Thursday, 5 February 2015

A brief encounter with Sarah Walters, Membership & Accreditation Coordinator, CIBSE

There are two main sides to Sarah's role, managing the accreditation of university courses and coordinating the approval of company training and development schemes. Sarah is also focusing on the promotion of EngTech registration and the approval of apprenticeships and level 3 qualifications.

What would you like to achieve in this role?
As more and more graduates are coming into the industry, I would like to increase the number of CIBSE approved company training schemes that will expose the graduate to the competencies needed when applying for professional registration.

On the university side, I think it’s important for CIBSE to expand its number of accredited courses by recognising more courses that could be relevant for our members. This can be a long process but by developing stronger relationships with universities and working with them on the requirements we can ensure that the courses will be fit for purpose.

What is your favourite building project, and why?
I love the new Library of Birmingham, which opened in September 2013. As I went to university in Birmingham, I am always interested in developments in the city and I think this bold and modern design is just part of the new regeneration of Birmingham.

Who or what has inspired you most in the building services industry?
I am always inspired by the young people who are coming into this industry. I come into contact with a lot of building services students, apprentices and graduates and the enthusiasm and passion that they show for their future careers is fantastic.

What do you see as CIBSE’s role in the building services industry?
As I work in the membership department, I think our main role is to support both current and potential members to reach their career goals and provide them with the tools to do so. We try to be as visible and approachable as possible so that our members can access the guidance that they need.

What has been one of the highlights of your career?
Last year I was able to go to Hong Kong to undertake some international accreditation visits and the experience was amazing. Being able to travel as part of my role is something I really appreciate and it was so interesting to see how building services issues are tackled from a different perspective.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Musicals! Anyone who works with me in the office will know how much I love a show tune.

What did you want be when you were 10 years old?
Ironically I remember learning what an architect was and thinking I would like to be one of those. I didn’t quite make it but some interest in buildings must have stayed with me!


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