidy received from public funds in the last three years has helped IfL to establish an efficient infrastructure to support the provision of member benefits and regulatory functions. We can now look forward to fulfilling our role as a strong, independent professional body, capable of being a critical friend to the government, while giving informed challenge. Our mission is clear – that IfL members will be known as excellent dual professionals – as teachers and trainers and as up-to-date subject or vocational experts for learners across further education and skills.”
1. Membership fees are tax-deductible. After tax relief at 20 per cent, the standard membership will cost £54.40, and £76 for Fellows. Standard membership for 2011–12 will cover 18 months, rather than 12, which after tax relief equates to 70 pence a week.
2. IfL benchmarked its work as a professional body with regulatory functions against other comparable organisations; this included an analysis of the range and type of subscription models used by other professional and membership bodies. The membership fee of £68 falls towards the lower end of comparable organisations, where the range was between £65 and £200, with a few having considerably higher fees than this.