Five years ago, we undertook a review of our grades, which resulted in the closure of the sub-chartered grades (ACIOB & ICIOB). However, since this closure we have become involved in a number of apprenticeships in England, Wales, and Scotland, many of which are technical sub-degree routes into the industry for school leavers and those wishing to upskill from trades roles.
The UK government itself has begun moving towards funding technical level qualifications at levels 4 and 5, which have the potential to bring new talent into the industry. These are HNC (Higher National Certificates) or HNDs (Higher National Diplomas) and designed as an articulation from T-Levels and other vocational routes. Some of these candidates will progress to a degree top-up but a large number will remain in a technical role for a considerable amount of time and would value a professional qualification that recognises their skills and knowledge.
Similarly, on an international front we also know that recognition of technical expertise at a non-chartered level including institutes offering such qualifications in, China, Hong Kong, India as well as the Middle East would be welcome.
So as a result of this, the CIOB initiated some polling within membership on the need for a non-chartered grade. The majority of participants felt the idea was attractive, and many students who took part described it as an extremely attractive idea because it would provide a home and a benefit for those studying towards the CIOB Level 4 Diploma in Construction Site Management and the CIOB Diploma in Building Control Surveying, which are at the sub-degree level.
For those who are already Associate or Incorporated Members they were not so interested. That did not surprise us because we know many either aspire to become fully Chartered Members or at a point in their career where they are no longer interested in professional body recognition. For our ACIOB and ICIOB members we are looking at various options that recognise their experience and commitment to the CIOB through their continued membership, but ensure standards are maintained by giving those who want it access to the professional review, rather than grandfathering them into chartered membership.
As we continue to investigate this proposal, we have set up a working group through our Education, Qualification, Standards and Practice Board to put this idea under the microscope. At this year’s Members’ Forum, we are discussing how we could develop a broader consultation across the CIOB membership to gain views from all areas of expertise.
More information about the CIOB's Members' Forum can be found at https://membersforum.ciob.org