A Forty Year Apprenticeship?

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In late February 1973 I started work with Anglia Property Preservation Ltd as a trainee surveyor and as well as working alongside my two senior colleagues, I was able to work on site with our more experienced technicians. This gave me a good insight into the way things were done on site and I quickly learnt if you want a club hammer to use with a bolster when hacking of plaster by hand not to get the biggest one you could!

In the 1970s the Building Research establishment used to run three day courses on the control of insects and decay in buildings which I attended. All in all a perfect grounding as the foundation stone for a virtual lifetimes career.

During those early years we used to mix our own damp-proofing fluid and have tanker loads of spirit based wood fluid. The oil crisis of 1973/1974 and escalating prices brought on the development of concentrate timber preservatives which were mixed with water, meaning less exposure to organic solvents for technicians and customers alike. More developments followed which saw APP move over to factory produced damp-proofing fluids.

In the early 1980’s I was able to attend High Wycombe College for an excellent three week course on the control of insects and decay in buildings and a further one on surveying for dampness, further underpinning my knowledge. The British Wood Preservation Association introduced the first exam for timber surveyors (CTIS) in1980 which I passed with a credit and also the damp-proofing surveying course (CRDS) introduced by the British Chemical Damp-proof Course Association.

Following the merging of the BWPA & BCDA in1989 and with more and more Health and Safety legislation it was decided to bring in a new qualification (CSRT) which would be similar to the older two qualifications but include a whole module and exam on health and safety. Holders of the earlier qualifications only had to sit the H & S module and I am pleased to say that I passed this in 1997 again with a credit and was one of the first surveyors in the country to achieve a credit in all three modules. A fact recognised by Dr Chris Coggins, director of the BWPDA, when visiting the Anglia Property Preservation Ltd office to make my presentation.

During the early 2000’s I served on the Property Care Association’s Remedial Treatment Committee, trained as a Site Surveyor/Site Assessor under the National Homes Energy Rating scheme and took the Institute of Occupational Safety & Health, Managing Safely exam. In 2006 I was appointed as a director of the Guarantee Protection Trust and continue to serve on this board. As waterproofing of basements became more common place training and examinations were introduced by the Property Care Association and I also passed the CSSW qualification. In 2010 I was appointed to the panel of examiners for the PCA for CSRT and CSSW exams. In 2012 along with more colleagues at APP we were listed with the PCA as Registered Waterproofing Design specialists and undertook to study for Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points each year, so I am still learning

A Forty Year Apprenticeship

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