BMI Tutor Forum Looks Forward to 2020

THE BMI TUTOR FORUM met on 19 December, 2019 to round up the year and look at developments in the pipeline.

Representatives from several of the roof training colleges, CITB, and a roof training group met at BMI’s Roof Training Centre in South Cerney, Gloucestershire to discuss developments affecting roof training provision in the UK.

The day started with a ‘membrane myth busting’ session, exploring roof underlays, ventilation and the need to address failings that lead to condensation in roofs.

Identified as a common problem, attendees discussed the need to differentiate between vapour permeable membranes and air open membranes, commonly incorrectly termed together as ‘breather membranes’.

Advice was to always construct roofs with eaves and ridge ventilation no matter what type of underlay is installed. College tutors noted that they could demonstrate the differences between different types of membranes to students using the BMI Fixmaster specification calculator online.

Standards changes

Anthony McFarlane, BMI’s Flat Roofing Trainer gave a talk on the changes to the flat roofing standard BS6229:2018 and looked forward to a new standard for inverted green and blue roofs next year and an update for felt roofing in 2021.

The date for BMI’s Apprentice of the Year competition was announced as 1-2 July, 2020. BMI will be formalising its delivery of support to colleges in the coming year, introducing more structure. The company will also be offering a virtual reality e-learning facility to roofing students and a feedback option to help colleges add value.

The progress of RoofCert was discussed and the number of accredited operatives so far, with ideas to help maintain momentum.

Training update

CITB’s Arthur Jevons updated the group on roofing training provision, explaining that companies previously sending apprentices to CITB’s Erith site could now use Mid-Kent College, those using Waltham Forest now are serviced by Dudley College and that the Bircham Newton site has now been mostly sold off for redevelopment. The trend of private companies setting up their own training facilities was also discussed.

Talks moved on to T Levels with the standard now reported as live, but a lack of end-point assessment organisations yet operating. T Level delivery alongside NVQs was discussed, as was the financing of the new courses for roofing.

NFRC’s focus on mental health in the roofing sector was noted, with the organisation’s Tool Box Talks for mental health training recommended.

Lastly, this year’s Skillbuild competition was discussed and how organiser’s problems with recording competitors’ scores could be avoided in future.

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