The Institute of Roofing (IoR) has announced its goals for the future at its first AGM since the appointment of CEO, Kay Rose (FIoR).
Taking place on Wednesday (6 April) at the National Gallery in London by kind permission of its trustees and directors, more than 50 members attended the event which saw Kay Rose (FIoR) offering “brutally honest” thoughts on the IoR as it stands, and her vision for change.
“It has been a great honour to take over the position as CEO of the Institute of Roofing, especially at such an important time and crossroads in our industry,” said Kay. “But with this honour comes huge responsibility to our members, our future members and the sector as a whole, which I do not take lightly.
“I have spent time looking at the Institute with new eyes, playing devil’s advocate in a way. I have looked at how things have always been done, thinking can we do it differently, and maybe better. This isn’t undermining what those before me have achieved, but asking the question – is there another way?”
During the AGM, Kay Rose (FIoR) put her “cards on the table” as she presented an overview of where the IoR is at present and the challenges ahead.
Attendees also heard from the IoR’s new chair, Sarah Spink, about the Institute’s achievements and future collaborations within the industry. Sarah was followed by guest speaker, Caroline Gumble, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).
Below are some of the key changes envisioned for the future of the IoR. All proposed plans require IoR Board approval;
Board Structure – Bringing People from Outside the Industry
As the IoR evolves, Kay explained how she would like influencers from other sectors to become involved within the IoR, including professionals from the education industry.
“We need to bring expertise from outside the roofing industry onto the Board. We need people with the relevant experience in training and qualifications to add to the mix,” said Kay.
Continues: “I strongly believe that if we want to grow as a professional body within roofing, providing industry relevant courses and qualifications, we must ensure the structure of the IoR board also reflects our objectives and aims.”
The IoR also announced that board member, Kate Whatley (FIoR), has taken the position of Honorary Treasurer as Alex Owens has resigned.
The IoR has announced a new vision to scrap its current Regional Chair structure, a constitutional change which would see the voluntary roles of IoR Regional Chairs, Regional Honorary Secretaries and Vice Chairs’ roles become defunct.
Historically these groups would have organised member meetings in their regions, with CPD and networking opportunities. Due to lack of attendance, support and content for these events, as well as the burden of general event organisation and member feedback, the IoR plans to bring these to an end.
This would be replaced by IoR ambassadors – individuals within companies who are IoR members and would act as mentors for others. An IoR Ambassador could work at any level and provide support to others who are perhaps thinking of joining the IoR, but also new members who simply need to be welcomed. They could also support Kay Rose (FIoR) and the Board in future projects where their expertise is relevant.
“The current system is outdated,” said Kay. “I think it is holding us back and creates a bad feeling within the Institute as there is a lot of pressure on the Regional Chairs to host meetings and plan events, on top of their day jobs.”
For individuals wanting to become an IoR Ambassador, it would offer a doorway into career progression, as well as invaluable management, mentoring and supporting experience to add to their CVs.
Evolving IoR Training
The IoR would also like to evolve and adapt the current website to meet the demands of online training, creating a more flexible and versatile platform for members to access online courses.
“I want to put the foundations in place to help futureproof our website,” said Kay. “This includes continuously uploading and updating our online courses to offer a full library of professional training. I want the website to also house the Associate Course. I would like this course to be developed online so people can access it in a more flexible way around work commitments, which will also save them time and money. Yet, this isn’t a complete replacement for face-to-face interaction with other students, which I still think is extremely important.”
The IoR also has a vision to incorporate training offered by other trade associations within the online library, as well as offering a more varied selection of courses in a joint industry effort.
Kay added: “We must continue to provide the qualifications, courses and routes to develop a professional career within roofing, which in turn will support our manufacturers, contractors, merchants and consultants in our sector.”
Company ‘Supporters’ of the IoR
An idea to generate more income for the IoR includes a new company support scheme, subject to IoR Board approval.
The IoR plans to reach out to companies within the construction sector to support them annually, who would then be given a IoR Supporter logo to be used on their website and marketing, showing a level of professionalism within their business.
Kay said: “This wouldn’t be company membership, but more like sponsorship. This is only an idea at present, which needs to be worked out and agreed at board level. “This annual sponsorship would bring much needed income to the IoR, which could be used to develop future courses and qualifications.”
Obtaining Chartered status is still a goal for the IoR.
Commenting on this, Kay said: “This won’t happen overnight and I don’t want to cut corners to get there. A lot of planning, resource and work will have to go into this, and we need to put some foundations in place first.
“But the most important thing for me is, once we get there, to make sure we are strong enough to sustain Chartered status. The work we are doing now will ensure we are. We know what the end goal is, but let’s focus on the hurdles on the way first.”
Becoming A Linchpin for the Industry
Kay expressed her vision to become more involved in key decision-making groups within the wider sector, working closely with other trade associations outside of roofing in a bid to evolve and modernise.
“We must remain relevant and not get left behind,” said Kay. “Our industry is very different from where it was only a few years ago, and we can’t get stuck in our traditional ways.
“I see the IoR as the future linchpin for the industry. We must become the ‘go to’ professional membership organisation that every person in the roofing industry aspires to join and remain a member of.
“There is a place for us within working groups and competency frameworks, looking at the gaps in professional training and qualifications.”
“We are no threat to other trade associations, and in fact, other organisations want to collaborate with us. The drive for professional competency in our sector, especially post-Grenfell, means we need to be more involved.”
The IoR AGM was kindly sponsored by Academy Consultancy and Design Ltd – an independent specialist waterproofing, cladding and roofing company undertaking investigations, material testing, preparing reports for expert witness and dispute resolution for the building envelope.