The Success Stories of CIOB Chartered Academics

The CIOB is building a pool of academics that have achieved chartered status and have become MCIOB. We’ve been finding out the impact a CIOB chartered status has had on some of your peers in academia.

Laura Stirling

Last updated: 11th March 2021

The CIOB is building a pool of academics that have achieved chartered status and have become MCIOB. A chartered CIOB academic will not only stand out amongst their peers but will also contribute to the translation of continuous professional development into teaching and learning, building an impact in student satisfaction rates and well-prepared future professionals. We’ve been finding out the impact a CIOB chartered status has had on some of your peers in academia.

1. Dr. Wai-Kin Lau MCIOB, Assistant Professor at the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi).

Dr. Wai-Kin Lau teaches Surveying Programmes and researches Built Environment issues such as survival of building stock and building rehabilitation. He became MCIOB via the academic pathway in late 2018.

Wai-Kin’s Story...

I joined CIOB in the summer of 2016 as an Applicant. I came across the academic pathway to membership as my mentor at work, Dr. Ken Chan, current Committee Member of CIOB Hong Kong Hub, mentioned it in a casual talk. Then I started to explore the possibility of getting CIOB Chartered Membership. My membership journey started there.

Here are my thoughts when I was asked about why I considered chartership with CIOB. The higher education sector is changing. ‘Professional qualifications would be highly desirable’ is a common line in academic job advertisements. Industrial contacts and collaborators are essential to impactful research in construction. Employers expect graduates to be work-ready, while students prefer professionally accredited programmes to build their future career. CIOB not only provides a platform for construction professionals of different roles to meet and exchange ideas, but also provides access to plentiful resources that are useful to teaching and research. Becoming MCIOB is more than a recognition, a sign of professional competence, a commitment to meet industry’s highest standards. It opens doors to new opportunities for you, your students and your organisation.

The membership journey is not easy, but easier than you think if you take the first step – it takes time to meet the minimum requirement of experience, and it takes some effort to complete the Professional Review form, but the outcome will be rewarding. If you are at the crossroads of application, check on the CIOB website to see which pathway is the most suitable route to get your MCIOB membership. Read the Application and Professional Review forms, plan your actions and find a mentor to coach you through your application – two people are better than one, and you can get your CIOB Chartered Membership in a year or two. In case you have questions, do not hesitate to find CIOB contacts near you. Helpful and supportive people are all around us!

Photo of Wa-Kin

2. Mark Swallow MCIOB BSc (Hons) is a senior lecturer in construction project management at Sheffield Hallam University.

Mark’s research interests span many areas, including Building Information Modelling, 4D planning, immersive technologies and health and safety. He has published journal and conference papers related to these areas and is currently studying for a PhD within these fields.

Mark’s Story...

My career in higher education began over 6 years ago following many years as a construction site manager. In my role as a lecturer within the field of construction project management I believed it was important to demonstrate the application of my professional practice and further my career by becoming a member of the CIOB. Having explored the online resources and discussed my options with peers I decided to apply as an applicant whilst investigating the routes to Chartered Membership. Having discussed my membership options with the CIOB I began my chartership through the professional review process via the academic route. This involved providing detailed examples of good practice and reflecting on my past experiences within my role in construction education. The process was clearly explained, with guidance available to assist with each section, making the whole process comfortable to complete. I found that the reflection of my practice in higher education was a great method of demonstrating the skills and knowledge that I have gained in my career. When I received my certificate confirming chartered status, I was proud of my achievement and marked this as a key milestone in my professional career.

Since becoming a chartered practitioner, I have found this to open opportunities to further my career in higher education, as being a member of the CIOB is highly regarded in the sector. I have subsequently moved into a senior lecturer role at Sheffield Hallam University, a position which allows me to contribute to the development and delivery of degree-level qualifications as well as continuing with my research. I have found that becoming a Chartered Member has boosted my professional profile, assisted in developing career options, provided networking opportunities and has inspired many students and peers to begin their journey to chartered status.

Photo of Mark

3. Stephen Austin MCIOB, Head of School for Energy, Construction and Environment at Coventry University and a visiting Professor at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.

Stephen began teaching in 2001, before joining Coventry University in 2006. In the last 9 years, Stephen has completed 7 Erasmus+ research projects, looking at a range of European mobility language and employability skills. At present, Stephen is the principle-investigator on 3 Erasmus+ projects looking at digitising BIM for VET students, innovation in construction sites and curricula development on climate change policy and law.

Stephen’s Story...

As Head of School for Energy, Construction and Environment at Coventry University I see accreditation by professional institutions as one of the key criteria of our pedagogical approach to teaching. Courses in the School need to be professionally accredited, where possible, and to help facilitate that we need staff to be professionally recognised. Therefore, we have staff development plans in place to help staff achieve chartered status. As my role as Head I believed I should lead from the front and become chartered! 

I chose a time of the year that was slightly quieter to be able to concentrate on the application. I reviewed the documents and competencies and mapped out where I thought I could demonstrate sufficient evidence to show that I had achieved them, using my role as Head of School for Section 5, Leadership and Management, and my wider time in academia for Section 1. It was a challenging and fulfilling process that required a few re-writes to show sufficient evidence. An error I initially made was to rely on bullet points to put the evidence across, rather than writing the narrative of how it was achieved. Once I changed the approach it became slightly easier.

Becoming chartered was a very proud moment for me as it validated my career in construction education and my role as Head of School. If I’m honest, it’s not something I personally felt I could have achieved a few years ago, but encouragement from our last accreditation panel made me feel that it was achievable. By becoming Chartered I have been able to demonstrate the process to other staff within the School and guide them in starting their own journey to becoming chartered. This benefits the individual but also the courses within the School by creating stronger links with the professional institutions.

Photo of Stephen