Free Membership

Posted by Anthony on Sunday, January 10th, 2016

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Public Sector organisations can Apply for Free membership here.

At this year’s AGM a motion to introduce free membership to all APCOM members for 2017 was passed. The idea of removing the membership subscription has been considered and debated by the Executive Committee for some time, however it was felt the timing was right to move this forward.

Why are we doing this?

For APCOM to survive we need a strong active membership. With the ever increasing budgetary constraints experienced by member authorities, the issue of membership fees has become a barrier to membership. Indeed we have lost members for this reason alone.  Even though the membership fees are nominal at £100, which includes up to 3 secondary members, seeking approval for payment has proved restrictive and protracted.

Each year, on average, membership subscriptions only account for 10% of APCOM’s total income, the balance being made up of entirely of sponsorship. Consequently in order to attract future sponsorship it’s vital that APCOM have a strong membership. We believe that by removing membership fees, we can attract more membership which in return will attract more sponsors. In essence it’s a fairly simple equation.

In addition the administrative process in collecting what is a nominal amount of membership income is time consuming and difficult.    

If membership is free, does it have a value?

The only counter argument about free membership is perceived value.  In terms of your membership nothing will change, you will continue to receive the full benefits that you already enjoy. We will even remove the “secondary member” status so all members will have equal benefit.

We have discussed the issue of free membership at length with ours sponsors and key stakeholders and see the change as a positive which will help to grow. Through growing membership hand in hand with sponsorship, we can offer even greater value to membership.

What happens next?

Whereas we will not be invoicing you for membership, we will be writing to you to confirm your 2017 membership. We will also include a feedback form for you to complete to make sure that we have all your contact details up to date.



Is free membership just for 2017?

It is our intention and expectation that free membership is permanent. However, we need to gauge the effect for 2017 for both membership and sponsorship levels before we can confirm this as fixed beyond 2017.


Graham Lowe

Immediate Past President