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Listening is an underrated skill and good conversations are never one way. That is why Members' Forum is such an important event in our calendar. It is the chance for us to listen to each other and learn.

Toronto has reinforced my view that members identify with the important work our Quality Commission is doing.  With so many students at the Forum, through our Global Student Challenge, it is important that feel the sense of urgency around quality – it is not some remote concept but a real and pressing issue for the industry, so setting standards that the next generation will exceed and then improve upon is a good place to start.

Talking about the future it was evident, from our new President Chris Soffe FCIOB and our workshop and debate on the future, that it is important we think about how a professional body such as our retains and increases its relevance in the future.  The CIOB can, and does, act as both influencer and sharer of knowledge. But we can do more and ideas, like sliding or tiered fees from students to Fellows, and increasing our collaboration with other professional bodies and companies are items for us to consider.

Modern Slavery and labour exploitation remains at the forefront of issues within the construction industry. Four years on from Members’ Forum in Qatar, where members set out very clearly to be part of the solution not the problem we have made great strides as an institute. It is disappointing that we are one of a handful of voices in the industry on the matter. Moving on it our job to get others equally engaged. 

We do not yet fully understand the extent to which modern slavery and human trafficking are affecting our sector, but a picture is emerging that is uncomfortable to say the least. The Institute’s latest report takes a look at the UK construction industry, to see what the industry was doing in light of the Modern Slavery Act – ‘Construction and the Modern Slavery Act, Tackling Exploitation in the UK.

During the week we started our work to frame up the Corporate Plan that will take us through 2020-2025 hence the value of the previous workshops.

With our purpose set out in the Charter of advancing the science and practice of building and construction for the public good, this boil down to two simple concepts. Construction is about improving the quality of peoples’ lives but in the process we need to ensure that the lives of those who build for us is not diminished either. So the main themes of the emerging corporate plan are a well-trained, competent and motivated workforce, delivering better buildings, in the most efficient and effective way possible: A 21st Century construction industry supported by a 21st Century CIOB.

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