As timber-based building continues to gain UK market share, the Structural Timber Association appreciates its role becomes more important and its responsibilities greater; to strengthen our representation of the sector, drive product innovation through research and technical guidance, and to lead initiatives that further enhance industry quality and reputation.

2018 was a milestone year. We welcomed our 600th member and introduced pioneering quality schemes. To ensure quality end-to-end, and to very positive response, we launched our training scheme for timber frame designers and manufacturers. Developed in association with CITB and Edinburgh Napier University, the programme provides validation of the skills and competencies of experienced timber frame designers and manufacturers, together with raising the skill levels of young entrants to the timber frame industry.

To support this objective, the Timber Frame Competency Award Scheme was established as a mechanism to set an industry-wide standard for erectors and installers of structural timber frame.

These training programmes are designed to promote best practice and provide tangible evidence of quality standards throughout every stage of the design and construction journey.

Another important strategic development was to elevate the STA Assure Membership and Quality Standards Scheme from an online self-assessment to an independently audited scheme.

STA Assure has gone from strength to strength and has now received formal recognition from the NHBC and seven of the industry’s leading structural warranty and building control bodies. This scheme has been developed by the STA to benefi t both clients and members by providing reassurances and promoting the differing accreditations and quality standards held by individual STA member companies.

We must continue to progress and develop. The structural timber industry is going through an exciting period of change and signifi cant market growth, underpinned by considerable technical investment to advance the adoption of structural timber. So we are looking to appoint an STA Assure director to lead the development and implementation of the programme.

The STA Assure director will adopt a senior position within the STA, working with our members to continue the focus on technical excellence in our industry. Working collaboratively with industry stakeholders, they will be responsible for defi ning the standards required for both existing and emerging markets and will promote the benefi ts of adopting STA Assure to specifi ers, industry stakeholders and customers. Full details can be found at: about/sta-assure-director-position

We are also undergoing a change of leadership. Alex Goodfellow, managing director of Stewart Milne Timber Systems stands down as chairman after two years leading the STA with vision and dedication that has benefi ted our Association and members. He now takes up the role of vice-chairman and Mark Stevenson, managing director of Kingspan Timber Solutions, takes over as chair at a time of challenges but also great opportunities for the structural timber industry and its suppliers across the timber sector.