In the latest Newsweek interview, read about the benefits of being a chartered professional with Jeff Steeds, member of the Chartered Institute of Building.
‘I stopped my senior studies to earn money, but at age 47 I re-contacted the Chartered Institute of Builders (the CIOB). I said, “I’d love to become Chartered, haven’t got a degree, but I’ve got twenty years of experience.” They put me on a course. I took examinations to degree standard, a professional interview and then, boy, did my career kick off. It’s not just job offers, but in yourself, you know you’re a professional. It gives you inner belief and confidence.’
Jeff Steeds is now Estates Manager in charge of a major site at a UK university. He is also the Work at Height specialist. The estates department was absorbed within the facilities department. ‘We are now under a director who’s not a construction professional. Understandably he wants you to get on with work quickly. At times professional requirements can make you seem unconstructive or not cooperative.’
‘This industry suffers 52 deaths per annum. One thing the profession all agrees on to try to reduce this is time. Under Construction Design and Management regulations everybody should be given enough time to put the scheme together, get estimates and then generate time for the correct design effort. We have to iron out issues and be left with enough time for the genuine construction phase. It’s difficult to translate to somebody who isn’t a construction professional.’
Jeff has to be trained annually on use of harnesses and high platforms. ‘My CPD is encouraged 100% here: it’s better than my experience in private industry where there was a definite commitment to keep money tight. Through the CIOB, we meet roughly 8 times a year for lectures on current events, construction techniques, legislation. Sometimes we meet on a current construction site, seeing with your own eyes the latest techniques being employed.’
Professor Andy Friedman, CEO of PARN
First appeared in Newsweek, edn. 17 April 2015