IHBC Yearbook 2011

r e v i e w 15 Contraction, Construction and Consolidation Seán O’Reilly, IHBC Director Perhaps the most important moment in the IHBC’s history, after its founding, was the adoption at the last AGM of ‘CP10’, the IHBC’s Corporate Plan 2010–15. It’s the kind of corporate process that doesn’t easily catch the eye of our busy members and volunteers. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that CP10 marks a new step in our history, and the biggest yet. In CP10 there are three threads that define how we want to move forward: 1. continue what we are already doing: members old and new appreciate our existing services, ideas and ethos, so we want to continue and improve them 2. expand our public profile by establishing a more substantial press strategy and news operation, and 3. develop our charitable profile: although we work hard at maintaining that status, we get few if any benefits from it apart from the ‘feel-good factor’. The threads weave through CP10’s underpin all our evaluations, including our CPD programme and testing for existing members; the rigorous and structured testing of new members; continually developing guidance for prospective members; recognition of training courses as well as our events assessment, from our Schools to our web calendar • new affiliate and associate members are being welcomed into the institute in growing numbers; they represent the powerhouse of our recent membership growth at some ten per cent per annum • The Gus Astley Awards have proved highly successful and is reaching a wide constituency of future professionals • we have developed sustainable and inclusive consultation procedures • the IHBC trading arm which provides research, training and other services, is prospering. These achievements underpin the IHBC’s aim of transforming perceptions of conservation. They help to demonstrate that, far from being the preserve of the privileged, conservation and its core values can serve as a quality indicator in mainstream society, supporting the economy and employment. main themes, following on from our first corporate plan, which stated that the institute exists to: • help people: the frontline public good in our operations • help conservation: the frontline contributions to the built and historic environment sectors, and • help conservation professionals: supporting our members, who play central roles in delivering conservation. Our plans for the next five years assume that there will not be any seismic expansion in our own operations. They also accept that we may see sharp reductions in capacity arising from wider pressures in the economy; that is the realistic background against which we must work. However, the institute has succeeded in developing and moving forward in recent years in the face of similar challenges. Looking back We can take some pride in what we’ve achieved in the lead-up to CP10, and in many ways we have a lot to be thankful for: • our joint heritage bill initiatives brought together key built environment professional bodies representing around a quarter of a million professional memberships • our analysis of our membership, carried out as part of partnership discussions with the IfA, has helped to consolidate and communicate our corporate structures and objectives • we offer an attractive package of high-quality, low-cost services and benefits for members, ranging from the authority of Context to the currency of the NewsBlogs • membership standards, as discussed later, clarified and expanded as the Areas of Competence, now The Gus Astley Awards, held at The Art Workers’ Guild, Queen Square, London in June 2010