Associated and incorporated CIOB members with relevant experience can become chartered through the APEL pathway
Following a consultation with members and the wider industry, associate (ACIOB) and incorporated (ICIOB) grades closed to new members on 1 July 2015.
Members already in those grades were given 10 years to move into full CIOB members (MCIOBs) before the ACIOB and ICIOB grades are completely closed in June 2025.
To support associated and incorporated members to become chartered, in 2021 CIOB launched the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) pathway.
APEL provides members in the ACIOB and ICIOB grades who do not have a degree-level qualification, but do have substantial management experience in the industry, an alternative way to become MCIOBs.
APEL rigorously assesses the practical experience and knowledge of associated and incorporated members in lieu of a Level 6 (degree level) qualification.
The APEL pathway is available until March 2024.
Confidence and validation
One CIOB member who has taken advantage of APEL is Bryan Wright, an engineering manager at housebuilder Cala Homes.
Although he achieved higher national certificates in civil engineering and then construction management early in his career, he felt the bespoke nature of being a civil engineer within a housebuilding discipline prevented him from progressing in his career without further qualifications and training.
APEL helped me develop, giving me an extra level of confidence and validation with the equivalent of a degree-level qualification
Wright believed the APEL pathway to CIOB membership could provide him with the support he needed to take the next step in his career while allowing him to combine work and studies.
The process began with an interview with CIOB to discuss his skills and knowledge, progressing with one-on-one help for the final assessment.
“I always wanted to show a higher level of learning and achievement and wanted to back that up with a professional membership,” Wright says.
“APEL helped me develop, giving me an extra level of confidence and validation with the equivalent of a degree-level qualification. I’m about to mentor a graduate and am ready for my next challenge – possibly a fellowship.”
Wright praises the support received throughout the APEL journey and recommends the programme to anyone who is struggling to progress in construction.
“My training provider from Training LMS showed me I had valuable transferable skills that could be used in my assessment,” he says.
“I would initially find the APEL questions challenging, but he was brilliant and helped me use my experiences to my advantage.”
In addition to APEL, Wright adds that CIOB Academy’s CPD courses, as well as newsletters and Construction Management magazine, helped him improve his knowledge of current construction issues.
A sense of accomplishment
Although former commercial director Gary Cooper had always wanted to become chartered, long working hours, lengthy commutes and family responsibilities meant that he did not have the bandwidth for it.
When APEL was introduced last year, Cooper jumped at the opportunity to begin his journey to chartership.
“After 40 years working in the construction industry, I felt I was missing one last thing in my career before retirement – and that was to become chartered,” Cooper says.
My mentor was the best. She was helpful and fed back to me on my work. I took on board everything she said, which helped me through the process
“I took the APEL pathway because it allowed me to balance writing my assignment with my work, family and social life without feeling overwhelmed.
“It’s a rewarding process because you get to justify your work to an experienced professional in your field and get a sense of accomplishment.”
Cooper’s assessor, Darren Scadding MCIOB, praises his enthusiasm and how he applied advice on his final assessment.
“Gary followed our guidance on using specific, relevant examples to improve his work,” he says. “We recognise that this is a great career progression for professional construction individuals and our aim here at Scadding Associates is to provide quality professions for the future.”
Cooper says his only regret, after experiencing the support provided throughout APEL, is not having embarked on this step earlier in his career.
The pathway includes mentoring from other members who have completed their APEL, tailored support from the course leader and guidance documents.
“My mentor was the best,” he says. “She was helpful and fed back to me on my work. I took on board everything she said, which helped me through the process. I feel confident now to even go on to become a fellow with the CIOB.”
You can sign up for the APEL Route to Chartered Membership here.
The full list of APEL providers can be found here.