Opinion

CIOB shake up: leave qualifications to colleges and universities

10 February 2012

Plans for the CIOB to extend the number of qualifications unveiled by Alan Crane and Chris Blythe haven't impressed Mukesh Kashyap. Here the senior lecturer in construction management at Nottingham Trent University, and chairman for the Construction Industry Council (CIC) East Midlands, explains why.

I think we all agree that the skills, knowledge and competencies required by professionals today are very different from what the industry expected in 1970’s. There was no talk about sustainability, waste management, lean construction, carbon reduction or greater emphasis on health and safety what we put now.

And we know that the CIOB faces a lot of challenges - from its strategic vision for the future, to supporting members in all aspects of their careers while remaining relevant to changing needs and requirements from the industry and members – but ultimately it is a membership-based organisation involved in promoting professionalism and creating better opportunities for employment.

Chris Blythe’s plans to modernise the Institute by developing new qualifications will be a shift from what the institute has done for the past 177 years to where it is now. Rather than simply becoming another provider of qualifications, the CIOB should seek to work more closely with the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) who have been providing these courses for the past 150 years. The Institute can help develop more relevant courses that will equip professionals with the skills required for future challenges.

HEIs already provide the options - such as the flexible learning programmes - that Chris is proposing. They enable professionals already in the industry to study at every level, so why introduce another provider into the equation when well-established educational institutions exist.

I do, however, welcome president Alan Crane’s comment that his primary focus is to involve employers with the work of the Institute and give them a bigger say in the curriculum. The industry, CIOB and academia all have the responsibility to enthuse passion with a purpose to develop a mechanism that can prepare the professionals for the future, and I believe that the CIOB can provide the vital link between employers and HEIs. I’m not denying that the link didn’t exist before, but it should be closer (even if Blythe thinks it’s too cosy at times).

HEIs are facing a challenging time at the moment with the increase in tuition fees, and needs to make their courses relevant for the ever-changing requirements and demands of the industry.

On the back of this, industry leaders need to show their commitment towards academia as present students will become the future industry leaders. Technological and regulatory changes are already transforming every aspect of the industry, including academia, and by industry, the CIOB and HEIs working together and employers providing research opportunities, sharing their knowledge, and providing work-based learning opportunities and placements - even if for a short duration – this new way of learning will provide young professionals with the right skills required to face future challenges.

We must remember - students are future members/industry leaders, and both professional bodies and industry need to work closer than ever before with them. Instead of introducing new qualifications and becoming another provider, the CIOB should thrive to continue doing what it has been doing for the last 177 years and maintain the highest possible standards in the industry.”

Comments

Please find me a University that I can attend, in the evenings to advance from H.N.C to BSc(Hons) within the greater Manchester Area? I bet you cant

John Williamson, 12 February 2012

One point that is being missed here.
Since obtaining the Royal Charter the CIOB has moved towards academia and left behind the core of the institute as it was prior to obtaining the Royal Charter .
In an era where there are not enough aspiring trades people in the industry and companies (no one)seems to be training the next generation of 'craftsmen' .
I would like to see a greater growth in courses for young people who can become the next trades people and foreman and site supervisors and site managers estimators and the like .
Who will become the next professional planners .I can recall in the early 1970's the CIOB P/T courses consisted of young (as in under 25 years old)planners and formwork designers site managers in places like Ewell /NESCOT Brighton and Sheffield -and were fully subscribed courses sponsored/supported by well managed construction companies such as H&H Costain Mansell & Hugh Try were late commers.
Why because they provided a stream of young people who became industry directors and managers in the next decade.
Chris-
We need to encompass the core requirement in the new plan going forward.
If not the CIOB then who will provide the training and expand the future CIOB membership.There are holes to be filled for sure.
BUT deal with the bigger issues.
please

Best Regards
an old
Keith Skelton FCIOB

Keith Skelton FCIOB, 13 February 2012

With all due respect to Mukesh, we already support a number of very successful none university based qualifications including our NVQs and site management diplomas along with our own exams.
Things are changing and the university model is not the be all and end all. The cost of going to university will be a real barrier for many so it's incumbent upon all of us to find other ways for the best talent to get into the industry.
It also is important that we develop what employers and the people who work for them want.
The university of work is as good as any in many cases.

Chris Blythe, 17 February 2012

When you say you are conducting your own exams what are these exams ? Are you still conducting your own Part 1 and 2 exams in construction followed by the Project Evaluation and Development thesis ? This could be another option for younger people who cannot afford to go to University because of the increase in fees. Once they had passed all of the above and had the relevant experience they could sit the professional review interview to gain MCIOB status.

michael john davies, 18 February 2012

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