In order to ensure that the Institute of Demolition Engineers provided as much opportunity, for all enrolled members, to progress to full membership status there needed to be a certain amount of lateral thinking in how to accommodate and assist some candidates. Whilst the majority of potential full members would be expected to make their way forward via the exam, portfolio building and professional interview route, it was all too obvious that we were leaving some behind. Of those in that category a number could be said to have experienced difficulties in achieving the pass rate or that they simply couldn’t face the challenge it presented.
The solution was to find a way in which the standards, required by the Institute for full membership, could be met whilst making the process as amenable as possible to prospective candidates. It was a difficult conundrum to solve but after two pilot schemes the Institute is certain that it has found the answer in what is now termed as the ‘Shared Support Route’ or SSR for short. The scheme aims to provide an almost impossible failure scenario, given that all the criteria for initial selection, which incidentally requires a strict evidence based and documented process to be finalised, together with an amanuensis in attendance on exam day can be accomplished. The whole process may be an alternative to the normal route but it cannot be said to be easier or less traumatic unless one takes into account that time frames are relaxed and help in interpreting and setting out the format for the provision of acceptable evidence of knowledge is available. The trauma on the candidate is greatly reduced because the writing element is completed by their amanuensis which leaves the candidate free to dictate the answers required. However, the two pilot programs did identify that the pressure of expectancy for achieving was increased on the invigilator/tutor, as the finished exam papers were still to be submitted to examiners in the normal manner..
The SSR is not the definitive answer because it cannot fulfil all desires or accommodate all persons but it is a most viable and welcome alternative to those prospective members who may have lifelong learning problems, crippling phobias and acute anxiety over sitting exams etc. Too those of you reading this that fit that description or know of someone who could benefit from the scheme, please seek advice and guidance from the Institutes web site or directly from the National Secretary. We look forward to helping all we can!!