BII Hopes and Aspirations
Interesting times, it would appear that after all the troubles that have beset the BII, they are about to reinvent the wheel, sadly the wheel has been well buckled over the years and may be well past reinventing.
The learned CEO Peter Thomas is supposedly disposing of all the MDC’s, Membership Development Consultants, mainly because they are not producing the new members, which would be absolutely right, sadly selling cheap rate membership deals to all supportive Pub Co’s direct, leaves no leeway for the MDC’s to bring in quality members with a personal contact in the BII to turn to in times of stress or advice.
Selling cheap memberships to all and sundry with no checks as to professionalism and their actual needs, does not get quality long term members.
It’s a bit like a Pay and Play Golf Course, the majority of golfers start playing golf there, they quickly realise the limitations and then join a quality Golf Club, I’m not saying the BII is not quality, but the options are the same for a student as for an FBII, the only difference is the cost. They have over the years tried to give added benefits to senior members, but they had very little appeal to the majority.
I digress, the exalted Mr. Thomas is going to go for professionalism, qualifications etc., to justify the Post Nominals e.g. ABII, MBII and ex CBII as in my case.
A very worthy target, except it will be dead in the water before it gets off the ground.
Having been personally responsible for introducing several thousands of new good members to the BII over the years, I am well aware of the disregard that many ex and existing members have for the Post Nominals, that they have been continually devalued, at every dash for cash in the BII, in addition the Pub Co’s that the BII are setting up these cheap membership deals with and support the Pub Co Model in its present form are wholly responsible for the lack of value of qualifications in the industry.
Having been involved in BII membership recruitment from its onset, it was patently obvious that Post Noms had no real value in terms of business enhancement, except to flatter a members ego as and when required.
These may seem harsh words, but they are true.
Firstly when tenancies were the norm, an earned for BII Post Nom would have been, possibly acceptable as a progression to a promotion pub, this would have given serious professional value to being an MBII or FBII.
This opportunity was seriously missed by the BII senior management at the time on the assumption that everyone wished to climb the BII Post Nom’s ladder, what they failed to do was convince every brewer with pubs that external categorising of professionalism was the way forward.
Many of the large Brewers like Whitbread, had their own training programmes which they considered superior to the advanced BII qualifications, the managed house and tenanted divisions paid basic lip service to BII Post Noms, consequently the industry was divided as to the value of Post Nom’s and whether the long term benefits would be truly beneficial.
Secondly the NLC came into being and the BII had a monopoly and further complacency set in, thinking that everyone that did the NLC, now the NCPLH, would automatically become members, which they did not.
In stead the NLC became the only qualification that you need to run a complex licensed business, people mistakenly assumed that, that was all that was needed to run any licensed business, any other qualifications were a waste of time and money, as anyone who knows about running a pub, time is something that you have very little of, taking exams after three or four months of finding your feet comes very low on the agenda.
Do you go to a solicitor or doctor who has passed the initial exam, you do not, but you do go into a pub where the landlord has passed a one day course on licensing law and accept it, of course you do if it’s a nice pub and the owner is a popular guy.
The third nail in the coffin against measured professionalism are the current Pub Co’s and the Pub Co Model Leases, they do not encourage professionalism, if they offered you a better more profitable lease, with the minimum amount of inconvenience changing leases, for being an MBII or FBII and decent discounts, the industry would move forward.
This will not happen, the fact that good operators are being bankrupted and thrown out of their pubs, rather than promoted is destroying the industry, professionalism has to be recognised and rewarded by the Pub Co’s, until this happens recognised professionalism in the industry will die on its feet.
To be fair I do know of some smaller Pub Co’s who do recognise professionalism and reward the achievements accordingly, sadly they are very much in the minority and disillusioned at the BII’s close association with the companies that have been slated in all the recent BISC’s Inquiries.
The Industry desperately needs recognition of ability, but the BII have Supped with the Devil for far too long, they have accepted the Pub Co Shilling and cannot step back.
Leased and tenanted licensees are no longer earning serious money, a few are, most are struggling because of the avaricious greed by struggling under capitalised Pub Companies, discounts are barely negligible, rents are way too high, consequently the rates are equally outrageous in the majority of cases since the Inland Revenue Valuation Service use comaparables to assess rates.
The BII’s attempts to arbiter or create a service for arbitration are regarded with serious doubt, they should be free with unbiased decision makers, they should be open to view to all and binding which they cannot be without legislation.
Their forms of arbitration should not be subject to high-class professionals involvement, where he with the most money wins more times than most, the majority of licensees are struggling and the profession is failing, the BII needs to distance itself from the Pub Co dependency and be seen as totally fair, unbiased and incorruptible.
A professionals body should protect its members interests without fear or favour, sadly in the cold light of day, certain National Bodies have failed to act because the senior members have been too entrenched in high places and actions that suit their well stocked purses and have blocked or stalled maintaining professional integrity and standards.
I am not saying they are corrupt but financially beneficial, this raise a serious question that there should be compulsory legislation for all professional bodies standards, if younger members could rely on total honesty without fear or favour a number of industries would be trusted Bodies again.
If the BII could turn the clock back and become a serious professional body without fear or favour, I would be the first to rejoin, having spent many years trying to bring decent members in, devoted far too many unpaid hours supporting stressed members, promoting the BII, serving on a number of Regional Councils, to see it all flushed down the Pub Co toilet by successive CEO’s, the majority had little idea about the grass roots members worsening problems.
But as it stands at present I remain Nigel Wakefield ex CBII.