Joseph Birt reflects on his tenure

As I sit down to write this, my last welcome message as President, I am so grateful to have had this opportunity and to have met with so many members at various events.

Nearly 100 years ago, the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE) began life as the Incorporated Association of Architects and Surveyors. The Association’s objectives were to encourage knowledge transfer between disciplines and, by doing so, raise standards within the construction industry. This objective remains fundamental to CABE today as we continue to strive to create constructive collaboration and raise standards by bringing people together from across the sector. So I was delighted that one of my last responsibilities as President was to attend the Residential Property Surveyors Association’s (RPSA) conference to be part of the next step in our ambitious plans for a new strategic alignment between CABE and RPSA.

Once ratified later this year, this agreement will see RPSA separate its current membership services and commercial panel operations. Its membership will merge into CABE at equivalent grades, providing enhanced benefits to the individual surveyors. It will enable the commercial panel arm to provide work to members unencumbered by commercial conflicts of interest and with improved overall governance.

The RPSA provides an important function for surveyors of residential properties in the UK, and it was instrumental in delivering the new standards for snagging inspections for new build properties. The expertise of the combined membership will establish a CABE specialist technical section for surveying, providing additional support targeted to members engaged in all forms of building surveying and ensuring members play a key part in the new market for new build snagging inspections in the UK. This is truly exciting news for the Association and I am looking forward to seeing it develop.

Following the RPSA conference, I travelled to the CABE Malaysian Chapter International Conference in Kuala Lumpur. Building on the success of February’s Asia Pacific Conference in Hong Kong, I was pleased to meet so many fellow members and to give the keynote address at the conference, which included so many other quality and inspiring speakers. It is wonderful as the global travel restrictions have eased that we are now able to return to these international activities.

If I can take this opportunity to thank all of those who have assisted me in my year as President, including Past President Stuart McArthur, and Vice Presidents Richard Smith and Richard Flynn. I would also like to thank Dr Gavin Dunn, CABE CEO, for all his support throughout the year. It is only when you are right at the centre of the organisation that you fully appreciate the strategic leadership, organisation skills and quality of the team at Lutyens House. I am very grateful to all of them for the hard work they do.

On 12 May I look forward to attending the inauguration of our next President, Richard Smith. It is reassuring as I hand over the office of President to know that it will be in safe hands with Richard, and I wish him every success as he takes the Association forward. To all of you whom I have met throughout my year as President, I wish you well and trust that you will continue to be active members of your Association.

Image credit | Sam-Kerr

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