CIOB launches digital service for clients

CIOB’s new head of client development, Linda Stevens, tells Neil Gerrard how the institute will help clients improve their project outcomes.
CIOB launches digital service for clients
Linda Stevens joined CIOB after eight years as head of client services at RIBA

CIOB is to launch new digital resources for clients to help them collaborate with construction companies more effectively.

CIOB’s new head of client development, Linda Stevens, told CM the service is planned for March, to coincide with a CIOB-led session at Futurebuild, entitled ‘What Clients Want’. The debate will hear from clients about what they need from their construction partners and why they don’t always get it.

Stevens joined CIOB in August 2022, with over 30 years’ experience in the property market including eight years as head of client services at RIBA. She takes responsibility for CIOB’s newly formed Client Steering Group, chaired by past president Mike Foy, who made client engagement a theme of his presidency.

Stevens explained: “The essence of the strategy is to engage with clients and provide them with what they need. We want to help less experienced clients be better informed, break down barriers and share best practice so together we can arrive at better project outcomes.”

Improving quality

She sees her role as a continuation of her work at RIBA, albeit from a different perspective. “Ultimately, it is about improving quality and safety, encouraging innovation and sustainable outcomes, and promoting value.” she said.

CIOB’s client objectives

Share best practice in construction management with clients around the world.

Influence the culture of construction through greater collaboration, improved safety and quality, and improved project

Support CIOB-accredited building companies, construction management companies and consultants to deliver on targets for quality, EDI and environmental sustainability.

Raise awareness of CIOB and modern professionalism in construction management.

Increase demand from clients for MCIOB and FCIOB (and the new Tech CIOB) qualifications and encourage more clients to appoint CIOB chartered company members for their projects.

The initial digital offer will signpost new and existing client guidance, including the client’s responsibilities under the Building Safety Act. It will provide FAQs for domestic clients, client insights and best practice case studies. Experienced clients will be invited to sign up as advocates to the initiative and become client mentors, offering peer-to-peer advice to less experienced clients.

Over time, the offer will expand to include sector-specific guidance and case studies, as well as a series of ‘in conversation’ podcasts and videos, ultimately becoming a digital hub for clients.

Stevens added: “I sit in the space between clients and construction teams, understanding the issues from both sides. Someone said to me recently that clients need predictability and contractors need cashflow. Where that is the case, you can understand why relationships become strained because they want different things.

“We aren’t expecting to be the oracle for all clients because we don’t need to be. But there are many clients out there with less experience or understanding of the complexity of construction who would benefit from what we can offer them.”

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