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Professional association for Australian and New Zealand editors.

IPEd Transition

In November 2015, the members of the seven member societies of editors that comprise the Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd) voted for direct membership of the national organisation.

Updated – May 2016.


IPEd was formed in 2008, with the seven societies of editors from around Australia as members. In 2012 a review of IPEd and its relationship with member societies was begun. This was due to fundamental concerns about the future of IPEd including:

  • long-term financial viability and capacity for core activities

  • reliance on volunteers and the issue of volunteer burnout

  • the ability for society members to feel engaged with IPEd

  • higher expectations of IPEd than IPEd could deliver under the funding model

  • the need of some smaller societies for a national body to help with administration.

The review process


Phase one – Member survey

An initial working party (WP1) for the review was established and during September–December 2012 a survey of member societies was undertaken. This aimed to identify:

  • what members saw as IPEd’s core functions and what other services IPEd could be offering
  • how IPEd might represent the industry better and improve relationships with the societies of editors
  • how IPEd could improve its administration.

The working part presented a Review of IPEd [PDF 112KB] to Council in January 2013, which included possible models for IPEd’s future, two of which were recommended as practical.


Phase two – Models for IPEd’s future

The phase two working party (WP2) was formed and the two possible models for IPEd were elaborated on for presentation to members.

The Phase Two IPEd Review Working Party Report [PDF 713KB] and a summary of legal advice [PDF 109KB] were presented to Council in March 2013.

At the 6th IPEd National Editors Conference plenary session in April 2013, the report was presented to delegates.  They were invited to provide written feedback to Council and the phase three working party (WP3) was formed.


Phase three – Survey and national vote to members

In June 2013 a survey, developed by WP3 was put to members asking which of the models should have detailed, costed business cases developed. This paper [PDF 113KB] outlines the IPEd Review process and the models for IPEd’s future that were suggested.

Preparation for the vote

Three documents were provided to society members in preparation for the national vote on IPEd’s future structure:

  • IPEd Business Case [PDF 1.1MB]: A discussion paper and business case for IPEd’s future structure, functions and funding
  • IPEd Review Q&A [PDF 101KB]: Key questions and answers on the proposed models
  • Membership Discussion Paper [PDF 397KB]: A discussion paper on membership structure and possible shared functions.

National vote

In November 2013 members were presented with three possible future models for IPEd and its member societies and asked to vote on which should have a comprehensive plan developed for its implementation and operation.

The three models were:

  • IPEd as is with fees unchanged
  • IPEd as is but with increased funding
  • a single national direct membership model (DMM), with the current societies becoming branches of the national body.

Nationally, 392 members (23%) voted. After allocation of preferences, 61.2% of members who voted favoured the DMM, and this is the model for which a comprehensive implementation plan is being developed.
How members across the country voted is available in a detailed table [PDF 184KB].

Implementation of new structure

Phase four – DMM

Working party four (WP4) was established and worked towards implementation of the direct membership model (DMM). Five teams were set up to develop key aspects of this process:

  • Legal and governance
  • Membership
  • Professional development
  • Finance and operations
  • Communication

These teams worked closely with society committees throughout the process.

On 16 March 2014, IPEd Council endorsed three papers prepared by WP4. These frame the comprehensive implementation and operations plan for IPEd to form a national, direct membership association for all editors.  These papers are:

These documents were agreed to by IPEd and the member societies and were the basis on which a plan was developed for a final, conclusive vote by the members of each society.

Further details of the project teams are available in the WP4 Report – August 2014 [PDF 333KB].


Development of Green Papers

The five project teams of WP4 prepared eight Green Papers which covered the key areas of the proposed new structure. The papers included feedback from the IPEd Council and the committees of the societies nationally and were distributed to members of the societies for their input. This was provided to the project teams and, where possible, included in the development of the White Papers on which members voted during October and November 2015.


White Papers

The IPEd Transition White Papers on which the IPEd Transition is based are available on the IPEd Transition White Papers page.


Transition vote

During October and November 2015 the seven member societies of IPEd each held a ballot to determine if their members supported becoming direct members of IPEd and the societies becoming branches.The majority of societies supported the transition to direct membership. Details of the result of the vote are on the following pages:


Second votes

The societies of editors that voted against the IPEd Transition Plan in the first ballot were given the option to hold a second ballot to determine if their members supported becoming direct members of IPEd.

The Society of Editors (Tasmania) and the Canberra Society of Editors (CSE) held a second ballot during March 2016 and the Society of Editors (WA) held one in May 2016.

The societies in Tasmania and WA supported the IPEd Transition Plan and will become branches of IPEd, while the CSE did not.