THE NEW Chief Executive of the Institute of Roofing, Stuart Hicks, outlined ambitious plans for growth for the organisation at the first AGM since his appointment.
Stuart, who was appointed to the role in August, was previously marketing manager at Kemper System.
The plans, presented at the IoR’s meeting in London on 14 November and approved by the board and members in the organisation’s 40th year, are focused on the pursuit of Chartered status for the Institute.
The IoR believes chartered accreditation will give members professional standing similar to that of architects, accountants and engineers, for example.
To help achieve these long term plans, the Institute has unveiled a significant overhaul of its training and marketing.
Stuart, who describes the Institute of Roofing as a “sleeping giant”, believes Chartered status could be achieved by the body’s 50th anniversary.
He told Roofing Today: “It’s very much for the standing of our members in the wider professional community.
“You’ve seen how accountants, architects, surveyors all have allegiances to RIBA or RICS or whatever, and they’re seen as proper professionals, and that’s what we want to for the roofing industry.
Roofing Career Path
“We want people to join this industry and know there’s a recognised professional career path where there’s professional standing at the end of it, and that’s what everyone wants; they want kudos.”
Stuart, who has worked in marketing for 25 years, initially achieved his own qualification through the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
“They [members] want to know that what they’re doing stands for something, and at the moment it’s a personal thing, because if you draw a parallel with the Chartered Institute of Marketing, you don’t need to be a member to practice marketing.
“The Charted Institute of Marketing has the kudos, the membership is involved, it promotes training, it’s recognised across the board, and for a lot of people it is the route into marketing itself and a career in marketing, as opposed to doing a university degree.
“So we’re trying to do the same sort of thing with the Institute, and really push on and give that standard to our members.”
Plans for Significant Growth
Stuart believes putting resources behind achieving that status, which is granted through the Privy Council, will also enable the body to grow further, as well as enhance the standing of its members.
A new website is planned, as well as an increase in marketing activity to help draw in new members. Membership currently stands at 1,107.
Stuart continued: “We’ve started from a blank piece of paper; we’ve got ourselves into a position where we’re nice and stable, and now we really need to push on and become what we need to be.
“We’ve been around 40 years and the membership stayed at a level, and we really are pushing on now to take it to the next level.
“We’ve got a big increase in membership planned. In order to become Chartered, we need to at least treble the number we have at this moment in time, so we’ve got a lot of work to do, but ambitious plans to get there as well.
Long term goal
“In terms of timetable, it’s a difficult one to gauge until we set the ball rolling. It is a long-term goal, and I don’t think it’ll be achieved in the next five years, but in the next ten we’re in with a good shout.
“The important thing is to use the Chartered status target as our gauge as to anything that we do. It must meet that kind of criteria and be benchmarked against it, so we’re not introducing things that would counter that goal.”
The AGM itself was attended by about 40 members, with thanks and tributes made to outgoing Chief Executive Matthew Fry, who also received a Special Recognition Award.
The Student Of The Year award was given to Patrick St. John, while Rodney G Cooke was elected as an Honorary Fellow.