With the recent rollouts of the Machinery Lubrication Engineer (MLE) certification and ICML 55 standards for lubricated asset management, the International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML) has ushered in a new era of purpose and consistency for thousands of lubrication and oil analysis practitioners. Along with these successes, ICML is revamping its membership packages to allow greater flexibility and benefits for organizations and individuals who wish to support ICML’s mission, collaborate with peers, gain promotional exposure and secure exam discounts.
Many people believe if they hold an ICML certification of any kind that they are automatically an ICML member, but this is not the case. ICML certification is not the same as ICML membership. However, certification does qualify an individual to further engage with ICML as an associate member with other benefits.
The basic primer for ICML’s new membership offerings can be found on the organization’s website. Full and supporting members are client companies and organizations that plan to sponsor exam sessions during the year, while partner members are entities whose goals and/or audiences overlap with ICML but who have no plans to sponsor exams. Associate members are individuals with active Machine Lubricant Analyst (MLA), Machinery Lubrication Technician (MLT), Laboratory Lubricant Analyst (LLA) or MLE certifications who have paid a nominal fee for additional recognition opportunities.
While ICML’s new membership structure remains subject to ongoing revision, following are some of the more obvious changes:
ICML wants its members to be recognized for their affiliation with the organization, so specialized logos are offered that help make it easy to publicize their membership status. Full and supporting members use a “member” logo, while partners and associates have their own eponymous logos. These can be displayed according to guidelines defined in ICML’s stylebook.
Branding and communication are important, but not every member has the tools to pursue such activities. ICML can help its members in these areas.
When ICML pursues speaking opportunities at conferences, or when it considers hosting webinars or tweet-chat events, the organization first turns to its full and partner members as potential co-participants. Such co-presentations make these types of speaking engagements more interesting and informative for audiences. ICML is open to a variety of venues and formats, as it seeks to help generate exposure and discussion.
For the first time, ICML will allow certain member categories to send approved emails once or twice a year to the organization’s contact database. Of course, participating members will not have direct access to the database. Instead, ICML staff will work with qualified members to produce e-blasts or newsletter blurbs that are relevant to the organization’s candidates and certificants. Previously, ICML only conducted email outreach for conference organizers whom it supported as a media sponsor.
Active members can now take advantage of ICML’s quarterly newsletter which reaches an ever-growing candidate database. The newsletter offers exposure to ICML members and can feature guest authors.
The best relationships are two-way streets, especially when you are working together to gain exposure, credibility, goodwill and accountability. To that end, ICML has certain expectations of its members that are designed to benefit everyone.
ICML’s full, supporting and partner members must each supply at least one guest author to participate regularly in a blogging/article rotation. If there is an expert on your company’s team who enjoys sharing relevant content, this is a great way to be active, whether contributing to blogs, magazine articles or other non-commercial content. ICML’s marketing department will direct online traffic to such content through social media and other channels.
A full-member organization must also name one representative to serve consistently on an ICML board committee for one year. This is an excellent opportunity to network with industry experts and contribute directly to ICML’s priorities, plans and projects.
A full-member organization must work with ICML to develop and complete one case study during the year. This cooperative effort will result in a document that both organizations can use for promotion on websites and at conferences. This can go hand-in-hand with co-presentations.
Certified practitioners have always been at the core of ICML’s mission. Once again, the organization offers a membership level for those individuals who want to help support ICML while enjoying a few extras. Remember, certification alone is not the same as membership. So, while a certified professional can display a certification logo next to his or her name, only an associate member in good standing can display the associate member logo. Associates also qualify for nomination to any certificant recognition program initiated by ICML. Finally, in the online listing of ICML’s current certificate holders, the organization highlights the names of those who have gone the extra mile to support ICML as associate members.
ICML will be considering additional benefits as well, and suggestions are welcome. For instance, the organization is looking into partner discounts offered by fellow members along with an online job forum.
As ICML changes its membership packages, the organization still plans to continue a number of pre-existing member benefits, including certification exam discounts and voting rights.
When a full or supporting ICML member registers a candidate for a certification exam, that organization basically receives its money back in the form of discounts, which can be applied to exams or recertification fees. Even after these discounts have been exhausted, all other member benefits, opportunities and obligations continue for one year.
Full and supporting members in good standing are allowed to cast one vote each on certain matters specified by ICML’s board of directors, including the election of board members. These votes can be cast electronically on a case-by-case basis.
ICML believes dynamic membership involvement encourages organizations and practitioners to take ownership of their lubrication objectives, enhance their leadership and communication skills, and learn from one another. Visit ICMLonline.com to review all the membership package options and consider what might work best for you and your organization.