The CIBSE Patrons are often referred to as the ‘corporate supporters’ of CIBSE because we are a group of businesses who collaborate to give financial, technical and moral backing to a wide range of initiatives led by the Institution.
The unique nature of our network means we reflect all parts of the building services industry supply chain and this gives CIBSE access to a wide range of expertise beyond its core membership. We boast consulting engineering practices; manufacturers; trade bodies; training providers; controls integrators; marketing companies; recruiters; technical writers and others among our members – in fact, anyone with an interest in building services engineering.
In particular, our experience of training and in technical, commercial and site-based knowledge can be of great practical benefit to the Institution.
Our primary focus is on improving recruitment and retention of engineers on behalf of the industry at large. We sponsor bursaries, awards and a range of materials as well as events to support the Institution’s work in this area as well as working directly with young engineers.
It is also developing into a business forum where members can discuss and learn about matters as diverse as social media, contracting law and how to gain access to export markets.
We collaborate with groups like the CIBSE Young Engineers’ Network (YEN) to promote opportunities within our industry to school, college and university students. We also provide substantial financial support to students and educational bodies to improve the flow of young talent into our sector.
Our funds and expertise are also used to encourage the use of best practice in sustainability, health and safety, and procurement. For example, the emergence of Building Information Modelling (BIM) points towards a reformed supply chain better suited to delivering sustainable building services projects. Because we are drawn from all parts of the chain, Patrons members are at the forefront of this hugely significant reform and the group is involved in conferences and working parties.
The Patrons also meet regularly to discuss industry issues and to drive forward cross industry initiatives aimed at improving business prospects. We hold our meetings around the country focused on a presentation covering a topical issue. We also have a programme of debates that supplement CIBSE’s technical sessions by focusing on business issues of specific interest to building services firms such as payment and procurement; BIM; and the skills gap.
Our contacts also allow us to organise fascinating behind the scenes visits to buildings of interest many of which are not open to the public.
Once a year we receive a comprehensive update on legislation from CIBSE technical director Hywel Davies. Our members are also invited to contribute to CIBSE’s responses to government consultations and to assist the Institution in shaping its own strategic approach to industry developments.
Patrons have also helped to shape the CIBSE Knowledge Portal, which gives members free access to every piece of technical guidance produced by the Institution.
The highlight of the Patrons’ year is our annual lunch and political briefing at the House of Lords. Members are able to enjoy the venue, bring guests and pose questions directly to the speaker who is usually drawn from the top rank of politicians and government officials. This event has come to be regarded as a key part of the CIBSE calendar.