REPORT FROM VICE-PRESIDENT, GAVIN DUNN
Once again it is my turn to share with you my insights from a vice presidential perspective. However, this time, following the announcement last month that I will become CABE’s next Chief Executive in April, I thought I would take the opportunity to share with you some of the ideas I would like to take forward and my vision for the Association.
Firstly, however, I would like to reflect on where the Association is currently and the progress made in recent years. In my view, over the past seven years John Hooper, your current CEO, has enabled the Association to make tremendous progress. Achieving the status of the Royal Charter was a massive achievement in its own right, which has enabled us to strengthen the financial position of the organisation, grow the membership and extend its reach with highly successful regional activities now held annually across the UK and in the establishment of a number of new international chapters. It is from this position of increasing strength and reputation that we can now make plans for the future, to create the vision of where we want to go and to identify the resources that we should invest in to make
that vision become reality.
The vision plan and objectives for the next five years is something that the Board has been reviewing over the past year and will now fall upon me as the incoming CEO to complete the plan and lead its implementation. I believe the key areas of increased focus should be:
1. Governance and standards: First and foremost as a professional body we must be concerned with the standards by which we as an Association and as individual members conduct ourselves. Increasing regulatory requirements, technical standards, market competition and internationalisation, all create additional pressure on our sector. The tragic events of the Grenfell Tower fire in London must serve as a reminder of why it is essential that we not only maintain standards, but also strive to continuously improve the professional competence, conduct and accountability of CABE members. The Association can and must respond to this and will review our current competency, code of conduct, enforcement and supporting processes to ensure we are fit for the future as a leading professional body in the built environment.
2. Profile and influence: We have an opportunity to raise the profile and influence of the Association because, while already well regarded and uniquely placed to respond to the technical challenges across the built environment professions, CABE isn’t always widely known about and sometimes perceived as a second-tier body. I believe we can change these perceptions and, by strengthening of the technical team within headquarters, we will put the resources in place to proactively represent CABE members, leveraging our Royal Charter, events and awards programme to influence the technical policy direction of our industry.
3. Operational excellence: CABE is already known as the ‘Friendly Association’ and has great feedback on the speed and way it responds to members. The focus here will be on the service and benefits the Association provides to its membership and we will benchmark what ‘best in class’ service looks like, and invest in the people, processes and systems to deliver it; the aim being to support the overall growth in membership through improved member retention and increased attractiveness to new members. I would like to think that CABE members, whether they be corporate or individuals, and wherever in the world they may be, will be proud to tell other professionals about the service and recognition CABE provides.
4. Resources and digital: In order to enable the Association to deliver this vision we will invest the revenue from membership growth into the team, systems and facilities. This is likely to include further practical enhancements to the systems and resources behind the website, online training and the journal, as well as the hiring of a new technical director and staff to lead the standards and influencing activities as a matter of priority.
As always, I continue to believe that CABE and its members with their mix of technical, standards and practical expertise are well placed to help the industry deliver the emerging challenges it faces, and I look forward to working with you all to ensure that CABE is prepared to deliver the support necessary to ensure even greater success, influence and standards moving forward.
BSc MSc PhD FCABE C.Build E