THE Institute of Marine Engineers has been awarded non-governmental consultative status by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) at its recent council meeting. It is the only organisation representing the marine engineering profession to be awarded that status. Consultative status provides a medium for two-way communication between the IMO and non-governmental bodies. It will enable the IMO to obtain information or expert advice from bodies with special knowledge in a particular field of activity, and to enable bodies whose activities have an important and direct bearing on the work of the IMO, to express their points of view to the organisation. The institute is well placed to contribute to the work of IMO through its international status - a fundamental criterion of appointment - and expertise, built over a century. Its expertise covers maritime technology, protection of the environment and the setting of professional standards for marine engineers. Its objectives are compatible with those of the IMO. It is expected that the institute will contribute to the deliberations of three IMO committees - Standards of Training and Watchkeeping, Maritime Safety and Marine Environment Protection. Gordon Thompson, former surveyor general in the Marine Directorate, British Department of Transport, will co-ordinate its response. He will be able to draw on the expertise of the institute's worldwide membership and other similar institutions.