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The Coronavirus Hokey Cokey

Richard is bothered by two serious threats to the sector and makes the point that being a member of a trade body brings a raft of benefits to members.

AS I write this month’s CFJ article it is in fact Wednesday 6 January and we have just entered the third, or depending on your measure, second (major) lockdown. It feels a bit like the Coronavirus Hokey Cokey doesn’t it?! In–out-in-out and now back in. I really hope that by the time you read this article we will again be out of lockdown. But I’m not so sure.

Our immediate response, the night before lockdown restarted was to review the first wave of guidance, compare notes with council members to get feedback and put an update out to all members with links to specific documents or webpages. As I write, construction and contract flooring is still operational and being actively encouraged to continue by government. The new Site Operating Procedures were to be on the CFA website by the end of that week; should further measures that more directly affect our sector be required, CFA will lead the way to communicate the transition in and out of those restrictions.

Coronavirus is again dominating the headlines but its irritating cousin, Brexit, will inevitably rise again and there will be another raft of new regulations where we will have to identify those that affect our sector, sometimes interpret what they mean to us and then communicate this to members. In some areas we will no doubt have to lobby to modify measures that just don’t work. That work is a two-way street where CFA is a conduit for information flow and acts as only a trade association can – the voice of the industry.

That’s my big picture stuff for this month’s article and I make no apologies that it aims to draw your attention, as we begin our renewals process soon, to why a trade body is important. Why you should re-join, or if you are not already a member, why you should consider joining. We have never been more relevant than now. Our aims include helping members to be more profitable and this covers many different things.

Some of them are significant such as being one of the main providers and influencers (through members) for British Standards and for developing new industry guidance.

This also drives quality, the main theme for the tenure of our President Hamish MacGregor. CFA members can, for example, obtain copies of British Standards at a discounted rate through the CFA. But if you want a summary of the fitting guidance that includes reference to the British Standards, the CFA Guide to Contract Flooring is available to members in a datasheet format through the Members Area of the website. Alongside a whole host of other templates (for example, full terms and conditions), they are completely free once you join.

Like many people in business, I’m always looking for things that make life easier. The CFA offers some really simple benefits (such as helplines) where you can get a quick steer in many different areas. I make no attempt to hide the fact that you can assemble similar support individually. Or you can join the CFA and get a package. This might be a quick steer on legal or contractual issues, health and safety advice or perhaps a view on employment law when in dispute with, or helping, an employee.

Join the CFA to make doing business, as part of a quality supply chain, just a little easier. Easier to find out what you need to know, easier to deliver quality installations, and overall, easier to be more profitable.
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