Terry Fuller, Chief Executive
On Monday 16th March, the UK Government issued new guidance urging everyone in the UK to avoid "non-essential" travel and contact with others to curb COVID-19.
In response to this update, CIWEM HQ has taken the decision to close the London office as of 18th March and the team is now working remotely. I would like to personally thank everyone on the CIWEM team whose quick and thoughtful response has enabled CIWEM’s continuous operation through this transition.
We also feel that the time has come to postpone all ‘in-person’ CIWEM branch, training, Professional Review Interviews (PRIs) and group events until further notice. Details and resources specific to each will be updated on this page regularly.
Thank you to all of you who have already made tough decisions to postpone events over the past few weeks. We know how much time and effort goes in to organising each and every one of CIWEM’s activities, and how valuable they are to those who attend them. Our primary concern is the safety of our staff, our members and the wider public and the leadership team is continually reassessing the situation to make sure that CIWEM is responding to COVID-19 appropriately as an organisation.
We assure you that our full team is still available to assist you, both in terms of support related to COVID-19 and with any of the standard operations of our institution. We are fortunate to live in an age where virtual events and meetings can be just as informative and engaging as those attended in person. We encourage everyone to take this opportunity to utilise the technologies that make this possible and are here to support our branches and groups with hosting anything from an informal group discussion to a professional webinar. Not only will such events keep up the momentum on our member activities, but they’ll provide an important source of social interaction for the many thousands of people currently unable to leave their homes.
We are also aware that many of our members are still on the front lines supporting our community through the recent extreme weather events that have impacted the UK. We have included some additional guidance and resources below for getting in touch with CIWEM and also for staying in touch and supporting each other. We will continually update this webpage and make announcements via email and social media with new information and resources as the situation changes.
Please do let us know if there is anything our organisation can do to support you during this time. Stay safe, and please help those in need where you can.
For any enquiries contact us at the phone number or email below and we'll make sure that you get in contact with the appropriate team member:
We also encourage you to get in touch with us and our community via social media. We will be communicating regularly via the following official CIWEM channels along with our members newsletter. For those who are not yet CIWEM members, we invite you to sign up for a free account to opt-in for regular updates from CIWEM via email at MyCIWEM.
Additionally, CIWEM has public networking groups on social media which allow our community to connect with each other. We encourage you to use these tools to share advice and aid for people in your community who are adapting to new working situations. Click the links below to join us and let us know if there are any additional resources CIWEM can provide to help you connect.
Information relevant to specific CIWEM organisational activities are included below, and this information will be updated regularly as the situation changes. If there are any additional resources that you think CIWEM should provide on our website or via our social media channels, please reach out to our communications manager, Jane Boland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We feel that the time has come to postpone all ‘in-person’ CIWEM branch or group events until further notice. For guidance on postponing existing events or planning new virtual ones, please contact Barbara Woods at email@example.com or through +44 (0)20 7831 3110.
Our communications manager Jane Boland firstname.lastname@example.org is also available to support you.
Many of our branches have also set up groups via social media and we encourage you to get in touch with your branch leadership team if you would like to join in.
CIWEM is postponing all Professional Review Interviews in light of the latest UK Government guidance which advises avoiding all non-essential contact and travel in the UK, along with the stringent travel restrictions being imposed to limit the spread of the virus in other countries where candidates may be based. This includes the Professional Review Interview days scheduled on the 20th and 21st April 2020.
We will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation closely including developing a plan for candidates awaiting interview. We will be touch with alternative arrangements as soon as we can.
We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding during this exceptional period. We will continue to update you as the situation develops but please get in touch with our membership team at email@example.com if you have any questions.
We recognise that COVID-19 is having different effects on different members; some are extremely busy, with no time to renew their membership or submit CPD records, while others may find their income affected and have difficulty paying their annual subscription. If you are affected by COVID-19 in one of these ways, please get in touch briefly explaining your circumstances so we can explore ways of supporting you to continue your membership and/or professional registration. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our team is in the process of working individually with each in-person event and training course offered by CIWEM and anyone involved will receive communications regarding any cancellations or postponements as soon as the arrangements are made. We will also begin updating this page with event specific information as it becomes available. If you have any questions in the interim, please contact our events team at email@example.com or our learning and development team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CPD is the means by which professionals maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge and skills and develop the personal qualities required in their working lives, CIWEM requires all chartered members to undertake, record and reflect on CPD on an ongoing basis. We understand during current circumstances our members may shift their CPD activities in line with social distancing measures, this may include more online content, webinar based activities and written materials, it may also embrace innovative activities that can count towards your CPD such as STEM lessons if you are home schooling. This can all count towards your CPD alongside a variety of other activities. We are here to support our members, let us know your needs and we will pool our extensive knowledge base to provide a solution, get in touch at email@example.com.
CIWEM would like to reassure our university partners that any changes and measures that they deem necessary to take during this unprecedented period to manage teaching will fall under exceptional circumstances and will not have a negative impact on the accredited status they hold through us. Universities will however still be required to ensure all programme learning outcomes are met by students undertaking accredited programmes. Please inform our Accreditation and Business Relations Manager Joe Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org of any such action you have taken in the meantime. If you have an upcoming accreditation visit, we will work with you to either set up remote ways of carrying out parts of the visit or postponing the visit until it is viable and safe to carry out face to face.
We are experiencing an unprecedented demand for virtual events and are excited to be able to transition almost all of our events programme online, with most of these being free and open to the public.
We are using the Zoom platform to host our webinar events.
We are aware that some concerns have been raised about the security of the Zoom platform. While some are valid, it is important to note that security issues exist with all of the alternative platforms. Due to the fact that Zoom’s usage has surged dramatically in a short period of time -- daily videoconferences have increased from 10 million to 200 million – and it has become a critical part of companies’ IT infrastructure, the platform has faced heightened media attention and scrutiny of its security & privacy practices. We believe Zoom has been responsive to this scrutiny and is continually evolving the platform to enhance security. Much like us, they are learning how to respond to an unprecedented spike in demand for online events in a really short period of time.
CIWEM has developed internal guidance to manage the security risks inherent with any shared meeting platform as well as specific guidance related to Zoom to ensure the appropriate level of security for each event. Should the necessity arise due to low attendance for our virtual events programme, we will certainly explore alternative platforms.However, this is not an issue currently but we recognise that some people are unfortunately adversely affected.
We are a charity and a small team, and most of the events we are offering online are free to the public. Webinar platforms that accommodate the volume of interest that we are getting are not free. While we recognise that this may mean that some organisations may not support the use of Zoom, realistically, we are not in a position to cover the additional costs and complications of offering events on multiple platforms at this time.
We will be continually monitoring the situation to ensure that our virtual events can reach the widest possible audience. We will be posting all of the recordings of our free events online if we obtain the speakers’ permission to do so.
Thank you for your support.
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