INSTITUTE OF ROOFING/BMBI REPORT
Change is on the agenda
The Institute of Roofing held its annual AGM at the Eight Club in London, at the
end of November. RCI’s assistant editor, Holly Miles reports back from the day
Matthew Fry, operations
director at the Institute of
Roofing (IoR), explained that
this year the Institute wants to
attract more members and younger board
members. In pursuit of this, the IoR has set
up a project team to conduct research on
its members, so urged them to have their
say if they are called on as a sample. This
research is part of a long-term strategy for
the IoR for the next 15 years.
New co-opted board members, Cathie
Clark, chief executive officer of SPRA, Sarah
Spink, chief executive officer of the LRWA,
and Steve Cookson, technical director of
HD Sharman were present, and will be part
of the team to drive the Institute forward
into the future.
Having consulted with the industry,
Matthew also explained that the IoR
has now launched a pilot to deliver a
condensed Associate level course for
The new course, which is now
owned by the IoR, comprises five days
of classroom-based, interactive learning,
coupled with 30-40 hours of self-learning.
The course was piloted by Sika Liquid
Plastics and Sika Trocal with 21 students,
all of whom passed the course.
Also under the spotlight was the
existing Management & Technician
course, which was previously owned and
run by an external body. The IoR found
the uptake of this course very low, due to
the cost of the course, which was £1,500
per candidate, and the duration of the
course which was 15 days. The course was
specifically targeted at contractors, which
had been approved for CITB funding.
So essentially, any contracting business
got this course for free. Unfortunately,
manufacturers or distributors were
not able to access this funding, which
provided a case for lowering the cost of the
course. Having consulted the industry, the
feedback was that the course was too long
and needed addressing.
Matthew said that after having
revamped the associate course, the
revamping of the MIoR course is next in
the pipeline and a pilot will now run.
Two ‘Students of the Year’ awards
were presented by Kay Rose, vice chair,
to Phil Wheeler, AIoR from Sika, and
Gary Yelland from Single Ply Structures.
At the 2017 UK Roofing Awards,
NFRC chief executive officer, James
Talman, proclaimed: “Accreditation,
accreditation, accreditation,” for the
roofing sector, and set a target of
achieving 5,000 accredited roofers by
2021 with an accreditation scheme
offered by CITB and the NFRC.
Enticing people in
The IoR AGM drew to a close with a
keynote speech from Jon Vanstone,
who is responsible for delivering the
accreditation scheme. According to Jon,
this accreditation scheme is needed
because there is “a lack of attraction to
the industry beyond family and friends.”
Jon said that the industry needs to tackle
the lack of trust in the roofing industry
and the public’s image of a roofer being a
“builder with a ladder”, as well as clarifying
what the definition of a builder is.
Progress is being made and over 200
businesses have pledged their support to
RoofCERT. Jon explained that a meeting
would be taking place with government
in an effort to get them to endorse the
scheme and get them to specify RoofCERT
accredited roofers on public contracts.
Best sales month despite
predictions of a tighter market
Total builders’ merchants value
sales to roofers, builders and
contractors in October 2018
were the highest of any month
since the start of the Builders Merchant
Building Index (BMBI) data in July 2014.
This was helped by October having
22 trading days. Sales were up 6.8%,
compared with October 2017.
Eleven of the 12 categories sold more,
led by Timber and Joinery Products
(+10.3%), which also had its best-ever
month. Five other categories recorded
record sales in October, including Heavy
Building Materials (+5.3%).
Total sales in October were 11.4%
higher than September, helped by two
more trading days. Eight categories did
better, including Plumbing, Heating and
Electrical (+17.2%), and Heavy Building
Materials (+12.4%). Timber and Joinery
Products (+10.1%) was just off the pace.
Average sales a day in October, which
takes trading day differences into
account, were 1.3% ahead of September.
Timber and Joinery’s sales were flat.
The Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI)
The BMBI report uses GfK’s Builders Merchant Point of Sale
Tracking Data, which analyses sales out data from over 80% of
generalist builders’ merchants’ sales across Great Britain.
The first ten months of 2018 were
4.3% ahead of the same period in 2017.
Plumbing, Heating and Electrical (+8.3%)
did best, with Timber and Joinery
Products (+7.6%) the second-strongest.
October’s BMBI was 131.8, helped
by one more trading day, with Timber
and Joinery Products 137.2. The average
sales a day index was 124.3 (Timber and
Steve Durdant-Hollamby, BMBI’s
expert for Civils, Metal Rainwater &
Drainage, said: “Quarter three was a
very mixed period, which ended in a
poor September. This was surprising
given that many sectors in the industry
had pulled back volume in Q2 from
sales lost in the first quarter. It’s hard
to explain it, with suggestions that
more people have taken to holidaying
in September. I believe it is down to
a decline in construction orders and
projects being delayed because of
persistent uncertainty and concerns over
a ‘no deal’ outcome to Brexit.
“However, October was a lot better,
and we’ve seen good indications for
November so far. One of the most
interesting developments is the surge
we’ve seen in requests for bespoke
products. We believe this trend is the
consequence of the skills shortage.
Bespoke solutions can save on-site
time and labour, while guaranteeing a
predictable quality construction.”
26 www.rcimag.co.uk January 2019