The Hilton Cardiff was the main venue for all internal meetings, with the Cultural Evening, Welsh Assembly Reception and President’s Inaugural Dinner being held externally. The Forum saw a welcome increase in Novus representation with the UK and Ireland Novus Challenge taking place at the weekend. Novus is a dedicated, passionate group of young professionals who place the CIOB at the heart of their career. The group prepares young people to be the next generation of construction industry leaders and provide a direct link from undergraduate to Chartered membership. The Novus members joined Members’ Forum delegates at an informal Icebreaker event for the finale of their challenge, and presentation to the winners by Immediate Past President Paul Nash. An evening reception followed the Icebreaker, and the Cardiff Hub showcased a fantastic film they had created to raise the profile of the CIOB in Wales. Immediate Past President Paul Nash presented a Training Partnership certificate to WRW, and the winners of the Icebreaker event were announced.

The following morning I was handed over the baton of Presidency, taking over from Paul Nash who I would like to thank for his time and dedication in leading the Institute over the last year. The day kicked off with the Benevolent Fund AGM, followed by the Institute AGM and EGM chaired by Paul. A vote took place during the EGM, to agree the resolution to the Rules and Regulations of Professional Competence and Conduct, following a consultation with members in September to November 2016. Roger Flanagan PPCIOB joined the AGM to pay tribute to Past President, Li Shirong, who sadly passed away earlier in the year after a long term illness. To honour Shirong’s memory, Roger announced a new Scholarship in tribute to her.

This year’s workshops focused on two very timely and significant issues affecting our industry. Firstly, I chaired a workshop to discuss tackling mental health and improving wellbeing in construction. Clive Johnson, Chair of the Health in Construction Leadership Group spoke at the event, focusing on their Mates in Mind programme which promotes awareness and understanding of mental health issues tailored to the needs of construction. The CIOB has committed to participate in the programme and delegates discussed what else can be done at an individual, company and professional body level to tackle these dangerous issues.

The second workshop focused on build quality which was chosen in light of a number of recent high-profile incidents, such as the Edinburgh schools wall collapse, public dissatisfaction with quality of new homes, and more recently the Grenfell Tower fire. The workshop discussed the division between construction and architects and we were joined by Ben Derbyshire, President Elect of RIBA who discussed how CIOB can bridge this gap. Following this workshop a Commission of CIOB Past Presidents to investigate Build Quality was announced, to address the identified issues around management and supervision, the importance for our education framework, and whether there are further steps the industry can take to improve build quality.

A site visit took place to the Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC), a unique CITB funded all-Wales training centre with its hub forming part of the new SA1 Swansea Waterfront Innovation Centre. The Hub, due to open in September 2018, will offer specialised training and include a purpose built scaffolding centre. Delegates also took part in a site tour hosted by Kier, learnt about the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s waterfront and Swansea Bay and received information on the Design and Prince’s Foundation and Skills on Site.

The Members’ Forum meeting is the essential part of the Members’ Forum event, allowing a two way dialogue between Members’ Forum delegates, the Board of Trustees, and CIOB Management Board. The reports that were given by each of the Regional representatives provided a valuable insight into the CIOB work that is being carried out across the world and the progress that has been made with One CIOB, the CIOB Academy, the Corporate Plan amongst others. It is by sharing in this way that we can collectively shape the future of our Institute.

Shaping our Institute also means working with stakeholders, both inside and outside the construction industry. On the Wednesday evening, over 130 delegates attended a CIOB Reception at the National Assembly for Wales. The Reception, hosted by the Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James AM offered the opportunity for delegates to engage with policy makers and local organisations and enhance the voice of the CIOB as a leader in construction. This event follows the launch of the CIOB Higher Apprenticeship in Site Supervision which was launched by Julie at the Senedd in December 2015. The skills on site agenda has built on the collaborative relationship formed when CIOB developed the Higher Apprenticeship with CITB Cymru, the Welsh Governmen, CWIC and Kier.

On the final day we held an external conference entitled Localism in a Global Construction Industry. This conference covered three main themes; a local and international perspective; innovation in construction; and a smart future for existing cities. After a plenary session, delegates separated into two rooms: one for the continuation of the conference and one for a specialist CPD event focused on how to deliver best practice for older buildings, how off-site solutions will continue to change the face of our industry, how changes to the PQQ process can be made and much more. Both events were well attended and included high profile speakers from across the breadth of the industry. The whole event was filmed and we will share online CPD content for all members to view shortly.

Members’ Forum concluded with the President’s Inaugural Dinner at The Exchange, a converted coal exchange. This provided a stunning venue for me to highlight my objectives for my Presidential year, addressing diversity and inclusion, attracting the next generation and ensuring heritage is not forgotten in our changing industry. I look forward to progressing these important issues during my year.

Rebecca Thompson
CIOB President