The PAM Profession has renewed its structure to take account of the wide range of property-related skills employed across central civil government and becuase of the requirements of the Civil Service Reform initiative. Sherin Aminossehe’s open letter to the membership, issued January 2014, explains further.
I am writing to you as members of the newly-named Government Property Profession (GPP), which Niall Walsh informed you about when he kindly stood in for me during my maternity leave. I want to extend a big thank you to Niall and to all of you for taking the time to complete the membership form. This is now providing us with valuable information about you all, not least the overall number of staff working in property-related disciplines across central civil government. As I write, this now stands at over 1,500 – not an insignificant number. If you know of others who have not yet completed it please encourage them to do so.
Your membership number will be sent to you in due course. There are two categories of membership, Member and Affiliate Member, the latter to cover those who currently fall outside the scope of the Civil Service Reform programme.
Niall also informed you about other changes to the governance of the formerly named PAM profession. Since its original launch in June 2010, we have had more sectors of government interested in joining the profession. The original target audience were those who were directly involved in the ongoing management of property portfolios for their particular organisation. The competence framework created at the time reflected that audience and therefore focused on knowledge and skills associated with hands-on management of departmental property.
With growing interest in the profession being shown by other sectors, notably surveyors working in Valuation, and Planning & Development, the PAM Skills Group decided to review its governance structure and how it could respond to this potential wider membership.
The review of our profession is also linked to the Civil Service Reform initiative Strengthening the profession, a key work stream which has Sir Bob Kerslake as its SRO. Sir Bob is keen to see the government professions at the forefront on raising the professionalism of the civil service more generally. He has asked all 25 government professions to benchmark their ‘maturity’ against 6 areas:
Governance; Leadership; Standards & Competencies; Curriculum & Qualifications; Talent management; Networks
Therefore, these headings will now become areas of focus for the Government Property Profession and our Action Plans will take account of these accordingly.
The result of our review of the profession is therefore a new name and revised arrangements, which can be briefly summarised as follows:
- Widening membership and participation to include all disciplines relating to Land, Property and Built Environment to reflect the variety of roles of property professionals hold across government;
- Restructuring the PAM Skills Group to form a single Board reflecting the wider membership;
- Renaming the Profession to reflect the more holistic nature – Government Property Profession;
- Formalising membership through registration;
- Acting as a single point of contact for senior leaders in Departments to gain technical support for emerging policy making on property related matters;
- Removal of departmental boundaries on identification of property specialists leading to a more fluid pool of resource and enhanced career opportunities;
- Within a federated structure, allowing each identified property discipline to decide how best to fulfil the centrally established strategic objectives for the Profession – for example use of standardised competencies and agreed qualifications.
The intentions of our profession are fundamentally the same as for any of the government professions – to raise the skills and capability of those who work within them thereby raising the overall capability of government as a whole. More specifically for us, the objectives are:
- To promote the profession and ensure property expertise influences and informs policy and decision making at the most senior levels of government; and
- To ensure a high level of capability for all property professionals throughout their career within central government through learning and development opportunities.
The main change to the governance arrangements will be Board representation of the main property disciplines in which members are involved. From the data you have provided we have been able to identify these. As some of the disciplines comprise very small numbers we intend clustering them as follows:
- Building Surveying, Building Control, Geomatics, Infrastructure, Quantity Surveying and Construction
- Commercial Property, Property Finance & Investment
- Rural, Environment, Minerals and Waste
- Facilities Management and Contract Management
- Planning & Development
- Project Management
We shall initially seek discipline leads from the existing PAM Board members. If there remains a vacancy then we shall be looking for nominations from the membership. This process will commence in March and the existing PAM Skills Group will manage the nomination/election process until such time as the new GPP Board is confirmed, probably in April or May.
My best wishes,