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CIOB Career Development

“There is a lot of work involved but if everyone could do it easily I’m not sure how much it would be worth. The fact it requires application and depth of thinking adds to the value of the qualifi cation”


Senior supply chain manager, Balfour Beatty and junior vice chair of the West Midlands CIOB

But if everyone could do it easily, then I’m not sure how much it would be worth. The fact that it requires application and depth of thinking adds to the value of the qualifi cation.

What would be your advice for other members undertaking PDP? I’ve known quite a few people who have started the process to gain MCIOB and have given up because they have found it too time-consuming. My advice is don’t give up. Just do it bit by bit. It is worth it when you get a recognised qualifi cation at the end of it. Do seek as much advice and moral support from your mentor or assessor. And don’t be put off if you don’t think you have the right experience to get through all the competencies. Your assessor or mentor is there to help

you brainstorm how your experience can be used in the PDP process or how you can create opportunities to provide you with the necessary experience. I know once I thought about all the things I’d done I did actually have a much wider experience than I perhaps had realised.


Why did you become MCIOB? I joined the CIOB when I was a student becoming an incorporated member. I was awarded MCIOB

in October 2014 having completed all 12 competencies in the Professional Development Programme in 12 months. I started in late September.

How did you fi nd the whole experience? I’m lucky that I get to do a variety of things in my job, which has provided me

with the experience to complete the programme. I have a fair amount of responsibility and I’m enrolled on a two-year graduate programme, which involves training courses designed to widen my knowledge in all aspects of construction. Some competencies took longer to

complete, such as developing people, as I don’t manage anyone directly. I completed that one by taking charge of bid management where I was involved in managing a team. When you’re thinking of completing

competencies you do need to think how you can adapt your experience. It’s quite a commitment, but there’s huge benefi t in doing it. For most of the time I was doing the PDP I was travelling by train two and a half hours a day, so I used that time to work on my PDP. Being organised is absolutely key. I had the list of 12 modules where I could refer to them easily and if I thought an email or piece of work would be suitable as evidence I would store it. I set up a number of folders on dropbox and on my laptop. The actual evidence has all come from experience, conversations, drawings etc.

What support did you have from work? My mentor, who heads up design management in our business unit, was really supportive and is heavily involved with the CIOB. He gave me lots of steers in ensuring I had the right evidence. He was quick to review and approve evidence too.

What would be your advice for other members undertaking PDP? Just get on with it. Start gathering evidence and don’t be shy in asking for opportunities to allow you to complete it. It’s certainly a challenge, but more than worthwhile doing it. It’s job- related and you learn so much in the process.

Q Why did you choose a career in construction? I was interested in design from an an early age and originally considered a career as an architect. However, after working in a design offi ce I realised I wanted to work for a main contractor and get my boots muddy so I joined Balfour Beatty as a graduate design co-ordinator.

Q What would you have done if you hadn’t worked in construction? I think I would have chosen a career where I meet and work with various different people – probably in a customer-facing role.

While at university I worked

in customer services at a supermarket and really enjoyed the challenge of working with customers every day, managing people to ensure we met expectations and delivered excellent service. I use some of these skills now in my day-to- day role working with customers, internal stakeholders and supply chain.

Q How do you relax when you’re not at work? We have recently purchased our fi rst house so I’m spending a lot of my spare time working on it. I also enjoy cooking and then swimming or going to the gym to work off all the calories gained from eating all the things I make!

Q What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? I have been lucky to work with a number of people in my career who have been brilliant mentors and have inspired me to achieve further. The best advice I’ve been offered is to make time to learn lessons from the people who are willing to teach you. When you are asking questions always consider how you might answer the question yourself fi rst – you’ll be surprised how much you already know.

Q What’s your most embarrassing work moment? A number of years ago we were packing up site offi ces to move to another project and I had a number of boxes I was fi lling up. Despite our culture of ‘zero harm’ I managed to trip and fall backwards into one of the boxes I was packing. The more embarrassing part was trying to elegantly extract myself from the box with everyone laughing at me!

Q If you were starting your career again what would you do differently? I do not think I would change my career path as I really enjoy working in the industry and the opportunities that have come my way.

The only thing I would have

liked to experience is working overseas when I was younger. I think this may have opened my eyes to other practices and furthered my development even more.

> Connect with Claire on LinkedIn at 55

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