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.
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.
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.
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!