23rd May 2018

Changing Industry: the role of Members’ Forum

Members’ Forum takes place each year, in a new location to announce a new President and with a new focus for the industry. But what about the Forum’s that have gone before? What difference do they really make?

Each year we coordinate workshops which give members the chance to come together and focus on a specific topic and find a solution. It’s a great way to take the vast wealth of expertise and frontline experience and apply it to a key industry issue.

In 2014 our Members’ Forum in Qatar saw us hold discussions about corporate social responsibility and the respect for people agenda in the region. We signed a memorandum of understanding with the Qatar Foundation, encouraging uptake of their migrant worker welfare initiative. That Forum became the platform to kick-start the discussion on modern slavery in construction and has brought the topic to the forefront of the industry. Since then, we’ve been able to work with a range of organisations, including Amnesty International and Stronger Together. We’ve produced a toolkit  and training to educate construction professionals. We’ve also published a variety of reports; most recently last week with an indepth look at the UK construction industry, identifying where the problems lie and how as an industry we can tackle it.

In Cardiff last year, the Forum workshop discussed quality as a result of the incident in Edinburgh that saw the collapse of a school wall, and the further discovery of latent defects in 17 other schools. With the addition of Grenfell Tower, this work has only grown in importance and urgency. By having the input and support from members at the Forum, we were already well placed to provide guidance and suggestions to the Government as part of the Hackitt Review. We’ve also recognised the importance of uniting with our peers across industry and have signed a memorandum of understanding with the RIBA and RICS, ensuring collaboration is embedded across project teams and mitigating the chances of quality failures occurring.

Not all of our Members’ Forums have resulted in high profile work but they are no less vital. At the Members’ Forum in Cambridge in 2015, our workshop with members identified a need for industry-led training and support. Members felt that there was a gap in the provision of education for both new and existing construction professionals. This resulted in the creation of the CIOB Academy in 2016, which is now a leader in providing professional development resources and teaching from industry leaders to a wide range of construction professionals.

These are just examples of how important our Members’ Forums are in allowing us to gather the ideas, expertise and input from you as professionals in this industry, and how we can use that knowledge to transform and improve the built environment. Even if you can’t be at Members Forum, you can make sure that your thoughts and experience are shared with your representative, who attends the Forum on your behalf. You can find the contact details for your rep here and you can be part of helping us to raise the standards, and the profile, of the construction management profession.

We will be on social media leading up to and throughout the Forum, so join the conversation at #CIOBMF18 or follow @theCIOB for the latest news and updates from the event to see how the discussions unfold and identify how you can make a difference on our projects going forward.