FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
I trust you are all now settled back into the New Year working activities, and you’re well over the festive holidays. 2018 was a good year for our growth and collaborative opportunities for our members, and our Association has certainly strengthened its position and influence. In moving into 2019 our profile, presence and growth will continue to expand and 2019’s already shaping up to be a busy year ahead for CABE.
2018 saw our Association enter its 93rd year and our sixth following the award of our Royal Charter, and throughout the year the board of directors has focused on maximising our assets and planning for our long-term investment through a strategic plan. We had some great successes in 2018 with the biggest success being our relationship with the Engineering Council, and the CEng registration which our members will have the opportunity to progress to very shortly as we begin to work alongside a partner professional body in order to begin the launch to all our members.
There has been a huge amount of work completed behind the scenes to enable Building Engineers to start registering for the CEng designation, plus the IEng and EngTech registrations, and importantly formal recognition of the Chartered Building Engineer title against the Engineering Council UKSPEC to help further streamline the process of members gaining the CEng registration.
Our membership is extremely strong and positive; made up of diverse and highly experienced professionals, and to have this prestigious enhancement opportunity of Chartered Engineer status is a personal goal which I hope all members will look to embrace. Already a large number of members are logging in their interest and yearnings to proceed through the process as fast as possible, and this includes a number of members who are in their latter years of practice.
2018 brought in a change to our annual conference. Our CEO Gavin Dunn had focused on the importance of industry engaging at the highest level, and it was a themed conference which saw our keynote speaker being Dame Judith Hackitt on day one and Reverend Kevin Fear on day two; two keynote presentations which many in industry still refer to. Dame Judith’s comment of not hearing the words ‘Value Engineering’ again continues to be echoed around industry, and Kevin’s presentation on Health and Wellbeing was expressive, stirring and powerful which also many of our members still talk about, and it’s great to know that Kevin will be joining us again at this year’s conference. Quality and quantity of media coverage of CABE has greatly increased and following our successful conference we had an increased coverage of 986% by the trade and on social media.
In strengthening our position and influence the Association continues to develop both in the UK and internationally, with more chapters commencing. Whilst our regions in the UK and Ireland offer an increase in engagement opportunities and conferences, our international growth continues with new chapters in the USA and New Zealand, and as I am writing this Journal page I am now preparing, along with Gavin Dunn and David Ing of Fabrick Marketing, to travel to Malaysia and Singapore to meet with our members and to deliver key presentations at the CABE 2019 Malaysian Conference in Kuala Lumpur. Internationally our growth is certainly on the increase but let’s not forget home; our numbers in the UK continue to grow each week, and when we start to compare this data across other organisations and industry bodies there are long-term encouraging signs for our future.
Development around new relationships and industry developments and opportunities continues, and this as always been high on my presidential objectives to achieve. 2018 saw our continued journey forging many new relationships and industry is now seeing the contribution and impact CABE is achieving. Our profession does not get any easier and the future will always throw up many challenges, but the future will be ours if we seize the endless opportunities which are open to us. A key part of our significant rise is our representation of the Association on a number of key steering groups, advisory panels and collaborative working groups, along with our continued participation in strategic partnerships with other organisations such as CIC, BRAC and five of the post-Grenfell competency groups
Industry’s success will always be dependent on the people we attract, their talent, skills, ambition, aspirations, creativity and drive, and the co-ordination, organisational and management logistics of any corporation or establishment is no different. Our current board is possibly the strongest I have known it since being a board member, and the skill set of each member offers a unique balance to the board, and fine running of the Association. However, whilst the board works alongside members of HQ, significant investment and changes within the HQ team have also been made both in terms of structure and individual personnel to provide the skills, quality of delivery and culture necessary to support the Association into the future.
Moving into 2019 one of the key board decisions has been around the current brand of the Association. It’s been an ongoing discussion for the past 2-3 years and I am pleased to advise that we have now triggered the process to review and update the ‘CABE brand’ with the aim of modernising the brand to better reflect where the Association now is and where we are going to in the future.
It’s a proud time to be a CABE Member; there will always be challenges to overcome on our journey, but by working and engaging together these will be overcome. The global challenge and the extent of the problems facing all Building Engineers is to maintain and provide inspiration to innovation and continued creativity, and it’s important that today’s Building Engineers, and those of the future, take the opportunity to engage with others and to educate with others on the best way to move forward – after all that’s exactly what Building Engineering is all about. Building Engineering does not sit in isolation, but is part of a larger academic domain which is forward thinking and which embraces industry trends while harmonising and improving professional standards. We live and work in an ever more globalised market place, in which initiative, innovation and continued improvement are essential to our prosperity and Building Engineers assist in shaping industry policy and global compliance.
As I move into my final four months of my presidency I’m extremely pleased at the vitality and enthusiasm of the Association and our impact upon our ever-changing industry, along with the great strides we have made in collaborating and engaging with the wider industry community and its members. I’m pleased that Ant Burd and Jayne Hall, our Vice-Presidents share my visions on this and it’s reassuring that as we move ahead the Association is in a great place. Ant, who is Head of Construction Standards at BSI and the former head of technical policy for the UK Government, becomes your president in May, and this will provide further credibility, influence and profile.
On that note it’s time for me to finish, but I look forward to meeting with many members during my travels throughout the forthcoming months.