Inspired by his work on the CFA’s 2023-2024 business plan, Richard provides a quick
overview of some of the highlights of the past 12 months with respect to CFA membership.
THE CFA membership year runs from 1 April to 31 March and so next month the CFA will be sending out renewal notices. While we haven’t quite finished this membership year, I decided I would like to provide a quick overview of some of the highlights of the last 12 months. This was inspired by the fact that I have recently been working on our 2023-2024 business plan.
Whenever I write a business plan, an obvious starting point is to consider the objectives previously set and hopefully mark them off as completed. I usually enjoy this process as these initial stages simply make you take stock and hopefully, as they did this year, give an opportunity to reflect on some successes and where we have made a difference.
The list is quite extensive this year but of course includes some staples as well as the additions or exceptions that inevitably creep into a business year. As ever, we ran four Council meetings for CFA, NICF and FITA. This is where all main key activities, finance and governance are reviewed, compared to budgets and the business plan.
One of those meetings is the AGM and at this year’s CFA AGM we welcomed Carl Harper from Westcotes Flooring as president, alongside his new vice president, Alan McEwan from F Ball & Co. Carl stepped in and immediately made his mark by encouraging a number of new members to join. Carl’s general focus though is skills and labour, employing good people throughout industry, and I will mention more of that later.
On the business front, CFA attended a number of Build UK, CPA and more recently CLC meetings.
Our CLC seat is interesting and a great development as CLC seems to be a valuable channel to speak to the Government, the departments and the civil servants they work with. The construction minister is the Co-Chair and successive incumbents have attended meetings, offered input, and engagement. Unfortunately, they have changed quite regularly, although the industry co-chair Mark Reynold of Mace is a constant force. CFA also ran four manufacturer committee meetings, and this technical committee was the driving force behind delivering the 2022 version of the Guide to Contract Flooring. See www.cfa.org.uk/Contract-Flooring-Association-Information-and-Downloads/
In terms of social meetings and events, we ran two golf days north and south, a horseracing event in Scotland and saw a welcome return of the CFA Autumn Ball. More than 150 members attended our event in Oxford showing a continued willingness to engage in in-person events. Our hybrid meetings and webinars (available in the members’ area of the CFA website) are continuing to grow in popularity and strike a chord in terms of a new balance for how we engage.
In June we launched Future Fitters, our campaign to bring new fitters and blood into our industry. That has many facets including the Go Construct STEM Ambassadors scheme. Carl Harper, Matthew Brown (Uzin) and Louise Brown (Designer Contracts) from the CFA Council, Tim Hayes (Quantum) our Manufacturers committee chair have all signed up, as have Shaun Wadsworth and I.
I’ve attended two events at schools in 2022, as has Shaun Wadsworth and we feel really pleased with the start of what we hope is a long-term plan to engage industry and young people through the education system.
Training is never far from the CFA’s lips and FITA had its busiest year EVER. We simply saw more people and had more courses run than ever previously in the history of FITA and the CFA’s involvement in training.
Our 30 apprentices continued on their journey into industry and Shaun has led an industry review of both the apprenticeship standard and the Floorcovering Occupations NOS review. This is key for qualifications and apprenticeship delivery and to ensure funding remains up to date and in place for our industry. Supporting industry in all aspects of training is one of our core and ongoing objectives and as such we updated the CFA Training Guide. We managed to re-open Kirkaldy with the generous support of Forbo Flooring UK.
While mentioning supplements, we overhauled the CFA Sustainability Guide and focussed it this year as digital only. There were more thought leadership pieces as well as lots of updates from manufacturers on their sustainability journeys and products. In terms of member benefits, we launched our Winter Warning Campaign that highlighted the need for heat on sites to allow the successful installation of floorcoverings and created a host of support materials that members could access. Finally, we once again ran the CFA Flooring Apprentice of the Year competition that is presented at the CFJ awards each year. The worthy winner for 2022 being George Carter from long term CFA members Rudge Brothers & James.
Lots of these projects, events and meetings are highlighted in these pages. Have a search through the archives on the CFJ website or contact us at the CFA offices if you want to know more. These activities form the basis of the value that CFA members derive from their membership of the association.
Members additionally benefit from use of the logo, a listing in our directory and handbook and of course access to all the member helplines we have on offer. But we want to make sure members get as much out of their £687.00 plus VAT membership fee (contractor membership 2022-2023).
To that end, and as another highlight of the year, we employed our first membership manager, Richard Bromwell. Richard joined us in October and is based on the road recruiting new members and importantly supporting existing members.
If you would like a membership review to ensure you are getting all you can out of your CFA membership, please contact the CFA office using the details below or contact Richard Bromwell direct via mobile – 07827 065204 or email
The CFA is a leading trade association representing the flooring industry. If you would like further information about our Future Fitters project, or an application pack outlining the benefits of membership, please contact the CFA offices.