Competency and professionalism are key, says CABE president

If you are reading this, you are most likely a member of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE) – be it Student, Associate, Chartered Member or Fellow, depending on the stage you are at in your career. With this professional membership brings a range of benefits, none more important than the professional recognition and assurance it provides your employer or clients that you have been assessed and deemed to be capable of providing professional services commensurate with your level of membership.

Alongside the benefits of membership sit a number of obligations. These are not optional, and if you are a member you are obliged to operate to high professional standards and abide by the CABE Code of Professional Conduct. 

As building engineers, we work in a rapidly changing industry, and it is imperative that we are aware of changes to standards, legislation, processes and materials and how these impact our role. Without continuing professional development (CPD), your qualifications, knowledge and competency will become outdated and less relevant. It is therefore a requirement for all CABE Members to undertake 35 hours of CPD a year (or 105 hours over three years, averaging 35 hours per year) and to record their CPD online at cbuilde.com/RecordCPD

In the January edition of Building Engineer, an important article by Kirri Porter-White, CABE’s Competency and Learning Lead, detailed the findings of a recent CPD audit. While there is a significant increase in the percentage of members who are recording satisfactory personal CPD, there are still significant numbers who do not. There is no doubt that many members are undertaking suitable CPD, but failing to evidence it.

If, like me, you made New Year’s resolutions, I would ask that you consider making a belated one: take a few moments to invest in your professionalism by recording your 2022 CPD. Another one you could make is to reflect on your role – specifically your field of expertise – and plan your CPD activities for 2023 to fill any gaps in your knowledge, enhance any existing knowledge and keep apace of any changes in your field of operation.

There is much flux within our industry at present. For many members this feels like a time of great turbulence. The introduction of the New Homes Quality Board in Great Britain brings a new level of scrutiny to residential developments. The implementation of the Building Safety Act for higher-risk (residential) buildings by the Building Safety Regulator (HSE) for England and the Welsh Ministers for Wales amounts to the greatest change for those involved in both high-rise residential buildings and Building Control Authorities for decades. In Ireland, the Regulation of Providers of Building Works Act has now come into force, requiring builders, contractors and subcontractors to register with the Construction Industry Register of Ireland (CIRI) and to achieve full registration by 2024. Similarly, throughout the Asia Pacific region, construction methods, processes and expectations are transforming the industry. This is the theme of the upcoming hybrid CABE Asia Pacific Conference on 17 February, which is being held at the New World Millennium Hotel in Hong Kong.

The one thing that is consistent throughout all the changes we are witnessing globally is the emerging opportunities for competent, professional building engineers; there has never been a more important time to be a member of CABE.

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