Join the Institute of Roofing

Putting the Pieces Together: An Interview with Kay Rose (FIoR), CEO of the Institute of Roofing (IoR)

Q1: Can you give us a general overview of the IoR – who you cater for and the types of courses you offer?

The Institute of Roofing (IoR) is a not-for-profit organisation that provides academic training and professional development courses for individuals in the roofing industry.

Q2: Focusing on the training you offer – is it a mixture of both online and in-person? You’ve recently refreshed your flagship Associate Course – tell us more?

At the IoR, we offer a range of business and management development courses from health and safety to more in-depth roofing specific training such as the Associate Course. Our full online training offering, available to members and non-members, is a good way of upskilling and adding professional skills to your CV.

Many of our courses can be found on our website, but we also have in-person training – The Associate Course – which is a mixture of classroom-based learning and self-study, with a qualification awarded on successful completion.

Updated in-line with my vision to modernise the Institute, the training has been refreshed with support and input from Mark Dunn – new IoR board member and tutor. Because the Associate Course ultimately results in each individual gaining a qualification, the IoR wanted to ensure we maintained a high standard throughout our offering, making sure all processes in delivering the course comply with the awarding body’s requirements. This, we feel, is the very least our students deserve and we have a duty to ensure the course and its process was thoroughly analysed to ensure full compliance.

The Associate Course is designed for anyone considering a professional career in roofing, particularly with an eye to moving into a supervisory or management role. The course includes a more interactive, presentation-led learning style. Once candidates have successfully completed the course, they will be given an Awarding Body of the Built Environment (ABBE) Level 3 Award in Roofing Management. The first cohort for the Associate Course this year took place at FixFast in Kent, which was a huge success.

In the future, we are looking at delivering a separate Associate Course within an online format, but that’s still something we need to develop.

Q: What does it mean to be an IoR member, for the individual?

As mentioned earlier we offer different grades of membership that cater to individuals at various stages in their careers. We have the Affiliate, Associate, Member and Fellow grades, for anyone who wants to develop their skills and progress through their career.

There are several benefits to obtaining membership with the IoR, including the ability to show your experience within the industry. It is a badge of honour that demonstrates a commitment to the roofing sector, and a willingness to develop skills and knowledge. Additionally, membership with the IoR can provide access to a network of like-minded professionals.

Q: You’ve been in the role of CEO for nearly two years now, and in a recent article for Total Contractor, you said 2022 had “been a year of pulling things apart for the Institute, and putting them back together again”. Have the changes you’ve made, for example to the Board and structure of the IoR, had the impact you hoped for, and do you feel the IoR has a stronger platform to build from now?

The IoR has engaged in ongoing work to review all elements of the organisation, including governance, constitution, and board structure. As a result, we have opened up co-opted board member opportunities to individuals with necessary expertise and skills, including individuals who work in other sectors, such as education.

Having fully assessed and re-introduced the Associate Course, the IoR is now looking forward to focussing on what course we need to develop next. To determine what is needed, we are in discussions with key players within the industry, including manufacturers, merchants, and contractors. This collaboration will ensure the IoR delivers training and certification that meets the needs of the sector and our individual members.

One major challenge the IoR faces is lack of resources, and we are therefore looking at ways we can provide training and qualifications, backed by financial support from the industry. As CEO, I am having constructive discussions with companies to find out how the IoR could help those businesses in the future by offering industry ‘rubber stamped’ courses to new starters and employees moving up the career ladder.

This is key to the future of the IoR and the sector as a whole – I’d like the IoR to be the ‘go-to’ Institute for all aspects of academic and professional roof training, across all roofing disciplines. We appreciate we can’t do everything overnight, but ground work is most definitely being done to help us move forward.

Q: How important is it for the IoR to be recognised by external stakeholders as a ‘badge of excellence’ for members to help them win business, progress their careers and really offer value to individuals?

I believe it is very important, however, I am aware a lot of resource needs to go into this to make it happen.

It also requires a significant shift in attitude and a series of processes to gain recognition. As an Institute, we must establish a clear pathway for individuals to demonstrate their career progression and offer support to help them navigate it. Once IoR members have a meaningful presence in the industry, external stakeholders will take notice and start asking about our members.

Q: More generally, do you feel the roofing industry is slowly changing the outdated perceptions that some members of the public and clients might have of it? Or are we still some way off?

In construction, particularly the roofing sector, it has long suffered from negative perceptions about customer service. However, it’s not just the industry that is at fault; but also, the general public who hold presumptions and expectations about contractors.

You hear stories of homeowners trying to negotiate lower prices by making unfounded complaints and using outdated stereotypes about roofers and contractors in general. Therefore, it is important to consider customer service not only on the domestic side but also in terms of client behaviour. Both parties have a responsibility to behave correctly, do their homework, and not make assumptions about products or guarantees.

Q: After observing the IoR from the outside, and now for nearly two years as its CEO, what are the areas you feel the organisation has to focus on to cement its position in the sector?

At the IoR, we are dedicated to working closely with the roofing industry to provide the qualifications and training that are truly needed. We understand that it is important to communicate with the sector to find out what is required, rather than solely focusing on what the IoR wants. Our approach is to have ongoing discussions with industry professionals to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges they face and the areas where they require support.

We recognise that the needs and wants within roofing is constantly evolving, and we are committed to staying up-to-date with these changes. By working collaboratively with other roofing professionals and organisations, we can ensure that the qualifications and training we provide are relevant and meet the needs of the industry.

Q: Who should readers contact or where should they go to find out more about the IoR’s offering?

There are several routes of contact. You can email , or me directly

The IoR website also has a wealth of information on there about training, benefits of IoR membership, upcoming events and diary dates, as well as news and information about our Board.

We also have regular updates on our social media channels, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.