Making the right connections

Yesterday’s annual meeting of club correspondents put the emphasis on affiliation and improving links betwen clubs and the FIA.

Yesterday’s annual Club Correspondents meeting heard what was new at the FIA and how continued input from correspondents is crucial to the work being undertaken by the FIA administration.

One of the highlights was Susan Pikrallidas’ presentation. The Secretary General for Automobile Mobility and Tourism told the meeting that following approval from the World Council for Automobile, Mobility and Tourism (WCAMT), the FIA’s new affiliation process has been designed to support clubs in building capability and meeting the criteria necessary. She added that in the case of clubs that do not currently meet the requirements, the process was designed to identify problem areas that could, via support from the regions, be worked upon to raise standards. Non- affiliated status would also be considered.

Starting this year, to this end, each application will be being evaluated in “more depth”, with a more extensive set of requirements being put in place. A site visit will be conducted as part of the evaluation process.

Earlier, in his introduction, Deputy President Mobility, Brian Gibbons told the correspondents that they represent a vital conduit of information for the FIA.
He added that the network of correspondents is highly valued by the FIA and congratulated them on the work they do in linking clubs with the federation.

Continuing the theme of improved communication, Johann Grill, Chairman of the FIA’s Policy Commission told the meeting that it was crucial to the commission’s work in lobbying and advocacy to “bring people together from around the world to meet regularly” in order to share information, strengthen links and provide advice to the FIA leadership on issues concerning costs, operational consideration and areas of opportunity.

He added that a set of projects could be created for clubs to boost input and highlighted five areas for clubs to work on, including access to car data and telematics, which he ranked as a major strategic issue, assessment of child safety in cars, the provision of reliable road safety indicators, and eco-driving.

Frank Fotia of the FIA Services Commission then introduced a new collaborative tool aimed at providing an online environment designed to foster communication between the FIA and clubs. FIA Connect, he said, will provide a third database of services and products that clubs offer.

Explaining the new development, Crystelle Job said it will “strengthen the network of clubs and encourage exchanges with Services Commission team” and will host documented expertise, provide a space to share documents and to communicate with each other. She added that the site is due to launch at end of year.

Ortrud Birk, on behalf of the entire FIA team present, invited the club correspondents to enter into more contact with the FIA administration to make sure that as much information as possible reaches the FIA and can then be distributed and shared appropriately with other clubs.