The Chartered Institute of Builders has a worldwide membership of somewhere in the region of 50,000 members who have all made a continued commitment to the very demanding standards that the Institute sets in line with its Royal Charter. Strict codes of conduct and professionalism must be complied with and a significant amount of evidence provided to the Institute upon application, which is not a process for the faint hearted.
Worth the effort
The opportunity to become a member starts, if you’re of a mind, at student level but can be taken up at any time during your career as a construction professional. It is without doubt a prestigious and recognised qualification which employers may well be prepared to pay a premium for, recognsing that the competencies the owner holds will have been carefully vetted and verified.
After applying for and becoming a member I can say first hand that being able to demonstrate the competencies, with written evidence across more than a dozen areas in my specific field was, at times, quite challenging. Being sure that you interpret the criteria and meet the competencies, which all have to be verified, takes time and a great deal of thought. Not because you don’t meet the criteria in your day to day work life, but in ensuring that what you include is relevant and appropriate.
The application form is generic but of course all applicants don’t have the same experience and therefore some areas can be a little perplexing on first sight. Even with what appear to be relatively straightforward topics such as Health & Safety, it is really important to provide evidence in accordance with the guidelines. There are also more complex areas to be addressed such as Commercial, Contractual and Legal issues along with Strategic Management, all of which you may practice on a regular basis but getting them into the framework isn’t the easiest thing you’ve ever done – not by a mile.
At the end of the day it’s understandable, the Charter is proof that you have a strong understanding and broad knowledge of your field and others related to it. The satisfaction and recognition the award brings makes all the effort worthwhile and as someone who has been in the construction industry for a long time, I feel my professional standing has been validated. The membership also provides me with great prospects for continued professional development and networking opportunities through seminars and events..
The construction industry gets its fair share of bad press and it’s a fact that there are people who experience less than satisfactory outcomes after finding themselves dealing with less than satisfactory standards. In these cases it’s usually provided by unskilled and possibly unqualified builders. The industry, after suffering massively during the recession is back on the up. According to government statistics there is still a skill shortage with considerable opportunities over the next 5 years. This is great news for genuine builders and associated trades and with the demand on their skills increasing, it is even more important that the public and businesses alike have faith in the industry and this is where the Charter comes into its own.
So if you’re looking for quality assurance and a personal recommendation isn’t available, look out for the CIOB mark!