May I firstly wish all SPRA members and others reading this blog a very happy and prosperous 2020.
My last blog of 2019 highlighted the many significant aspects of SPRA in terms of the involvement in our industry through education, influence and support, the three key characteristics that define SPRA. Recapping slightly, I discussed the involvement SPRA had through last year in all of these areas whether it be education through training courses delivered, influence through the industry committee engagement process or support available in our day to day work with members and others, by all of the SPRA team.
2020 will hopefully be a little clearer on the commercial front for business than the last few years but it still looks like being a transitional year in political and economic terms. Hopefully the fog of uncertainty will begin to clear and that should help our membership and industry at all levels. This in some ways parallels the hopeful perspective that exists concerning getting clarity on key technical industry issues, affecting all. The post Grenfell Hackitt report, began to have some influence during the last year or so with changes relating to fire affecting the way we interpret and deal with important safety issues from a roofing perspective. The clarity on some of these issues is slowly evolving and the work of SPRA members and other trade bodies is fundamental in attempting to clear the fog of uncertainty in the year ahead.
The industry at large is becoming focussed on the safety aspects of our products and systems and the way we install and verify our work, and surely that is to be welcomed. This is part of a bigger picture relating to construction in the UK in general. The Hackitt view is that major changes need to be made in attitude and culture and our industry needs to drive these changes. We need to take responsibility across all our work by developing competence throughout the system of UK building and construction. In 2020 we will hear much more on this drive for cultural change. The SPRA infrastructure is capable of educating, influencing and supporting our members and industry at large, as all begin to go through this change process. An industry focus on developing much improved systems of concept and work and design to verified delivery, again can only be welcomed.
The year ahead therefore will likely be another challenging one but with continually evolving and improving clarity on what is required technically and culturally to improve our industry. The big picture will hopefully become clearer as a result enabling a safer, more efficient and more responsible construction industry to begin to emerge. It may take some time beyond 2020 before we really see the tangible results as cultural change is often slow to begin. But surely by taking this approach the construction industry must be on the right path!
SPRA is poised in 2020 to deliver a programme that fosters competence and cultural change. As always, we encourage all our members (and welcome new ones) to actively engage to improve your business and our industry.
I look forward to the year ahead to see the beginning of a changing construction industry that we can all help evolve. I also look forward to working with all our members in 2020 and wish you all, every success.
Dr Ronan Brunton B.Sc MBA GMICE