How LABC building control qualifications helped Emily Bowman earn a promotion in a career she loves
Emily Bowman, Area Building Control Surveyor from East Suffolk Council told us a little bit about her career in building control and how LABC qualifications helped get her a promotion to her current position in the industry.
So Emily, what made you decide to work in public service building control?
I come from a construction related background having worked in property and then new build and I have always been technically minded. The health and safety around construction and the modern technologies especially are of great interest to me and so a career in building control seemed a logical step. For me working for the local authority gave me the chance to learn from a large team in an area I was familiar with and across a huge scope and variety of projects.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Every day is different and I am out and about with mobile working, not tied to a desk. I also get to see a project from its conception and plan stage through to completion and a happy customer so there is a great satisfaction in that.
What’s a typical day like in building control?
I'm an area surveyor so I encourage my customers to contact me on the mobile number to arrange visits and discuss questions and queries. That means first thing in the morning phone and laptop are switched on and often dinging with texts and emails. I will go through my day's site inspections and plan a route and also look to see if there are any good teaching opportunities to take our new trainee out to. I will look at what has previously been inspected and plans associated with the day's visits. If it's a new project I will do some background on site conditions etc.
Once out and about I can spend anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour per address inspecting various stages of work and problem solving/giving advice where needed. I can be meeting homeowners, builders, architects, structural engineers and anyone in between, its so nice meeting so many different people.
When site inspections are complete I will upload all the notes from the day and review any new plans or applications that have come in. Finishing off with any pressing emails, texts or messages before signing off.
The Level 4 and 5 qualifications directly led to my promotion from trainee to area surveyor as they proved that I had gained the knowledge and skills expected of a surveyor at this level.Emily Bowman
What qualification are you studying/have you studied with LABC and why?
I have completed both the Level 4 and 5 qualifications and am on the home stretch of the Level 6 degree. I chose these as they were the most relevant to my role, they offered a schedule of learning that fitted in with my working hours and they incorporate the CIOB and CABE recognition.
How are your studies positively affecting your day to day role and your career prospects?
The Level 4 and 5 qualifications directly led to my promotion from trainee to area surveyor as they proved that I had gained the knowledge and skills expected of a surveyor at this level. Coupled with my experience on site on residential, small commercial and new build projects my manager was able to verify my competence for the job. These courses solidified my knowledge and opened up the chance to widen my learning across sustainability, fire engineering and modern methods of construction which helps to give me a more rounded approach to the job.
What’s next for you in your career?
I am hoping to secure chartered status when I finish my level 6 in May next year and after that I would be keen to do further qualifications in LABC building control management as I would like to progress into a management role in the future at my local authority.
What advice would you give to someone considering joining LABC's qualification pathway?
Take the time to speak with the course tutors as they have been a huge support and really made the learning enjoyable. Also you will not be alone. The groups on the courses always stay in touch and work together outside of the main lessons and it's good to see how everyone’s careers progress. Lastly with the sector changing so much it's important to be updating your knowledge and skills at LABC so gaining these qualifications helps to put you ahead of the competition.
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