New Society President Claire Solon outlines the desire of the leadership to facilitate the engagement of all members with Society activity, and to meet members’ needs.

It is a great privilege to be elected President of the SCSI and I am grateful to all the members for their terrific support. For my first message for the Surveyors Journal, I will set out my priorities for the year ahead.
Education is vital to our Society. It is essential that we are all well briefed on current information and legislation, and it is the bedrock of our continuing professional development (CPD) activities. Concurrent with our CPD work, the pathways to entry to the SCSI also need to be expanded, whilst ensuring the high standards of the profession are maintained. The Society’s committees will, with the assistance of our executive professionals, be establishing new courses in facilities/property management and asset/portfolio management over the next two years. We are also developing a property course and expect it to be ready at the end of this year.
Having lectured in valuations for years on both masters and degree courses, I have a personal commitment to delivering high quality courses. These allow us to benefit from the knowledge and experience of fellow members who have different specialist expertise to us. Specific CPD programmes will be introduced and brought around the country to improve access for members outside Dublin. We will ensure that these high quality seminars are available to all members.

Supporting the membership
Our Society is only as strong as the level of engagement by members. We are a hugely diverse organisation with membership across a large array of disciplines in the property, land and construction sectors. Our ability to advise Government and provide expert input into policy and legislation is wholly reliant on the support and expertise of you – our members. If there is a difficult issue or area in need of improvement, we are well placed to communicate that message, but we need you to constantly advise us and keep your officers and executives fully briefed on the important issues.
The recent report ‘The Real Cost of New House Delivery’ is a good example. With a critical lack of market data, a working group of our members prepared a well-researched and factual report on the current cost of housing in Dublin, based on 10 active developments in the Greater Dublin Area. As construction cost experts, our members were the only people who could collect, collate and analyse the data in order to produce this study.
We have several working groups providing knowledge for a variety of projects which can benefit from the expertise of our members. If you are not already involved with one of these projects, I urge you to get involved. Just contact the office and let us know your area of expertise.

Mentoring programme
We will be setting up a mentoring programme over the coming months to offer peer-to-peer support for members. This would be useful to members who may need guidance on a topic outside their area of expertise, or who may be facing a difficulty. It will also be beneficial for those who may want a change in direction in their career but are not sure of how to make it happen, or for younger members who want to get advice from a more experienced member outside of their work contacts. Our members often have to deal with stressful situations and having the ability to talk to another person in confidence is likely to help. It can also provide some useful insights and practical advice based on the experiences of the mentors.

Shaping our future
Delivering our strategy will shape the organisation’s future and ensure we are providing the services that you have asked to be put in place. Feedback is key to this and our recent survey was very useful in establishing key objectives for the next five years. More support to regional members will be part of this strategy – and our 2017 conference will be based outside of Dublin for the first time with a two-day event next spring. Networking is very important to all of us and the opportunity to meet members from different sectors of the market and gain insights into the various professional groups formed part of the feedback received. We have listened and are responding to provide the services that you want and we look forward to continuing to meet all of our members’ needs.



Claire Solon, President
Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland