IfL is the FE/HE equivalent of the GTC. For those who lecture, rather than teach, I suppose, in the opinion of those in Government who understand neither, but they weren't going to call it the GLC, were they?
All teaching staff in my institution have to join - this is not a requirement in universities, where there is more political clout (they are also exempt from compulsory inspection). I have, as a teaching member, although the IfL has incorrectly categorised me as non-teaching and will not let me edit my details unless I pay a non-refundable fee to re-classify myself as eligible for govt-funded membership!
Stealth tax? Control freaks in govt again?
The original purpose of the IfL was to ensure that all staff teaching outside state schools had access by right to minimum opportunities to develop their subject knowledge and teaching skills - laudable, especially given the teaching hours requirements and contract conditions in many FE colleges - but in true govt Quango style, then they reclassified anything more academic than scratching your @rse as training, so it's no more and no less than a body to accredit your own interpretation of what training and development is!
What other powers will it have? Given the micromanaging control freaks in Parliament (both parties, IMHO), could be anything.