News

Plans for ICIOB divide membership

10 December 2012

The CIOB has received mixed reaction to its plans to drop the incorporated membership grade as part of the Institute’s modernisation strategy. The Institute’s 39,000 members and around 6,000 student members are currently being consulted on the proposals.

Nearly 10,000 CIOB members currently hold the ICIOB designation, which is awarded to graduates from CIOB-approved degree courses and others who complete higher-level construction qualifications. These include HNDs in construction, CIOB-approved NVQs at Level 4, and CIOB site management diplomas. Full members of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists can also achieve ICIOB status.

Other professional bodies in the industry, such as RICS, ICE and RIBA, do not offer a membership grade below full chartered membership. [CORRECTION Nov 14th - the RICS and ICE do have membership grade below full chartered status]. 

CIOB chief executive Chris Blythe said the changes were being proposed as the ICIOB grade, introduced 15 years ago, was proving counter-productive. “ICIOB was only ever meant to be a transitionary membership level,” he said. “But at the moment we are finding too many members are sticking at the non-chartered incorporated status rather than going on to do the professional review and getting full chartered status.”

Paul Glover ICIOB, head of property services at the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, who was featured in CM October, said: “I’ve been ICIOB since 2001 — I’ve just not got round to becoming a full member. This is just the nudge I need.”
Richard Jones MCIOB, a Building Control surveyor at Cotswold District Council, told CM he couldn’t see why so many people were stuck at ICIOB and were able to have a designation after their name when they hadn’t achieved full chartered status.

However, commenting on LinkedIn, Wayne Lester ICIOB said: “I have worked hard to achieve ICIOB status, and disagree with the Institute on the use of the designations after my name and the possible removal of such a key stage in progression.” And David Norris ICIOB wrote: “What is the aim of removing the ICIOB? ACIOB can be obtained relatively easily so in my eyes cheapens the hard work that some of us put into becoming an [incorporated] member.”

According to the consultation proposals, ICIOB members would have a grace period to upgrade to MCIOB, depending on how long they have been an ICIOB. If they had remained ICIOB for three years or more they would be expected to upgrade within a year. They would have two years’ grace if they had been incorporated for two years; three years if they had been ICIOB for 12-24 months; and four years if they had been ICIOB for less than 12 months. Any ICIOB member not able to upgrade will be moved to AssocCIOB status.

The proposals also outline a new “graduate” category of membership, open to university graduates and non-degree holders pursuing the Experienced Practitioner Assessment route to membership. However, they would have no designatory letters after their name, and would be expected to either achieve MCIOB within five years, or move to the AssocCIOB grade.

Blythe said there were no plans to abolish the associated membership, so there would still be an option for those who did not have the educational requirements to achieve full chartered status. ICIOB members who might not be eligible to attain full MCIOB status would be able to become associated members.

 

More comments from CM's discussion on the CIOB LinkedIn group

Joseph Kowalski ICIOB
Having gained ICIOB before going on and doing the professional review to gain my MCIOB I thought it was definitely a good stepping stone and really meant something when I gained it. I realise there's several grades of membership so economising by dropping one of them might seem a good idea for the CIOB, however I think it does provide a useful differentiation and a good career progression target for people in a very complex industry. I'd vote to keep it!

Jon Holloway MCIOB, MBEng
When I got my ICIOB letters based on my academic achievement I was happy that my years of work had been recognised. it made me work toward the MCIOB as opposed to the MRICS at the time. I personally will be sad to see it go.

Joe Campbell
As I came through the ICIOB route, I agree it should remain as a positive and progressive stepping stone to full membership.
If there isn’t any intermediate level this I also agree will deter a number of those who are just short of the MCIOB criteria but still either need or wish to have their current achievements recognised or even to take a pause after getting to ICIOB, which can be difficult when working fulltime in possibly a new industry.

I think we will lose potentially very good members who are committed to industry professionalism and be a good reprehensive of CIOB because they unable to make the one leap direct to MCIOB.

Richard Brisland
I can see the point that the CIOB is trying to make and the issue that they are facing as many ICIOB members do not progress from that point. May I suggest that there is a maximum time at the level of ICIOB so that it is clearly a stepping stone?
That way this will achieve benefit to both the CIOB and the member.

Stuart H
I’m on record as being in favour of a reversion to the way it used to be – no “I's” – but that seems to be a minority viewpoint. So how about a compromise? Anyone who is currently an Incorporate Member allowed to stay there without limit of time, but no new appointments to that grade. What do people think of that idea? Doesn’t penalise anyone, nor does it put anyone under time pressures at a period when things are hard! If it gains a consensus I’ll happily contact CIOB and tell them I was wrong!

Comments

The CIOB chief executive stated that “ICIOB was only ever meant to be a transitionary membership level,”.
I tends to agree with Stuart H on anyone who is currently an Incorporate member to stay on, but will suggest that new appointments to the grade be awarded with the expectation that they will progress to full chartership within a specified period. People will argue it will put someone under pressure over the period, but I would also argue that goal without a set time is not "SMART". I wouldn't be comfortable to sit mid-way in my profession for too long a time.

Steve Nihi MCIOB, MBA, 9 November 2012

I am surprised that no one has mentioned the cost of becoming a full member, in today's climate with the price of everything going up.
I was quoted over two thousand pounds for a course that would allow me to apply for full membership. I feel that this will be prohibitive for many people and as such will be stuck at the ICIOB level.

I Higgins, 9 November 2012

Having been ICIOB from when the membership was first introduced, I believe stopping the incorporation would be a retrograde step.
I am at present on the EPA route, having passed the two exams now preparing for the assignments, this will have taken me 3 years, due to work and family commitments. The work content is considerable and I would not have been able to complete in 12 months as suggested, in the proposal.
I would vote to keep the Incorporated member status for those in the industry working their way up from the trades who do not have the academic capability. Possibly putting on a time limit to achieve full membership, which is more realistic say 5 years.
With the industry in such a low ebb at present the CIOB are in danger of loosing these ICIOBs and their fees!

Ian Clarkson, 9 November 2012

I agree with the idea suggested by Stuart H, that if the CIOB must abolish this level of membership they should stop any new admissions to this grade but let existing ICIOB members stay at that level if they so wish.
I have been a member of the CIOB and IOB before that for 35 years and I have no intention of going "back to school" to gain MCIOB for the last few years of my working life. Mine is one membership fee that the Institute will lose if they totally abolish this grade of membership.

Neil Howells ICIOB, 9 November 2012

I've been ICIOB for 4 years, but the proposals say I will have just 1 year to achieve MCIOB status - is this realistic? I am no longer directly linked to construction sites, instead being in premises and facilities management which includes buiding maintenance and I am still learning on the job and gaining experience, but is it enough experience to go down the EPA route? Also I cannot afford to pay the cost of gaining MCIOB in this current economic climate and if I'm 'forced' to go down the MCIOB route to maintain a professional membership it would probably lead to me leaving the CIOB completely. In my view, with a dire economic outlook and slow order books, surely the CIOB should be looking at serious issues involving our industry? Surely the CIOB should be doing all it can to encourage people to join, not put people in a dilemma?

Jamie Sugg, 12 November 2012

I've been an ICIOB, a practising architect, member of the Ukrainian Union of Architects, and certified architect of Ukrainian. I think am the only member from Ukraine, and my professional practice qualifies to full membership. But advice is needed for me to attain full membership. I have sent my works to CIOB, but got no reply. I feel I should be elevated to full membership.

Alexis OPARA, 13 November 2012

I have been involved in or with the Industry since leaving school in 1978 and have been ICIOB for three years. In September 2011 I decided to start down the EPA route for full membership status and now only have one last module left to pass. At my age I didn't envisage myself going back to college or sitting exams. Yes, the past 14 months have been an effort balancing work, a family, wide ranging study and course work. However, I believe that relevant qualifications are more important today than they ever have been and I would probably not be able to advance further up the scale within my current organization without achieving full Chartered membership. I agree with Ian Clarkson's comments above. A 12 month target for those looking to progress via the EPA route is not a realistic time frame in my view.

Mark O'sullivan ICIOB, 13 November 2012

Having read the many members comments i concur with the view that ICIOB designation shoulde be retained for the purpose the Institute originally intended, as a stepping stone to corporate membership.

To that end, as some commentors have suggested, an individual's period under ICIOB should be time capped at say 5years max. This is to allow a realistic timeframe for an individual to achieve chartered status given the ups and downs of the industry sector and indeed of people's personal lives.

Steve Ward, 15 November 2012

I worked hard to achieve the ICIOB status during a difficult time in my life and would be disappointed to have it taken away from me and to be placed as ACIOB. The NVQ 4 qualification that I worked for in my leisure time for 2 1/2 years was more rigorous than one that gave ACIOB status. I would like to become MCIOB but have neither the spare time or spare income to make the progression. If the entry requirements were changed to accommodate people in my situation who have 20 years experience and an NVQ 4 qualification then I feel more people will move towards MCIOB.

Alex Capon ICIOB, 15 November 2012

I have 45 years experience working in the industry as a Technologist and then a Project and Design Manager, both employed and as a consultant. I have worked at all levels and in the private and public sector. I have led on major PFI projects in Education and recently been working in East Africa with an international charity. I am 63, have been ICIOB for a number of years and whilst not aiming to retire (yet), I plan to give to others now and have no need to continue training developing a career that is no longer a career. To lose ICIOB will be disappointing, but I am too old and too busy (with not masses of time left) to go through a protracted process to get full membership. I'm sure I am not alone - the experience will be different, but the position is the same. Question is always how useful is my experience - if it is not enough to be ICIOB, I guess I will not be.

Alan Gillard ICIOB, 15 November 2012

My job role has diversified since becoming an Incorporated Member 10 years ago. A lot of hard work went into 4 years of study via CIOB Examination Route and to have the designation watered down is a kick in the teeth. I have just not had the time to pursue the next stage.
If CIOB persist with the downgrade I will not renew membership.

Michael Cook, 15 November 2012

I propose the CIOB to help the members of developing countries to become MCIOB with some reduced level expenses. Also it is important to consider the Members' present qualifications such as other chartered status etc to up grade from the ICIOB level to MCIOB level. The next important thing is the non- recognition of CIOB qualification in some countries.

M C Mendis JP,ICIOB,IEg, 15 November 2012

I would be in favour of Stuart H's recommendation and disappointed in the the reaction of the CIOB to its members' requests. My experience of trying to achieve chartered staus has been very poor, by being let down by the organisation when requesting information and trying to go through the process. Being timed out by lack of response from CIOB.
Why do people who have over 15 years' experience in construction and management, hold industry degree equivalent & post degree qualification (NVQ 6) etc, not automatically achieve full member staus? Is the CIOB interested in members and membership, or revenue creation for the few who benefit from being on the panel to judge their peers?

R Butler C,MIOSH, ICIOB, MIIRSM, MIIM, 16 November 2012

I am currently ICIOB and have been since 2010 when unfortunately due to the crisis in the UK I could not obtain a graduate role to continue my progress having worked hard to achieve my status. I am now not in the UK market but studying a taught MSc in Italy before deciding my next move so I would rather keep ICIOB to show the value in my credentials on the International market where I believe as the UK industry and CIOB are growing that it would be better to provide a international route to MCIOB and encourage new and current ICIOB's to get international experience and qualify for MCIOB adding greater depth of coverage and experience to CIOB.

For example at the Politechnico di Milan my degree classmate came here before me and found little CIOB activity in Italy and the continent to continue, which is sad because in the EU CIOB is unique. He is also a US citizen and could not use it there either. The goal should be widening the prescence of the institute on the strength prevoius and future success! Rather than reducing the grades!

Musonda Mumba, 20 November 2012

I joined the CIOB as an Associate back in 1990. Moving on to ICIOB status when it was instigated. As a busy Project Manager running a 2,500 housing development, I don't have time to study. 30 years of construction management experience, and the CIOB still want me to meet their qualification route. In my 60's, I'm more interested in retirement. If they cut ICIOB, I'll probably cease membership.

Terry Thorp, 21 November 2012

I agree with many of my (above) colleagues in the industry, that by going through this it will definitely decrease the number of current members. It is very difficult in this current climate to pay the expected fees and particularly for the graduates (coming out at the the time when the jobs were in decline!) who have been members for the last four years, and cannot provide the expected level of experience when there are no jobs!

Sarah m, 23 November 2012

The most significant reason why fewer members are not upgrading, is because of the widespread acceptence of SMSTS as criteria for vacant site manager positions! I advise anyone who disputes this to check for themselves online. This 5 day, multiple choice, test which currently boasts a 97.5% pass rate, has become the number 1 must have certificate. Which is mentioned in the criteria for vacant site manager positions, ICIOB or MCIOB are simply not mentioned.
Additionally cskills have managed to create a qualification system that contradicts itself, because it endorses SMSTS, which does NOT prove competence. It quite rightly does not allow its owner to attain a CSCS card, which means that all site personel have the relevant card and can therefor prove competence. With the exception of the site manager, who has a CSCS card with "General labourer" on it, but because he has SMSTS he's got the job, even though he cannot prove competence. SMSTS has provided individuals a 5 day backdoor route into construction management, it has flooded the jobs market with individuals who have not attained any construction management qualifications. Why should individuals, who have already attained the industry accredited benchmark standard, undertake further qualification when a 5 day course is more desirable?
For the vast majority of ICIOB members taking part in this debate, are fortunate to be employed by large well resourced companies. But for many individuals, myself included, have drank from the poison chalace provided by the services of recruitment agencies, and in doing so, put paid to the thought ever finding full time employment. We have to pay for all of our own "add on" courses, accommodation, and of course do not get paid whilst in attendance. Due to this many many experienced and qualified people are leaving the industry completely, which is another significant factor as to why individuals are not upgrading. Construction management has become extremely expensive for freelance managers.
I ask the CIOB to consider the graphical evidence of when a lower percentage increased their status, and when SMSTS started to appear, the evidence is clear.

Anthony Porter, 23 November 2012

ICIOB was always meant to be a stepping stone? This has never been expressed to me by CIOB in all my years of membership. I have been perfectly content to remain at this level and it has never done my career any harm or reduced my income potential. This designation snobbery is just the thing I need to terminate my association with an organisation that has a non-inclusive mentality. Rather like UKIP or the C of E really.

Tim Simmonds, 28 November 2012

When I joined the CIOB at no time was it made clear or inferred to me that ICIOB was a stepping stone level of membership. I think that ICIOB or Incorporate membership is superb as it recognises individuals that do fall short of chartered membership (in my case because I do not do typical construction or site management) but are more skilled than associate grade professionals by their experience in a technical rather managerial area or breadth of skills. Rather like Incorporated Engineers who fall short of chartered status but are assessed as having more skills than technicians. Rather than down grade ICIOB members who do important jobs throughout the construction and built environment industry, the CIOB should draw itself in line with the Engineering Council and perhaps give some guidance as to the differences between the Chartered, Incorporate and Associate grades in the way that the EC does for Chartered Engineers (CEng), Incorporate Engineers (IEng) and Engineering Technicians (EngTech). See how there are three and three? It strikes me that the current membership grades are perfect. Tell an IEng that they are not a proper engineer and see what happens! Furthermore, looking at the statistics above I cannot see a problem but if ICIOB members were to be made associates then many might well leave and I would have thought that since a professional body is all about people that retaining and increasing membership whilst also maintaining standards is the key aim. Lastly, the CIOB says it represents many in the construction, built environment and building industry but unless the CIOB is prepared to open the EPA route and make it an avenue to those outside of construction management then it does not have a way for those outside of management to progress and this is a very good reason to keep the ICIOB grade.

Glenn Bramble-Stewart ICIOB, 11 January 2013

To be honest I fail to see what benefit the CIOB give me in return for the membersip I pay - I get a magazine every month and that's it. These organisations do nothing to ensure competence - they merely line their own pockets with our money and try and scare us into thinking we won't get a job without a few meaningless letter after our names.

Dave Smith ICIOB, 31 January 2013

After initially passing my RICS (QS) final and thereafter being designated ICIOB which was more in keeping with my self employment as a building contractor ( over 20 years ago) - I would be unhappy to see it go. At 57 I have put in the graft and obviously have the skills. ( My small business is thriving in this and previous recessions). I dont feel the need to go back to school or be judged by my "betters" ? I may be prepared to spend the extra money if full designation is granted, if not I will be regretfully leaving. If all ICIOB designates respond likewise we may force a change of policy.

Steven Dalgleish, 1 February 2013

As an ICIOB member, what is amazing here, which has not been addressed is lack of jobs for the designated 'ICIOB' members in the building industry. If the Institute leadership have stride in their efforts to market their members as has the "RICS,' in Great Britain, the argument about not progressing on towards becoming fully fledged members of the CIOB, would have been reduced. With many ICIOB members absorbed in the Building and Construction industries, then there would have been no financial constraints. Presently the economic climate in Britain and elsewhere are not encouraging to prompt the progress needed on towards becoming Full CIOB member. My advice to the institute would be in a way of encouragement to build a standard route with less 'financial' burden on potential candidates for the MCIOB professional qualification. The institute can equally achieve its aim and objective by disallowing the route of new ICIOB qualifiers, that is abolishing it totally, while allowing current members to progress or remain where they are. Some of the ICIOB members, who have no age behind them to progress and some of them will still go up the ladder with time, provided there is better encouragement with less financial constraint. Hence, those that can not progress should be allowed to enjoy the fruit of their labour, efforts and money spent for years.

Rasak sulu-Lola, 17 October 2013

What is the latest on this subject. Can someone please update us from CIOB HQ.

I SINCERELY HOPE THAT THE INCORPORATED GRADE WILL BE RETAINED WITHOUT RESTRICTIONS.

Ashley Botha, 17 November 2013

I became a Licentiate of the Institute of Building by examination in 1971 and was entitled to use the designation L.I.O.B.
Then in its lust for Chartered status the IOB dumped on its Licentiate members.
When the Chartered IOB offered the Incorporate membership class based on academic achievement I applied and was admitted.
I am shocked but not surprised that the IOB is yet again dumping on its members.

Peter Franzen , 7 November 2014

Dear All,
Can someone please update us?

Dr Abdussalam Shibani, 6 March 2015

Actually the matter was settled at last year's CIOB EGM - here's the link to our story

http://www.construction-manager.co.uk/news/egm-approves-new-membership-grade-changes/

Elaine Knutt, 6 March 2015

How can I check if somebody is an ICIOB member?

DAVID LEIGHTON, 7 July 2019

I was admitted as a full member (MCIOB) back in 1999. However, I did not pay my fees for a few years and when I re-joined they said I could only join as ICIOB.

So after completing the professional review in Ascot in 1999, and having achieved all the requirements to become a full member, I was not admitted back as a full member.

Now the CIOB keep pestering me to apply for chartered status again and want me to fill in the professional review forms.

If someone has already made the grade, why so they have to do the professional review again?

I have asked this question of the CIOB and I cannot get a genuine reason and only a trotted out policy statement from someone in an administrative role at the CIOB.

So do all those, who do not pay their fees and get demoted, and if there is no ICIOB status (for demoted "non-fee" payers, who what to re-join and crucially pay their fees), what happens to old full members who have been "busted down" sort of speak but were fully accepted as a full members previously. Do the CIOB simply discard them?

I would be interested to know. Maybe the President of the CIOB could shed some light.

Jeremy Fearnsides, 11 September 2019

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