The Heating and Ventilating Contractors Association (HVCA) and Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) are to ask its members how they think the two bodies could best couple up to form a joint structure.
The two associations are currently finalising a consultation document which they expect to deliver to members this October.
The HVCA has 1,400 members while ECA has 2,500 members, but both have an overlap made up of about 200 larger members.
Add to this the knowledge that the two associations have been working together in the same building for the last 30 years and the proposed changes seem to be a natural step.
The HVCA is keen to point out the plans on the table will not be a merger but more of a convergence. The consultation paper does not include plans for the bodies to work under one single name, with one financial structure, but suggests the bodies would continue to operate with two separate councils.
Plans being considered include the creation of an over-arching board sitting above the two councils.
The associations' subsidiaries (which work in training provision and welfare schemes, e.g. HVCA's Welplan) would remain independent.
'The more the two services are seen as the building services engineering sector then more reasons there are for us to come together' said HVCA communications manager Jack McDavid.
The benefits of economies of scale and the influence and representation gained from such changes may become apparent but there is also a fear specialised contractors may feel marginalised by such a change.
'There is no vote at this stage. The plans depend on what the members want. If there is a resounding 'no' then we will leave it alone.
If the members make suggestions, then we will go back and fine-tune the plans.
'There is a lot to be sorted out. It will be 3-5 years before the plans are fully realised'.
If accepted the two bodies could 'converge' as early as 2010.