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Membership Of The CFA Is A No-Brainer

IN November last year, I attended a conference for trade association managers organised by TAF, the trade association forum to which CFA is a member.
You could view them as the trade association for trade associations. That might seem a bit bizarre, the CFA being a member of trade association, but they actually perform a very valuable function for us.
They provide support, information, new ideas, periodic events on various subjects relating to running a trade association and access to a range of other benefits, in other words most of the things you might expect a trade association to do for its members.
At this particular event, a best practice exchange, we network with other trade association managers, who come together to share experiences through presentations and smaller group seminars.
The opening speaker set the scene for the conference by outlining the power of sharing experience, good and bad.
He went on to explain that in his view, the world of the trade association has grown harder since he first became involved in the early 1970s. Coincidentally that’s about the same time the CFA was formed.
Unsurprisingly, like for many things, he cited the digital age as a main factor influencing change. His conjecture was that the ssmeant that many people have in fact disengaged.
Relevance, he said, was now more critical than ever and for most there has to be a very tangible answer to the question ‘what’s in it for me?’ or my business.
The badge of honour or rite of passage that were once key drivers to joining trade associations are no longer adequate to ensure either an application or loyalty.
The day continued, with several very valuable presentations and discussions, but as is the purpose of attending this type of event, these opening comments made me think about the relevance of the CFA in our sector and to our member.
Is the CFA relevant in our sector? I asked myself this and the question of whether the CFA adds value to members’ businesses.
Perhaps you won’t be surprised that I concluded that it is and it does. Let me explain.
As we continue to move out of recession, one of the key areas of focus for many seems to be the inevitable labour shortage. In this area, the CFA scores well.
We’re active with CITB and through grant funding can currently provide a fitter with an NVQ L2 at a cost of £2200 against funding of up to just a little over £3000.
We’re fairly unique in that we have FITA, offering a full range of training, industry assessments (CPD for fitters) and now also qualifications on a not for profit basis.
We lobby government on issues of industry importance such as fair payment and banning retentions through umbrella organisations like the Nation Specialist Contractors Council (NSCC).
We help to write the standards that the industry works to. BS8203 (the installation of resilient floor coverings) is moving into a period of review, as potentially is BS5325 (the installation of textile floor coverings) and we’ll be at the forefront.
We provide the best industry intelligence on both our sector and the wider construction industry with detailed economic data from the Construction Products Association (CPA) as well as more day to day issues through our monthly email update, newsletter and, of course CFJ.
This means that our members have a better understanding of emerging areas such as BIM or environmental legislation and challenges. Our members are better informed.
Members are vetted against stringent criteria and so can display the CFA logo with pride and as a unique selling point.
Membership adds value through helplines, free credit checks and templates, not to mention the promotion of members businesses though our website, handbook and online directory.
If you consider all the above, then moving forward I would suggest that the CFA isn’t just relevant or something you might argue you need to have, but a must. Certainly not a luxury item, but a no brainer for supporting and developing a professional and profitable business.
The CFA is a leading trade association representing the Flooring Industry. If you would like an application pack or further information on the benefits of membership, please visit our website: www.cfa.org.uk
T: 0115 941 1126
E: info@cfa.org.uk

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.