As it has now been a whole year since I became Chief Executive, I would like to take this opportunity to update you on the progress we have made and give you an idea as to what you can expect during the year ahead.
Over the course of the last year we have made significant progress on our five-year strategic plan with many improvements in what we do and how we do it already implemented. I do hope you have already noticed and are benefiting from many of these changes. However, much work has also gone on behind the scenes and we have many more exciting elements of the plan still to implement. After all, we are only one year into our five-year plan!
Some of the highlights of the past year include:
- Dame Judith Hackitt’s keynote speech at our Annual Conference back in October which the industry is still talking about and resulted in a significant boost to the Association’s reputation and media profile
- The Association had a strong financial performance for the year with revenues rising 12% overall, 10% in membership and a strengthening of our cash reserves while also investing in the key processes and systems needed to support our ambitious plans
- Increased success of CABE events with 59% more people attending CABE training than the previous year and the continued success of our buildeng regional conferences with the addition of two further UK events and conferences in Malaysia and the USA this year
- The growing influence of the Association with policy makers on the back of the tremendous work led by our Technical Director, Richard Harral, to represent us with Government and industry stakeholders and in the surveying of our members’ views to ensure your voice is heard.
Underlying all these new Association activities is the key concept of 'competency and professional responsibility' and ensuring that everything the Association does helps support our members and the wider industry to work at the necessary standard and ethical practice that engenders public trust. To this end this year we have published a new code of conduct and a guide to ethical professionalism to which all members are bound. Over the following months you will also see further changes designed to improve the professional standing of Chartered Building Engineers including the roll-out of our new competency framework, new disciplinary procedures and revised membership grades.
These changes are also designed to support the process of CABE becoming a full licensed member of the Engineering Council, a process which continues steadily, albeit probably the one initiative where we have not made as much progress as we had planned. Nonetheless, we continue to pursue this goal and I can assure members that we are still on track to be successful even if the process is taking a bit longer than expected. Once we have a full licence, we will communicate to all members your options for registration for CEng, IEng and EngTech.
In the forthcoming year we have equally exciting plans and members should expect to see more changes and investments to further improve what the Association delivers on behalf of the membership, including:
- The launch of our new brand and refreshed Building Engineer journal which will include an updated format and design, but also digital and online versions, as well as regular Building Engineer e-News bulletins
- We are aiming for this year’s annual Conference and Awards to be even bigger and better than last year with an excellent central Manchester venue, the awards hosted by the very funny Giles Brandreth and many prominent speakers talking about the important Building Engineer issues of our time
- The introduction of new IT infrastructure which will improve the efficiency by which the Association operates, features a new website and new digital membership platform that enables members to communicate, share news, manage your membership and record CPD all from your mobile phone or on-line
- There will also be further investment in the headquarters team to continue to better support the membership and this will include the appointment of a new Learning, Education and Academic Director and opening our first overseas office in Hong Kong to support our members and chapters in the Asia-Pacific region.
Exciting times ahead and, as ever, I passionately believe that CABE members with their mix of technical, standards and practical expertise are well placed to help the industry deliver, and it is with this in mind we continue to push forward our plans so that the Association can fulfil this ambition.
Dr Gavin Dunn
BSc MSc PhD FCABE Chartered Building Engineer