Society President, Claire Solon, reports that actions under the new strategic plan are already underway and many new and exciting developments are planned for the coming months.
The Society’s new strategy was approved in May 2016 and already we are beginning to see signs of change in areas that were consistently highlighted throughout our member engagement process. We have taken on board the issues that members raised and concentrated our efforts on those areas to ensure we are delivering the services you require. The four-year strategy consists of some major projects and we can already report some exciting developments.
A good example is the Society’s presence at the recent 2016 National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore. Members from all Professional Groups volunteered to promote the expertise and professionalism of Chartered Surveyors. They also highlighted the work we do in the public interest to the attendance of more than 200,000 visitors.
This presence at ‘the Ploughing’ tied in very well with our goal of increasing engagement with regional membership. In fact, it is a priority action item deriving from the strategic review. Edward McAuley, previously Professional Groups Executive, was promoted to Regional Manager to lead this crucial initiative. Edward will help the regional committees to fulfill their goals, improve member engagement and increase the profile of members in their region. Projects have already been commenced with the pilot launch of a regional Property Clinic column in a newspaper in the Western Region, an inaugural dinner event in the South East Region and the launch of an online member community discussion forum.
In another effort to bring activity to the regions, our 2017 national conference, which historically was staged in Dublin, is moving to Carton House in Kildare in the spring. This should facilitate easier access and improved attendance for our regional members. The annual conference will take place over two days including an evening dinner, offering valuable networking opportunities. This was something members requested unanimously in their feedback for the strategy review.
And speaking of networking, we held a special networking event in our head office on the evening of September 15. We trust that the many members who attended gained useful insight into this particular skill. Perhaps as important was the chance to network with other members during a drinks reception. Networking is a critical part of our industry and our intention is to host many such evenings going forward – to provide the opportunity to meet and mingle over a glass of wine, reacquaint with colleagues and form new connections.
Mentoring and CPD to share expertise
Another project I’m passionate about is the Society’s members’ mentoring programme. This will be in place before the end of the year and will offer members the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and advice from fellow members. The peer-to-peer support system means that members can receive advice on career direction, the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC), guidance on issues outside of a member’s experience and even valuable advice on running a business for those who may have started their own practice. The variety of expertise within our organisation is immense and we need to look at ways to enable members to utilise this valuable resource.
The CPD and education department continues to provide important training and development for our members with a number of programmes already delivered this year, and more to come. Some of these events will be on the changes to the Residential Tenancies Act, unlimited liability in respect of professional services, dealing with taxation in relation to property transactions, and construction contracts legislation plus much more.
Full strategic plan is online
Your professional membership body has listened and is responding through these various initiatives. We look forward to continuing the work outlined in the strategic plan to ensure we are shaping the organisation that you have asked for. The full document is available to read on the Society’s website (www.scsi.ie).