The Pall Mall headquarters of the Royal Automobile Association was the venue for the 43rd Institute of Demolition Engineers AGM and Awards ceremony. Click here to read the full minutes AGM-minutes-2019

Following on from a turbulent year in the industry, President Gary Bishop FIDE welcomed everyone to the packed venue and thanked all within the IDE for their help and assistance throughout this time.

On a pleasing note, Bishop reported that the Institute was in a healthy state with membership increasing from 414 in the previous year to 421 in 2019 and a full intake of students taking part in both the first and second intake for the Foundation Degree in Demolition Management. Congratulations were also passed on to the first students to pass the initial intake of the MSc and become the first in the World to obtain a degree in demolition. “We are now looked upon as the best of the best in this industry.” Bishop commented “And we should encourage our membership to consider sitting the degree course as the next step in their development within the industry.” On a more disappointing note, it was said that of the 15 participants in the March to September IDE examinations, only 9 passed with the remaining 6 being encouraged to try again as soon as possible.

Both Bishop and Honorary Treasurer Stuart Accleton FIDE confirmed the healthy financial position at which the Institute currently resides thanks in part to sold out Seminars at Leeds and London. On the issue of Seminars, the cancellation of the Scottish Seminar was seen as extremely disappointing with a call for the event to be rescheduled or the organisation of further regional meetings over the border to cater for Scottish members. The sound financial standing of the Institute has also seen the Council of Management hold off any increases in subscription fees for the foreseeable future and leaving the current rates as they were in 2019. Accleton then went on to comment on the Institute’s forthcoming guidance on CPD along with praising members for their generosity in raising over £5,000 for the President’s charity, Niemann Pick UK at the 2018 AGM.

Dr Terry Quarmby FIDE took to the stage to give an update on the degree and masters courses currently running stating that the uptake is still very good. Dr Quarmby stated there were calls from the members to introduce distance learning to the courses and whilst this has been investigated, the stumbling block is currently with the education providers and it is something the Institute is looking into with the hope of implementing within the near future. Quarmby went on to say that the Institute is in discussions with the University of Bedfordshire to offer Foundation degree students the chance to complete a BSc Hons degree in Construction Management as a follow-on course. There has also been a call for topical learning courses to be available in specific subjects. This is something the Institute is looking to proceed with and invited members to offer their skills in writing and delivering such courses.

Training and learning has been a topical issue with the many incidents within the industry this past year and whilst there was a call from the floor for the Institute to speak up on the matters, Past President David Darsey was quick to point out that the legal implications don’t allow either the Institute or the NFDC to speak on individual cases. “It is disgraceful that the authorities take so long to bring a case to conclusion, eight years on average. But we cannot act on rumour and gossip and will only comment when the full facts of the investigation are released.” On this subject, Vice President Richard Dolman FIDE brought up the possibility of re-launching the information sharing forum which he started a couple of years ago. In the light of recent incidents, this offer will be considered with the possibility of it being hosted by either the NFDC or the IDE.

Following on from lunch in the stunning Mountbatten Room, over 40 certificates were handed out to new and progressing members with Past Presidents Steve Jack and John Woodward along with ECY Haulmark’s Richard Yarwood being given Honorary Fellowship awards.

The afternoon’s events were rounded off with the generosity of the members coming to the fore and raising funds for NPUK. £20 in the envelope, the raffle draw and Past President David Darsey FIDE leading a charity auction.  Once the accounts have been finalised for this event the final fundraising figure will be announced.

The Institute would like to extend their thanks to the event sponsors, ECY Haulmark, Erith Group and Swanton Consulting along with the kindness of everyone who donated raffle and auction prizes.