Becoming a CIOB fellow is a challenging process but joining this elite group can give you a career advantage, says Caroline Gumble.
So far in 2020, I’ve spent time with many more CIOB members – in Malta, London, Wolverhampton, Leeds and Norwich. Looking at the collective influence and achievements of our members, I’m proud to realise that they bring our vision of improving the quality of life for the users and creators of our built environment to life on a daily basis.
There has been another theme emerging during many of those conversations, though, and that is what membership means for individuals, rather than the industry, and what it can do for careers.
Most members with whom I’ve had this conversation acknowledge that CIOB membership distinguishes them as a true professional and someone with commitment to the industry. What has also emerged is that there is a lingering belief that becoming a fellow – FCIOB, instead of MCIOB – is about ‘time served’ and not something to be sought mid-career.
“Most members with whom I’ve had this conversation acknowledge that CIOB membership distinguishes them as a true professional and someone with commitment to the industry.”
Caroline Gumble, CIOB
I want members and prospective members to know that NARIC – the National Agency responsible for opinion on professional qualifications – has benchmarked CIOB fellowship as comparable to master’s degree level. Whether or not members may have considered going for a master’s, it’s my belief that those who have been through the CIOB membership process can definitely obtain their fellowship.
I’m not suggesting that it’s easy, but applications are open to those with more than five years’ experience and it is a natural progression from membership status.
I want to encourage members to work towards fellowship while they can use it to benefit their own careers. Many prospective leaders in our sector are unaware that we also have a direct fellowship route available. We only have 65 members globally under the age of 40 who are CIOB fellows, so those obtaining it sooner rather than later are joining an elite group with, in my view, a career advantage.
It has been, consistently since I started at the CIOB, inspiring to meet members and, from the construction manager members, hear about the breadth of their onsite responsibilities. I have also observed fantastic client relationships on site visits – this is key to establishing long-term relationships and feed into the wider work of driving up standards across the sector.
My call to members is to share stories about what you’re working on – inspire the next generation to consider construction as an exciting and important career where they can help change lives for the better, including their own. In a world of social media, sharing has never been easier, and it’s where our next generation of leaders are hanging out!
Caroline Gumble is chief executive of the CIOB