The CIOB’s new managing director has said that he wants to strengthen links between the centre and the grass roots as one of his key priorities in the new position.
Terry Watts, who took up the newly created role in March, said that, as well as a general drive to boost membership, a priority will be to build relationships with members as the recent changes work through.
Over the past year the CIOB has undergone a number of changes to modernise, with the introduction of One CIOB as well as new hubs taking over the administrative work of the former regional branches. New elected committee members have taken over running the hubs.
He said: “You need a rolling membership on the committees that head up these hubs. Change is good but we want to make sure that we don’t lose any active people, or those who go out of their way to promote and work for the CIOB.”
Watts is keen to draw on his background in the skills sector to help promote the CIOB Academy. This includes ensuring courses are up to date and that it works with options such as online CPD to give members the services they want.
He said: “The key challenge, I think, is communication. There’s been so much change going on the last few years. I think we now need to go out to the market and say, ‘This is your organisation, this is what we can do – and what do you want us to do differently?’ I want there to be much more two-way communication.”
Watts said he hoped to address the ongoing issues of routes to membership, whether addressing the confusion some members have over titles such as ICIOB or ACIOB, or promoting the different paths to membership available.
“The more membership of the CIOB becomes the norm in the sector, the more valuable membership is seen to be, so we need more membership numbers. One of my worries is that senior people in the industry have got to their level without qualifications and training, and as they see people working for them getting chartered they may be discouraged from risking doing the same; a fear of ‘what if I try and fail?’
“So the direct fellowship entry for those senior people is something I really want to promote.”
Looking ahead, Watts wants to engage with the government on skills and apprenticeships. On the topic of skills, he said he saw the CIOB working alongside CITB, RICS and other bodies.
“I think we've gone through a period of change and restructuring and now we need to start to deliver the benefits to members.”