New CIWM business plan aims to return organisation to financial health
Professional waste management body CIWM has presented its new medium-term business plan to refocus its activities on ‘supporting, empowering and connecting professionals across the resources sector’ and to return the CIWM Group to a financial surplus.
Since the appointment of Dr Colin Church as CEO in October 2016, the organisation has undergone a period of significant restructuring, in part due to financial challenges. Dr Church announced his intention to step down from the role in July 2018.
In a letter to CIWM members in advance of its AGM in September, CIWM President Professor David Wilson revealed that CIWM posted a net operating deficit of £223,000 in 2017, while membership numbers fell from 5,446 at the end of 2016 to 5,240 at the end of 2017, although the latest membership figures show that membership numbers have since risen to 5,520 as of 20 August 2018. Despite its financial operating difficulties, CIWM has built up reserves of £3.7 million over the course of 25 years.
In response to the difficult financial situation, a new business plan has been developed and presented to CIWM trustees by external consultant Andrew Garcia. This aims to ensure that CIWM can effectively respond to the changes in the resources sector and to increase its value and relevance to members – at a time when many membership bodies are experiencing economic difficulties, such as government austerity measures, and the changing demands of their memberships.
To achieve this, the plan, which was developed following a detailed market and organisation review, internal and external consultation and close working with CIWM’s management team, proposes:
- A renewed focus on CIWM’s core objective of providing value-added membership services in line with its charter;
- Developing the links between CIWM and WAMITAB to provide a cohesive service offering to a wider potential membership group;
- A restructuring and rationalisation of CIWM and CIWM Enterprises to become a single delivery platform;
- The development of a framework which leads to a recognised professional competency across the wider sector, which is relevant to both the public and private sector and provides credibility and status to members;
- Partnership working with relevant other sector organisations and associations to maximise member benefits through a common framework with transferable competencies;
- Within this common sector framework, the development of specialist modules aligned to specific sector competency needs;
- More proactive engagement on market critical topics to increase CIWM’s visibility and influence;
- A ‘membership for all’ approach, with clear career paths from operative level where WAMITAB provides accredited required qualifications through to CIWM’s more management focused membership grades; and
- Better integration of CIWM’s regional structure into the new delivery model to underpin the key role that the regions can play in driving membership, networking and commercial activities including training.
A number of cost reduction measures have also been put forward in the plan, including staff redeployment; a ‘small number’ of job losses are expected.
The search for a new CEO has been put on hold until the required skill-set for the role has been clearly defined in line with the vision laid out in the new business plan. Until then, Sarah Poulter, current Director of Membership and Funding, will continue as interim CEO, with Chris Murphy, current Director of Policy and Professional Standards, acting as the external face of CIWM. The organisation also anticipates a move to new, modern offices following the sale of its current headquarters in Northampton.
Commenting on the plan, Margaret Bates, CIWM’s Executive Committee Chair, said: “CIWM remains financially healthy and through the hard work and professionalism of its staff, volunteers and members it continues to be seen as an authoritative and influential body for the sector. There is a lot of opportunity ahead, but the current model is not sustainable, and we have to change and gear up for the future.
“There are two main objectives in this plan. In the short term, we are taking action to restore CIWM to financial surplus and in the longer term, we want to ensure that CIWM is both financially sustainable and builds on its existing strengths by making it a modern and effective membership body that delivers real value to today’s resource and waste professionals.”