Contractors & trade associations: driving growth

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Steve Leech, business development manager for the Liquid Roofing and Waterproofing Association (LRWA), explains why contractors should consider membership and how the association’s latest initiatives are supporting roofers as well as the wider sector.

During the past 12 months, the LRWA has encouraged specialist liquid contractors to join the association. There are several drivers behind this campaign, delivering outcomes which are not only benefiting contractors, but our entire membership and the wider construction industry.


Preparing for the Future

Following the fire at Grenfell Tower in 2017, Dame Judith Hackitt was appointed by the Government to undertake an independent review of Building Regulations and fire safety. The Competence Steering Group, established in response to the Hackitt Review, set up 12 Working Groups to determine the specific competence requirements for various occupations including designers, managers, supervisors and installers.

As the need to prove competency intensifies, contractors have a key role to play.  By being part of the LRWA, a contractor can help us to promote best practice across all liquid chemistries and assure specifiers that when choosing our members, they will receive a high-quality product and installation.

Joining an established and respected trade association also gives a contractor access to essential information and knowledge.

As a member of Build UK, the LRWA ensures contractors are updated on important issues such as the Building Safety Act 2022 and how this will impact their business. Representing more than 40 per cent of UK construction, Build UK brings together clients, main contractors, and trade associations representing more than 11,500 specialist contractors and other organisations committed to industry collaboration.

The LRWA has also built strong working relationships with other trade associations, including the Single Ply Roofing Association (SPRA), National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC), Green Roof Organisation (GRO) and the Institute of Roofing (IoR). This collaboration is raising the roofing industry’s profile and enabling us to share knowledge and expertise that will help us to achieve shared goals.

Furthermore, the LRWA is represented on the boards of organisations, including the CPA and IoR, and are part of the post-Grenfell Industry Response Working Group 12. These appointments allow the LRWA to influence high level issues and developments affecting our members as well as the whole construction industry.

Up to Speed

With so much change and innovation happening in construction, the LRWA has recently launched regional ‘contractor days.’ The first was held earlier this year and was so successful that we organised another in November 2023.

The objective of these events is to help contractors find out about the latest technical and training updates, products and services that could affect their business.  At the same time, they provide a platform for us to fully understand the topics that matter the most to contractors, ensuring we are in a stronger position to respond through our representation on industry committees and boards.

Through interactive presentations and discussions, we aim to offer an engaging environment that helps all attendees to build their knowledge, including insights which could positively impact roofers. These could range from demonstrations on new products through to information on training to enhance the skills of employees. For example, those that took part in the first contractor day got the chance to see our Specialist Applied-skills Programme (SAP) in action.

The equivalent of an apprenticeship for our sector, SAP was developed to train future roofers in how to expertly install liquid-applied membranes. As an LRWA member, contractors can also access funding to support this training. Those who complete the course can achieve an NVQ Level 2 qualification, enabling them to obtain a CSCS card.

Under One Roof

The opportunity to network is another benefit of trade association membership. We recognise the power of bringing people and companies together to help discover new business opportunities.

This saw us launch the #LRWAsocial this year which resulted in two regional events at the Flight Club in Shoreditch and Manchester. Contractor, manufacturer and associate members were in attendance to try their hand at social darts while meeting both new and existing contacts.

The positive feedback we received underlined how useful these events are for our members, which is why they will become a regular fixture in the LRWA diary.

A Step Ahead

As the construction industry continues to rapidly change, trade associations must evolve too. It is vital that we represent our sector at all levels and work with others to help deliver positive change and best practice. By being part of the LRWA, contractors will not only help us to achieve this aim, but benefit from tailored support and opportunities that will put them in a stronger position for the future.

Read more about how to become a member of LRWA

LRWA Board Meeting
LRWA Board Meeting
LRWA Northern Contractor Day
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LRWA Members Meeting & AGM
online tech meeting
LRWA Technical Meeting (online)

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