Why you should know about Chartered Builders

What does it mean to be Chartered?

Well according to Wikipedia :
" Chartered status is considered a mark of professional competency, and is awarded mainly by chartered professional bodies and learned societies" 
Chartered status may be something that people expect accountants, surveyors or engineers to have. A sign that they'd be in safe hands when it comes to parting with large sums of their money in exchange for property or the construction of it. 
So why do people not demand such proven competencies from the builder eventually trusted with turning their dreams (and often life savings) into a reality? A lot people choose their builder based on just personality, price and gut feelings without even thinking to ask the question "are they even qualified?" 

So where does a Chartered Builder come in? 

A Chartered Builder with the designated letters MCIOB after their name has been accepted as a member of the Chartered Institute of Building (The CIOB). This didn't come easy for him or her. Anyone can call themselves a builder, but to achieve MCIOB which is an internationally recognised qualification equivalent to a bachelor's degree, they must usually first be qualified in construction management to HNC level or least an NVQ level 6. This will enable the builder to move onto the professional review stage to compile and eventually submit their evidence for the stringent CIOB assessment.
There's no hiding any shortfalls in a builders competency here where the candidate must demonstrate (through recent examples) that they have high levels of experience and knowledge in the 3 core competencies listed below:
Occupational competence 
Management competence
Commitment to Professionalism
As well as their technical ability these should definitely be the kind of attributes that anyone planning their dream build should demand of their builder!

So why are there so few of us "Chartered Builders" around?

Well it's not easy and becoming MCIOB can be a long and difficult process for a busy builder to follow.  It is however definitely something that experienced, knowledgeable builders can achieve if they have the desire, pride and passion to do so, Even if they started in construction down the bottom as a labourer (I'm proof of this) there is a path of learning and development that can be followed. It doesn't stop there either as all Chartered members of the CIOB must commit to continuous professional development and learning to ensure they are always at the top of their game.

There are more than likely lots more amazing builders out there who should be embarking on their own journeys of becoming Chartered but are like the many members of the public,  unaware of what it really means!

So my advice is choose your builder wisely, and in the absence of them being Chartered then why not measure them up against the competencies of those who are. You'd demand it from a surveyor or architect after all!
However if you want a shortcut to securing success on your next project and to avoid the guess work of who can deliver your build then look for builders with MCIOB after their name...

Written by 
Alex Walker MCIOB
Chartered Builder