Starting a Group or Network

 Do you want to start a new Group?

Do you think there is a specialist area within conservation that could use more attention? Would you like to collaborate with the conservation professionals in your specific country? Or is there a material discipline which requires new interest? 

This guide provides an outline for members wishing to form a new addition to Icon’s active Groups and Networks.

What constitutes a Group?

Groups are run by members, for members.

  • An Icon Group focuses on a specific subject area or material (for example, Book and Paper Group), or location (e.g. Scotland Group). These Groups are established to convene Icon members with special interests or shared regional links.
  • Groups agree to operate under the policies and guidelines established by Icon, with support from Icon’s business infrastructure and internal teams
  • Groups help to support members in their professional development and working practice by organising talks, demonstrations, workshops and networking opportunities. Some Groups may deliver additional advocacy and engagement activities.
  • Groups also play a fundamental part of Icon’s organisational structure, helping to deliver Icon’s strategic aims, advocate for the value of conservation and cultural heritage, and disseminating knowledge and good practice.


Which Group(s) am I in?

  • All Icon members select two Groups in which they have full voting rights (for use in elections, AGMs, etc.)
  • Any member with an address in Scotland or Northern Ireland is automatically considered to be a full voting member of their national Group
  • Any member can choose to opt-in to receive email communications from other Groups, but this does not mean they have voting rights
  • Group voting rights and communication preferences can be altered at any time by logging in to the ‘My Account’ area of the website

How can I form a new Group?

New Groups can be formed to focus on a shared specialism in current conservation practice or a distinct geographical location, if these needs are not already met through existing specialist Groups.

For a proposal for a new Group to be considered by the Board of Trustees the New Group Application Form must be fully completed and an annual budget prepared.

Group formation also requires that:

  • There must be a convincing and well-evidenced case that sets out the need for the new Group.
  • The proposal for a new Group must be supported by a minimum of 20 fully paid up voting members of Icon; at least 5 of these members must be prepared to serve on the Group committee and to accept the roles of Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.
  • The new Group committee must be willing to accept and abide by the Icon Groups Terms of Reference.
  • The proposed Group must agree to accept the responsibilities laid out in the Group Management Regulations and abide by them.

The application will be considered by the Board of Trustees, whose decision is final.

What happens once my Group Formation Application is accepted?

If the application is approved, the new Group must hold a general meeting within 3 months of being notified of the decision by the Board and should invite all Icon members to attend. This can be done by requesting an Iconnect be sent out by the Membership Team. You must provide suitable text for this invite.

At the general meeting the Group should elect its officers and adopt the Group Management Regulations. If officers cannot be elected, the new Group will not be formed. If officers are successfully elected all Icon members will be informed that the new Group has been created.

The new Group will then be assigned a webpage under the ‘Groups and Networks’ tab, and the join process will be updated to allow new and existing members to add or switch their voting rights to the Group.


Do you want to start a new Network?

Members seeking to set to set up a new Network should read through the Guidelines below, and follow the instructions provided.

What do I need to do?

All prospective Icon Networks are subject to ratification by Icon’s Board of Trustees. Once approved Networks gain formal recognition within Icon and can apply for funding to support events and other costs. Networks can also use Icon’s internal communication systems to raise awareness of their topic among members and non-members alike.

Speak to the Head of Membership in the first instance to discuss your idea and objectives. You can then complete and submit a Network Inception Form (below).

Network Inception Form


What is required?

  • A Chair
  • A second committee member
  • Evidence of support amongst the Icon membership

Icon's Membership Manager will act as Treasurer

What support is available to Networks?

  • Status within Icon
  • Opportunities to engage Icon members and potential members
  • Communications with the membership
  • Potential funding for events and Committee expenses (in line with Icon’s established policies)
  • Website space
  • Admin support
  • Publicity

What is excluded?

  • Cannot be used for groups of members to apply for funding to attend non-Icon events of any description
  • Cannot be used for groups of members to advance commercial interests, for example to stage a conference promoting a private organisation
  • Cannot be used for groups of members to go on conservation-related study trips​


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