The Institute of Horticulture (IoH) has announced that Her Majesty the Queen has granted the IoH a Royal Charter. The Institute's Royal Charter will come into legal effect when it is sealed by the Crown Office at the House of Lords. It is expected that this will be completed in the New Year 2014.
The granting of a Royal Charter has been an aspiration of the Institute since its inception in 1984 in view of the benefits it will bring to the Institute and its members. A Royal Charter will enhance the Institute’s ability to present the profession through increasing the profile, recognition and standing of professional horticulture.
The IoH says as a Chartered body, the Institute’s ability to raise standards will be strengthened and the Institute will be better placed to represent and support horticulture as a profession and assist members in the practice of the profession.
On becoming a Chartered Institute in 2014 all members will retain their existing membership level but will also have the benefits associated with membership of a Chartered body. However, the Royal Charter equips the Institute with the new ability to award individual Chartered status to members of the Institute.
This new prospect would be optional for members to apply for should they choose. Individual Chartered status will recognise the achievement of a senior practitioner level and this will support members by confirming their high level of professional expertise. This has the potential to help individuals in all aspects of the industry, says the IoH.
IoH president Leigh Morris FI Hort said:
"The IoH is THE body representing professional horticulture and being granted a Royal Charter will reflect that to a much wider audience. Such status will undoubtedly give our members a higher status, stimulate more to join us, give the IoH much greater gravitas in our advocacy for the industry and it is something the horticulture profession deserves.
"The work done to date by IoH Council on taking this forward on behalf of horticulture is tremendous and all of us should recognise their vision and application in achieving this. The Institute has raised the bar for professional horticulture in the UK and Ireland. This is a landmark moment and exciting times ahead."