Fire Buyer speaks with Clive Miles, the newly appointed Chair of the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) and Founder and CEO of CLM Fireproofing
Could you introduce yourself and what you do?
I am Clive Miles, Founder and Director of CLM Fireproofing Systems Limited. I founded CLM in 1989 and have been working in the passive fire protection industry for 38 years. CLM offers passive fire protection services and has worked on challenging and complex landmark projects, including the refurbishment of the Royal Opera House and the Shard. This experience cemented CLM as a recognised tall buildings specialist. I was elected as Vice Chair of the Association Fire for Specialist Fire Protection two years ago and was recently appointed as Chair for a further two-year term.
You have recently been appointed the new Chair for the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP), what changes do you intend to bring to the organisation?
As an Association I believe we need to focus on three key areas over the next two years to address the significant change which is coming and maximise the opportunity. These are technology; the skills shortage; and knowledge sharing.
What changes in technology do you feel will influence passive fire protection in the future and why?
Both legislative demands and digital advancements are driving innovation in the construction sector, but also specifically within passive fire protection. The rise of BIM, the increased reliance on digital recording and even Virtual Reality are changing the way we interact with clients, products, environments, and end users.
Recruitment and upskilling is a complex theme currently, how do you think ASFP could attract new entrants to the industry?
Attracting new entrants to the passive fire protection industry is a key aim of the ASFP. The construction industry as a whole is suffering both from an ageing workforce and a skills shortage, with YouGov research showing that only 3% of people between 18-24 searched for a job in construction.
The ASFP aims to attract and retain young fire protection professionals, we plan to inspire and secure the next generation of our profession through a combination of apprenticeships, academies, and outreach programmes.
We are also offering students with an interest in passive fire protection free membership of the Association, with free access to our Online Introduction to Passive Fire Protection training course and to our technical documents and webinars.
What are the likely future training requirements for the passive sector?
Both legislative demands and digital advancements are driving innovation in the construction sector, but also specifically within passive fire protection. The rise of BIM, the increased reliance on digital recording and even Virtual Reality are changing the way we interact with clients, products, environments, and end users. This means our industry, the ASFP and our members must evolve in new and innovative ways to adapt to this new, ever-changing world.
Our sector is particularly affected by this change, with the Building Safety Act, giving rise to the Golden Thread meaning a greater reliance on technology and greater emphasis on demonstrating competency. There is increased demand for competent and qualified fire safety professionals. The ASFP is creating and implementing new ways to train, engage and promote passive fire protection, to ensure the association becomes the industry benchmark for ‘educational best practice’ in passive fire protection.
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