Recently, I celebrated 6 months since taking the role of Managing Director with Stroma Building Control. I look back on the latter half of last year and the beginning of 2019 with no small amount of pride in how our business has developed and all the team has achieved since the launch. We’re now successfully operating in 15 offices across England and Wales as one of the country’s largest independent Approved Inspectors, serving clients across all manner of project types from one-plot residential developments to multi-million pound commercial projects. I’m pleased to review and share with you some of our achievements since last October.
Our people are the lifeblood of our business and play the most crucial role in delivering a professional service to our clients. As regulations change and the construction industry evolves, the role played by Building Control Surveyors through interpreting and checking compliance on any building project is vital. It was, therefore, crucial to take steps which would answer the talent shortage within the industry and also develop already qualified surveyors.
Stroma Building Control has worked at the forefront of talent investment and professional development. Our Stroma Academy was launched in April to provide a structured path for Assistant Surveyors towards formal CABE qualification; and an annual programme of CPD and training for our teams across the country. In September, we look forward to a new BSc degree in Building Control going live – developed in partnership with the University College of Estate Management (UCEM), this four-year part-time course will train and develop the next generation of talent to preserve the future of our industry.
The scale of Stroma Building Control is one of our unique strengths. As a part of the Stroma Group, we offer staff a comprehensive support network through specialist Business Development, Finance, Training and Marketing teams. We also service our clients more effectively with the ability to introduce complementary environmental sustainability services via our partners in Stroma Built Environment. The result is that our Building Control Surveyors are better equipped to deliver a first-class service to our clients with the ability to add value beyond the Building Control service, in response to unique project requirements.
However, while our size delivers economies and benefits of scale, the history of the business was built on a reputation achieved through local surveyor relationships. Our growth has facilitated this approach to work even further. Since late 2018, we have invested in new office space within Manchester, Epsom, Exeter and Chelmsford – and have expanded our existing presence in Birmingham and Central London. The result is an environment where clients can call upon a local surveyor with specific knowledge of their region. It is very much the best of both worlds: the personal touch of a local business with the resource of a large Approved Inspector.
As the regulatory environment continues to develop it is especially important to be able to react to these changes and meet new challenges. One of the more recent challenges within construction is a hardening insurance market which has decreased the options available to Approved Inspectors. Some Approved Inspectors have unfortunately not been able to secure insurance at their renewal date which is a very real issue. Fortunately, a mixture of hard work, low risk profile and strong internal controls has allowed us to gain insurance with Griffiths and Armour. Our insurance runs from April this year and due to Griffiths and Armour’s stature and experience in the market (they have offered Approved Inspector insurance continuously since the inception of the industry) we foresee no issues in future renewals.
I’m enthusiastic about our plans for the future and look forward to working with existing and newer clients. Visit our website Contact page to find details of your local Building Control Surveyors and how to get in touch with the team.
We’re also taking our team on the road during the course of 2019. We’ll be attending the Self Build & Design Show in Exeter this September, London Build in November and the Homebuilding & Renovating Show in Harrogate (also in November). In addition, we’re meeting Architects and Designers all year at a series of Specifi Architecture shows touring across the country. We’ll look forward to seeing you there!
Steve Lonsdale, Managing Director, Stroma Building Control