History

We’ve been busy since 2006…

Years since launch

2021 - The story so far

What a year 2020 was!

January 2021 started with a positive bang as BiKBBI introduced a new COVID Status Checker to its website. A useful tool for website visitors to check Coronavirus social restrictions in their country and specifically how it affects tradespeople. The new service, available to all, is free, updated when new changes require and reviewed daily. Quooker was also announced as the latest Corporate Sponsor of the institute with a specific focus on accelerating plans for work on the KBB installation Apprenticeship initiative. The Installer Magazine (issue 24) was published, as the readership continues to grow year on year. The institute also welcomed Steve Gow as the Director of Learning & Development following on from Quookers exciting partnership with BiKBBI on the Apprenticeship initiative.

In February, Steve kicked off his role as Director of L&D by hosting a SOP training course for the industry providing them with the basic knowledge and processes when working in domestic homes. BiKBBI CEO, Damian Walters warned Government not to ignore tradespeople and independant retailers as the UK opens up for business following an update from Government regarding Coronavirus and the current restrictions. Public relations strategist, Mark Fuller joined BiKBBI’s Advisory board to work closely alongisde the Director of Public Relations once in post.

The institute called for urgent support at the beginning of March from the Government ahead of the 2021 budget. Scotland announced a roadmap out of the Covid restrictions with KBB showrooms and tradepeople planned for an April bounceback. BiKBBI CEO, Damian Walters gave thanks to the supporters and staff of the Institute one year on from the national lockdown. BiKBBI warned KBB retailers of the risk of being hit with a wave of employment tribunals following the Uber ruling.

In April BiKBBI published the results of a survey they conducted earlier on in the year, revealing the stark scale of the installer skills gap and the impact this will have on the KBB industry over the next ten years.

Components maufacturer, Titus, were announced as the newest Corporate Sponsor in May to show industry support to the institute and its objectives. The Institute also announced the Annual Conference & Awards that will take place in February 2022 at The Houses of Parliament.

In June, Graham The Plumbers Merchant was announced as the next Corporate Sponsor  after becoming a Retail Installation Standards Partner at the end of 2020. The Spring edition of the Installer Magazine was published focusing on the Apprenticeship Initiative and the support needed by BiKBBI members and the wider industry. In what was a busy month for BiKBBI, we also unveiled Mereway Group (Trend Interiors) as a Sponsor focusing on their bedroom & home office ranges.

BiKBBI CEO, Damian Walters urged tradespeople in July to remain cautious following the easing of restrictions from Monday 19th July in England and Scotland. As the ‘pingdemic’ caused chaos for tradespeople, evidence gathered from an installer survey by BiKBBI showed that shousands of home improvement jobs had been cancelled because of the increase in self-isolation notifications sent by the NHS Covid app. KBB recruitment firm, Foyne Jones, showed support for BiKBBI by becoming a corporate sponsor.

In August BiKBBI welcomed International surfacing solution brand Formica Group as a Corporate Sponsor. CEO Damian Walters also joined Andrew Davies on the KBB Review Podcast. The Summer Edition of the Installer Magazine was released and re-enforced the severity of the skills gap crisis. The Installation Awards  were announced for BiKBBI’s annual conference in 2022.

In September BiKBBI issued a stark warning that the current shortage of workers being faced by many industries could be the long term reality for the home improvment industry if action is not taken to develop a new generation of skilled tradespeople. New reforms in the home improvement industry also looks set to make ADR a mandatory requirement.

In October BiKBBI announced the arrival of Michelle Daniels, in her new role as Director of Marketing and Communications. A highly experienced Marketing & Communication executive, Michelle will be responsible for sharing the organisation’s messaging with external stakeholders.

BiKBBI published an industry survey on the subject of environmental impact. The survey results indicated that many installers were unclear as to the responsibility of safe disposal of waste.

BiKBBI unveiled a ground-breaking apprenticeship support package, set to provide hundreds of youngsters with career opportunities within the KBB sector. BiKBBI welcomed the increased funding for Apprenticeships in recent news, but urged the Government to support those trades facing the UK’s biggest skills gap. 

The Institute confirmed the introduction of contactless registration cards – new technology designed to support the professionalisation of its members, helping them to win more business, demonstrate compliance and promote their accredited status. 

One of the biggest developments of the month was that BiKBBI confirmed that it was working with government and other industry organisations on the prospect of mandatory registration for those businesses operating in the home improvement sector, to include kitchen, bedroom and bathroom installers.

Issue 27 (Autumn Edition) of the Installer Magazine was published – a whopping 120 page bumper edition packed with news, views and industry updates. In this edition, BiKBBI’s work on Apprenticeships were showcased, with further news on the exciting Annual Conference & Awards, set to take place in February.

In November BiKBBI formally announced details of their Annual Conference & Awards – a milestone event which will take place at The Houses of Parliament in February next year. BiKBBI call for industry support to support the industry’s first ever KBB Installation Awards, opening up both the opportunity to nominate and buy tickets to attend.

As if November wasn’t busy enough, Omega PLC were unveiled as the latest corporate sponsor to support the aims and objectives of BiKBBI in a long-term partnership.

BiKBBI started the festive season with a bang in December, announcing the arrival of Benchmarx Kitchens & Joinery (part of the Travis Perkins group) as the latest Corporate Sponsor. Corporate sponsorship is a critical income stream and one that funds the many key institute initiatives, including our work on Apprenticeships.

2020

Twenty twenty and January kicked off the New Year with an exciting new sponsor – online bathroom giant Victoria Plum.com and their Trade programme. This wouldn’t be the only exciting collaboration with Victoria Plum for 2020, although of course none of us knew what the year would have in store for us all.

Following the announcement at The Houses of Parliament in 2019, we were thrilled to commence BETA testing of the new ProtectMyInstall.co.uk platform – a revolutionary new digital platform that connects consumers with professional installers. This potential industry game changer works with retailers to help them signpost their customers to a robust installation service.

The Installer Magazine (issue 20) was published and continues to grow in terms of readership. Over 12,000 subscribers internationally!

February saw two new sponsors join BiKBBI, the first was French CAD company, Dassault Systémes. Innovative and versatile bathroom company Showerwall, then joined the institute to back the objectives for the KBB industry. Damian Walters, CEO, penned a letter to the Prime Minister over his concerns following Brexit in 2021 regarding immigration and the effects on the KBB sector.

Forecasting severe social restriction measures as the news of a new global virus hit the media, BiKBBI took the decision to make preparations to mobilise its operational team. Desktop computers were replaced with laptop and new security features introduced to assist it people operate from outside the office.

BiKBBI hit the ground running in March, as the new online campus was launched in association with Cortexa, offering members training and development on products and services to up skill the workforce.

The institute also attended the KBB Birmingham programme driving an iconic double decker London bus into the middle of the NEC Birmingham. March also saw a partnership with Achieve+Partners who are an End-Point Assessment Organisation for the furniture, wood and trade supplier industries to help review and develop the current Level 2 apprenticeship in Fitted Furniture Installation.

This was all to change, as Coronavirus entered our lives. Along with the rest of the UK, BiKBBI Head Office closed, and staff begun to work from home. Our CEO Damian Walters spoke to the industry in what was an emotional address.

Despite the lockdown, productivity didn’t slow as the new BiKBBI Campus offered the entire industry FREE online training course’s during lockdown. The CEO issued a statement in relation to COVID-19 to set out guidance for the British Institute of KBB installation’s members, stakeholders and the public.

BiKBBI welcomed an exciting partnership with the Armed Forces as it signed the Armed Forces Covenant in April, to offer ex-service personnel an opportunity within the KBB sector when returning to civilian life. This continued BiKBBI’s commitment to social responsibility with military organisations, to include the retraining of other industry’s to assist the filling of the UK skills gap.

The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) was launched by Rishi Sunak and CEO Damian Walters was invited to discuss on the first KBBReview podcast.

Victoria Plum entered into the installation market during lockdown to offer bathroom design and installation to their domestic customers.

The spring edition of the Installer Magazine was published focusing on the impacts of Coronavirus and the much-needed support available to BiKBBI members and the wider industry. This was a very special edition of the magazine as it celebrates is 5th birthday!

BiKBBI wrote to all members and launched its Together Stronger campaign, providing links to advice, guidance, support and welfare. The organisation stepped up to the challenge imposed by Coronavirus, which received universal support and praise.

CEO Damian Walters discussed the Protected initiative on KBBReview’s podcast, which received some of the highest viewer rates for the industry magazine.

In May, the Used Kitchen Exchange partnership was announced The environmentally friendly kitchen specialist were amongst the first to adopt the Protected installation initiative.

Following with more positive news, the mental wellbeing organisation, Stress Matters, joined the institute as a strategic partner during times of global crisis to offer support to companies and their employees within the KBB industry. It was clear to BiKBBI that the physical effects of Coronavirus would not be the only threat to people.

The government introduced the bounce back loan scheme in May for small and medium sized businesses to help those businesses impacted by the virus. BiKBBI hosted a webinar to an audience of over 3,000 people! Having worked with several agencies, the topic of the webinar was how tradespeople could return to work safely and in accordance with government guidance.

BiKBBI’s Head Office received a COVID makeover, with the installation of protective measures to expedite its staff’s much needed return. Despite the organisations capability to work from home, CEO Damian Walters knew his team works better when together, so the installation of sanitisation stations, thermal staff scanning, glass partitioning and the introduction of Safe Operating Procedures took precedence.

BiKBBI reopened its doors on the 1st June after a long few months of its team working from home and was introduced as the latest member of FIESTA, to further support the objectives for education and training in the installation sector.

An exciting sponsorship from BA was unveiled as the organisations latest Corporate Member.

The summer edition of the Installer Magazine was published in July, with hot topics including the need for change within the KBB industry, new corporate sponsors, the launch of the protected platform and more support to members on all things COVID.

Luxury vinyl flooring provider, Malmo was confirmed as the latest sponsor of the BiKBBI in August, adding to an impressive list of corporate sponsors for 2020.

A very exciting collaboration was announced with the National Kitchen & Bathroom Association (NKBA), the North American authority on all thing’s kitchen and bathrooms, and its Global Connect Alliance Programme. This international collaboration connects organisations and associations within the KBB sectors to encourage a global exchange of information and insight.

Damian Walters, CEO, called for action from the entire industry in September to support the much-needed apprenticeships within the KBB sector. The shortage of professional installers calls for the industry to unite now or “risk future catastrophe”. The cry for help has received a great response from the industry as 600 businesses had registered their support for Apprenticeships via the support change website.

In more positive news, the British institute of KBB confirmed their sponsorship of Charlton Athletic Women FC for the third year for the 2020/21 season. This strategy in particular is part of BiKBBI’s ambition to create the UK’s first female only KBB Apprenticeship.

In October the three-tier social restriction system was introduced by UK Government to suppress the spread of Coronavirus and to clarify procedures and rules for each local area if implementation of restrictions were necessary; However, this announcement did not affect the advice previously given to people working in other peoples’ homes, meaning installation businesses could continue to deliver their service.

BiKBBI CEO was invited to join the BBC One Wales X-Ray team in Cardiff on 19th October to discuss consumer rights and how people should approach dispute with tradespeople.

The Autumn Edition of The Installer Magazine was published, despite the challenges presented by the global pandemic of 2020.

BiKBBI confirmed its support of the development of the Level Two Fitted Interiors Apprenticeship, working with strategic partner Achieve & Partners to future proof this crucial educational strategy.

CEO Damian Walters joined KBBReviews Andrew Davies on their podcast with advice for tradespeople.

November saw BiKBBI CEO, Damian Walters, comment on the current demand for kitchen and bathroom installations at the end of what has been a very unusual year. Referring back to the shortage of installers discussed back in September, Brexit is now looming and installer availability is few and far between. Tradesmen are quoting jobs for as far away as April 2021… and when there is opportunity, opportunists arrive, which could result in reputation damage for the KBB sector.

There was no slowing down BiKBBI in December, with plenty more to do before the end of the year.

BiKBBI assembled a Trailblazer Group, a collaboration of businesses including B&Q, Moores, John Lewis, Sharpes as well as number of independent businesses to develop the Fitted Interior Apprenticeship.

CRM Software specialist Anthill, the tech team behind the Protected platform, join BiKBBI as a Corporate Sponsor. Massive news was announced as the UK’s fastest growing homeware specialist The Range became a BiKBBI Retail Installation Standards Partner, adopting the Protected initiative for their customers.

Following months of development, BiKBBI launched its latest update to CAMS (Compliance & Administrative Management System). The update provided a greater user experience and allowed members to nominate multiple gas and electrical engineers with a focus on health & safety.

To protect the health of its staff in the lead up to Christmas, BiKBBI confirmed that its head office team would return to working from home.

In what was a BIG NEWS week at BiKBBI, the first announcement confirmed that AO joined as a Corporate Sponsor, adding to an impressive lineup of national and international brands who support the institute and its objectives.

BiKBBI was delighted to announce a new relationship with homeware giant The Range as they become a Retail Installation Standards Partner, adopting the ProtectMyInstall.co.uk platform for its retail customers.

Grafton Groups’ Buildbase join many businesses in the adoption of the Protected platform and become the last business of 2020 to become a BiKBBI Retail Installation Standards Partner. A huge milestone for the initiative, opening a plethora of opportunities for members.

2019

January was a busy month for BiKBBI. We held our Annual Conference at The Houses of Parliament, where we unveiled our plans for positive change via the Protected initiative.

We also announced the arrival of our latest Installation Standards Partner, Homebase.

In February we prepared for the arrival of our new IT platform affectionately named CAMS, short for Compliance and Administrative Management System. The new AI driven system that manages our members compliance information and their digital relationship with us.

March saw the arrival of two new board members, Jon Thelwell and Karen Stanley, who bring a wealth of experience to the organisation and depth to an impressive board.

We also provided an update to the industry on our Apprenticeship programme and an insight into our future plans.

As springtime and April arrived, we invited retailers to express an interest in the new Protected initiative.

May was a busy month as we welcomed new Retail Installation Standards Partner and respected retailer Leekes to the family. Our CEO Damian Walters also welcomed fellow Welshman and respected industry leader David Osborne and his premium Roman brand to the organisation as our latest Corporate Sponsor.

June was very much a mixed month for BiKBBI and its members. Bathstore (Limited) fell into administration, leaving members collectively out of pocket for sums in excess of £3.5m. BiKBBI stepped up support for members during difficult times. BiKBBI CEO worked with national press, including The Guardian to highlight the plight of members.

Buying group KBBG and BiKBBI joined forces to support its retail members and CEO Damian Walters also announced raised support for military veterans as part of a wider initiative to support veterans.

In response to the Bathstore situation, BiKBBI announced their MemberSafe initiative in July. An early warning mechanism to help members identify suppliers, manufacturers and retailers who may be in financial difficulty.

We was delighted to welcome Compusoft to the organisation as a Corporate Sponsor.

The bathroom giants arrived in August! Board strengthening continued with former Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA) CEO Yvonne Orgill joining BiKBBI. International premium bathroom brand Roca joins as a Corporate Sponsor.

During September we began the tough job of judging Installer of The Year for the awards ceremony later on in the year. In October we announced our finalists, representing businesses from across the UK.

November showed no sign of quieting down for BiKBBI.

Worktop Express became a Corporate Sponsor, joining an impressive portfolio of premium industry suppliers and manufacturers to support our objectives.

We welcomed some great new retailers to our Installation Standards Partner initiative. Respected bathroom retailers Fired Earth and Ripples (Birmingham) joined, together with new online business Foam & Bubbles.

Our Installer of the Year, Billy Ashcroft of Ashcroft Installations Limited (Cumbria), was celebrated at the ek&bbusiness Awards & Review in central London.

In December we confirmed our attendance at industry show KBB Birmingham 2020, launching our Get on the Bus campaign.

Right before our Christmas break, we squeezed in one last piece of news as we announced another strategic partnership with Trading Standards. We were delighted to announce that The Secretary of State had nominated BiKBBI for Primary Authority Partnership, managed by Nottingham Trading Standards.

2018

January saw international components giant Häfele become a Corporate Sponsor, as well as the launch of BiKBBI Insurance Services – a relationship with United Insurance Brokers.

BiKBBI also hosted its Annual Stakeholder Event late in January – attended by a number of high profile delegates, members, sponsors and strategic partners.

In February BiKBBI appointed its first Education Officer as Stephanie Gray joined the team to head up our Apprenticeship programme.

Global payment processing specialist WorldPay partners BiKBBI in March, providing payment processing solutions for members. BiKBBI also hosted the new Installation Zone at KBB Birmingham 2018.

April saw another great Corporate Member addition – this time in the form of Turkish based bathroom manufacturer VitrA. Tech firm New Way International joined the Corporate ranks and introduced mobile hardware to members for the first time.

Work surface fabricator Sheridan became a BiKBBI Installation Standards Partner in May, with all installers becoming independent members of the organisation.

Big news in May, as BiKBBI became an approved organisation with HMRC meaning that members could claim a rebate against membership fees. A luges milestone for BiKBBI and a great benefit for members.

In June B&Q announced the closure of its Homefit operation. The department responsible for kitchen & bathroom installation. Despite this being big news, B&Q & BiKBBI work together to create opportunities for staff, installers and future customers. Also in June saw the arrival of our second Brand Ambassador. Experienced KBB specialist Alan Grant joins the team.

Shayne O’Brien joined the organisation in June as Inspection Officer as part of our impressive inspection service growth.

July saw the arrival of another high-profile Corporate Sponsor – Apelson (MyAppliances.com) joined, providing members with access to discounted online appliances.

In a strategic move to promote installation opportunities to different demographics, BiKBBI announced a partnership with Charlton Athletic Women’s Football Club in August. The partnership will see BiKBBI engage hundreds of female players, many of whom are at school leaving age, with a view to promote its Apprenticeship programme.

Caroline Sommerville joined the Head Office team as Compliance Officer.

September saw a historic moment as BiKBBI launched its Apprenticeship programme at PROCAT in South Essex. The first of its kind, BiKBBI plan a national roll out over the next 5 years. Coincidentally, BiKBBI also published its first printed Standards & Guidelines document, sponsored by founder sponsor Classi.

BiKBBI confirmed that it would be holding its Annual Stakeholder Event at The House of Commons in January 2019.

Anna-Marie Belton joined the team in September with an objective to focus on Special Projects. Her first job was to onboard B&Q installers as part of our Homefit closedown support.

In October, BiKBBI shortlisted finalists for the prestigious Installer of the Year Award – part of the ek&bbusiness Awards 2018 – the third year the organisation has supported the awards process.

Again in October, BiKBBI welcomed waste removal specialist Clearabee as its latest Corporate Sponsor and BiKBBI launched its third generation members website.

November saw the arrival of Michael Burke, BiKBBI’s Apprenticeship Ambassador. BiKBBI also judged the third ek&bbusiness Awards & Review and pleased to announce the winner of the prestigious Installer of the Year Award 2018 as Liberty Fitting Services of Dundee, Scotland. A BiKBBI member for a decade!

With Christmas fast approaching, BiKBBI continued its busy year in December with the announcement that it was planning an “extraordinary” Annual Conference, which will be held at The Houses of Parliament in January.

With just a week before Christmas, BiKBBI had one last announcement for 2018 – A new commercial funding solution for members, powered by Funder Finder.

2018 has been an amazing year for BiKBBI – But 2019 will be bigger and better… WATCH THIS SPACE!

2017

In January, BiKBBI agree a Strategic Partnership with AgeUK – the charity working with the elderly in Great Britain. The partnership will see BiKBBI working with AgeUK’s partners, improving standards and protecting the best interests of those elderly consumers who are adapting their living conditions to meet their changing needs.

Also in January, industry work surface manufacturer Wilsonart become BiKBBI Corporate Sponsors.

On Valentines Day in February, BiKBBI CEO Damian Walters confirms their support of Apprenticeships, forming a working group made up from their retail partners. For the first time, these retailers assemble to work on a collaborative approach to training and development.

In April, CEO Damian Walters heads off to China in an attempt to raise funds for The Furniture Makers Company. Whilst his summit attempt is cut painfully short due to adverse weather, he deoes raise over £35,000 for charity and much needed awareness for the industry’s charity.

In July, British shower manufacturer Aqualisa become Corporate Sponsors, adding to an impressive line up of industry supporters. Also in July, BiKBBI confirm their support of The Ideal Home Show in 2018 – The premier consumer event being held at London Olympia.

In October, BiKBBI launch consumer and member financial protection in the form of a strategic partnership with Transpact.com and the provision of escrow payment services. This is a landmark moment as the organisation finds a solution for genuine problem faced by its members and consumers generally.

Later in October and as Armitage Shanks celebrates its 200th birthday, parent company Ideal Standard become the latest industry heavyweight to support BiKBBI’s objectives. Clear demonstration that the organisation is capturing the attention of the industry.

In what was a busy month for the organisation, October also saw the relaunch of bikbbi.org.uk – a modern and respopnsive website that represented the organisation internationally.

In November, Angela Smith is appointed as the first BiKBBI Brand Ambassador – responsible to engaging communities and introducing the organisation to potential stragegic partners. Angela brings a new dynamic to the senior team.

In December, LSI Interiors were announced as Installer of the Year 2017.

2016

In partnership with The Chartered Trading Standards Institute and Virtual College, BiKBBI launched its CPD (Continual Professional Development) portal, for members and non-members. The portal is sponsored by industry giant Blum.

In March, BiKBBI became Corporate Members of The Furniture Makers Company – The industry charity that works on education and welfare. Also in March, the board of directors is strengthened as John Peerless and Vince Linnane join as non-executives.

In April, BiKBBI conducted a survey ahead of the BREXIT referendum with its members – members forecasted a BREXIT vote.

In June, BiKBBI agreed a long-term strategic safety partnership with NICEIC and ELECSA, working together on electrical safety messaging for both members and their customers.

In July, BiKBBI hosted its tenth anniversary reception at The Houses of Parliament – attended by Patron Stephen Metcalfe MP and a host of industry representatives. BiKBBI CEO Damian Walters warned the industry of a pending skills shortage following the government commissioned Farmer Report. Damian called for the industry to collaborate on finding a solution to the challenge.

The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers (iKBBI) became The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) as it receives permission from the Secretary of State to use its new British status.

2015

2015 was a monumental year for the iKBBI. It attracted new Installation Standards Partners Omega PLC and Symphony Group PLC and plans were made for the launch of an apprenticeship initiative targeting the next generation of kitchen, bedroom and bathroom installers.

The 3,800th member was welcomed in the summer of 2015 as well and an announcement was made for a new and innovative accreditation grading system, expanding membership from domestic installers to include contract site installers, appliance engineers, fabricators as well as allowing for recognition of more experienced members with the new ‘Master Member’ grading.

The iKBBI also announced strategic collaborations with some huge brands, including the consumer watchdog Which? and their Trusted Trader division. Collaborations with CAPITA (the business responsible for the Gas Safe Register) and The Furniture Ombudsman (TFO) were also announced in 2015. New sponsors Currys PC World and Trade-Up Kitchens committed to vital financial support.

The iKBBI also sponsored the inaugural Scottish Home Improvement Awards, reaching out to businesses and consumers north of the boarder. Commitment was also made to support KBB Birmingham 2016, as well as Installer Live and UK Construction Week 2016.

The iKBBI Installer Magazine was re-launched in the spring of 2015, with a circulation to the KBB industry of circa 10,000+. The magazine forms part of a wider communication strategy, which included the appointment of a new head office Communications Manager role.

The iKBBI Inspection Network launched in November and will play an important role supporting the Furniture Ombudsman and the newly launched Consumer Rights Act (2015) and Alternative Dispute Resolution. Inspection will also play a huge role in the BiKBBI offering moving forward.

2014

The year starts positively as the owner of websites kitchen-compare, bedroom-compare, bathroom- compare and trade-compare.com confirm their long-term support of the BiKBBI via sponsorship. The iKBBI again exhibited work at the national trade show in Birmingham and pledged to strengthen relationships with The KBB National Training Group on apprentice schemes for kitchen installers.

An appearance on The BBC in April sparked new interest in the iKBBI and the institute received invitations to act as industry representatives on several shows scheduled for 2014/15. Retired Metropolitan Police officer Geoffrey Jackson joined the iKBBI, heading the Dispute Resolution Service for consumers as we step up support to our members and the customers they serve.

The iKBBI recruited its 2,500th member in April as renew rates hit an all time high of 90%. Work on a new Find-A- Member search tool commenced, with its launch planned for the summer of 2014.

2013

European home improvement giants B&Q join the Installation Standards Partnership as hundreds of their installers become supported and accredited by the iKBBI. This was a significant milestone for the iKBBI. B&Q making the decision to fund the accreditation of their installers was a first for the initiative and demonstrated their support to their installers. The restructured Bathstore joined the iKBBI and accreditation of their installation population commenced.

The international brand of Laura Ashley and UK department store Debenhams joined the iSP initiative this year as they developed a new bathroom product for their customers. National waste solutions giant HIPPO became sponsors and the iKBBI worked with them and their members to provide robust and environmentally sound solutions to the KBB industry.

As part of the May Design Series, we exhibited our work at The London ExCeL, attracting many consumer and trade visitors including celebrity designer Linda Barker. We met our latest sponsor FESTOOL (the German tool manufacturing giant) and our relationship grew later this year. iKBBI co-founder Andrew Carter stepped down as Director. Member of Parliament Stephen Metcalfe pledges support of the iKBBI as our second Patron, joining the Right-Honourable MP. Stephen is an SME activist and local MP for the area in which the iKBBI head office is based (Thurrock, Essex).

The iKBBI’s relationship with the BMA strengthened as the institute promotes the association’s diploma in bathroom studies. The iKBBI members receive access to specific asbestos awareness training via a new partnership with a UKATA approved provider.

2012

Our sponsorship programme continues to grow as founding sponsors at Classic Marble renew their support of the institute and our objectives. Industry insurance specialist UK Special Risks sponsor the iKBBI and provide essential support and guidance to members on all things insurance related. The iKBBI attend the industry’s largest trade exhibition with a modest stand at KBB Birmingham – a long standing relationship begins as we share our vision and ethos with global trade visitors. CDUK, exclusive UK distributors of DuPont Corian pledge sponsorship support of the iKBBI as our association with leading global brands continues.

Mark Two Home (acting for Tesco Kitchens & Bathrooms) becomes the first national brand to join the Installation Standards Partnership initiative, although their installers had been accredited members of the iKBBI for some time already. The reputable brand of John Lewis becomes official Installation Standards Partners and our support of their growing KBB operation commence with the accreditation of their kitchen installers nationally. We undertake a holistic review of their operation and provide consultation on future development opportunities.

2011

Our big push for 2011 was the development of the iKBBI Installation Standards Partnership initiative. For the first time we began work on an initiative that brings leading retailers together to work on the task of defining installation standards within the KBB industry. We gained in-principle support from several retailers including the team at Mark Two whom we had supported back in 2009.

2010

New sponsors joined the iKBBI including AnyJunk and Autonet Van Rental. The re-vamped Find-a- Member website was unveiled, helping consumers find and choose the right installer for their kitchen, bedroom or bathroom home project. Our work with The BMA (Bathroom Manufacturers Association) continued this year and we became associate members to help strengthen this key relationship.

We worked with both Channel 4 and Sky TV this year as representatives of the KBB installation industry, appearing numerous times to give advice and guidance for UK consumers. For the first time in modern history, the UK had a coalition government as we bedded into the global economic crisis. Working with our MP patron, we developed a number of marketing and cost-saving initiatives to assist members ride the financial storm.

Our website statistics reached a high, receiving over 1,000 unique visitors each week. The iKBBI joined the National Home Improvement Council this year, working on several topics including the government Green Deal and the Get Britain Building Campaign

2009

Our Find-A- Member website was launched – www.professionalfitters.org in a bid to help members connect with consumers. For the first time in UK history, consumers could find local installers who specialised in KBB installations… a real milestone for the iKBBI. As a direct result of MFI’s collapse in 2008, iKBBI started working with retailers to help members find new work streams. The Big Bathroom Shop and Tesco were the first to support our initiative and we were proud to have helped hundreds of members with new and exciting opportunities.

The iKBBI launched marketing material for members to help them connect with new customers. The “Why Choose a Member” leaflet was born! The iKBBI welcomed its 500th member this year as real time national coverage was received for the first time. The iKBBI Dispute Resolution Service was launched for consumers, providing FREE and independent advice to those consumers who needed a helping hand with their home improvement projects.

We engaged over 1,500 installation businesses across the UK on a national road show, visiting towns and cities from Plymouth to Dundee. We gained lots of feedback and subsequently attracted new members.

A new SMS text service was launched later this year, helping us to communicate more efficiently to our members… a simple breakthrough that allows us to get instant messaging to our members. We were proud to announce our first patron of the iKBBI – the Right Honourable Brian Binley MP (Conservative) – a staunch supporter of the UK SME population, Brian was our link into central government for the first time.

2008

Founding sponsors financially committed to the initiative included the international brands of Blum and Franke, together with BUPA, RAC and Classic Marble. The iKBBI launched its first generation website and commenced the process of accreditation for installers, accrediting its first member in January of that year. John Lewis of Hungerford PLC was the first ever retailer to insist all of its installers become accredited members of the iKBBI.

The iKBBI Consultation Panel was formed; a group of industry professionals whose views would help structure the institute over coming years. The KBB Installer Magazine was developed with DMG World Media (now owned by Taylist Media) and the UK’s first-ever glossy magazine was launched for KBB installers exclusively. The iKBBI also launched an industry training questionnaire that year, for the first time asking the time served professional’s opinion of training.

The collapse of MFI that year was a blow for hundreds of installers across the UK and iKBBI helped many by proving independent advice and support for those members affected.

2007

Following an application to government in April 2007, the iKBBI was granted official institute status from the Secretary of State (Sir John Hutton), with support from industry organisations including the National Training Group (NTG), Construction Skills, CITB and ProSkills. The process to become an institute was a six-month period of due diligence by the government, as institute status is only granted to those organisations of the highest standing. Failure to seek approval from the Secretary of State for use of the word ‘institute’ is a criminal offence.

2006

Founded by three industry experts, Damian Walters, Andrew Carter and Gordon Smith, the formerly named Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers (iKBBI) was soft launched in 2006 with an objective to support installation businesses with their commercial aspirations, whilst defining installation standards and providing UK consumers with informed choice.

2021 - The story so far

What a year 2020 was!

January 2021 started with a positive bang as BiKBBI introduced a new COVID Status Checker to its website. A useful tool for website visitors to check Coronavirus social restrictions in their country and specifically how it affects tradespeople. The new service, available to all, is free, updated when new changes require and reviewed daily. Quooker was also announced as the latest Corporate Sponsor of the institute with a specific focus on accelerating plans for work on the KBB installation Apprenticeship initiative. The Installer Magazine (issue 24) was published, as the readership continues to grow year on year. The institute also welcomed Steve Gow as the Director of Learning & Development following on from Quookers exciting partnership with BiKBBI on the Apprenticeship initiative.

In February, Steve kicked off his role as Director of L&D by hosting a SOP training course for the industry providing them with the basic knowledge and processes when working in domestic homes. BiKBBI CEO, Damian Walters warned Government not to ignore tradespeople and independant retailers as the UK opens up for business following an update from Government regarding Coronavirus and the current restrictions. Public relations strategist, Mark Fuller joined BiKBBI’s Advisory board to work closely alongisde the Director of Public Relations once in post.

The institute called for urgent support at the beginning of March from the Government ahead of the 2021 budget. Scotland announced a roadmap out of the Covid restrictions with KBB showrooms and tradepeople planned for an April bounceback. BiKBBI CEO, Damian Walters gave thanks to the supporters and staff of the Institute one year on from the national lockdown. BiKBBI warned KBB retailers of the risk of being hit with a wave of employment tribunals following the Uber ruling.

In April BiKBBI published the results of a survey they conducted earlier on in the year, revealing the stark scale of the installer skills gap and the impact this will have on the KBB industry over the next ten years.

Components maufacturer, Titus, were announced as the newest Corporate Sponsor in May to show industry support to the institute and its objectives. The Institute also announced the Annual Conference & Awards that will take place in February 2022 at The Houses of Parliament.

In June, Graham The Plumbers Merchant was announced as the next Corporate Sponsor  after becoming a Retail Installation Standards Partner at the end of 2020. The Spring edition of the Installer Magazine was published focusing on the Apprenticeship Initiative and the support needed by BiKBBI members and the wider industry. In what was a busy month for BiKBBI, we also unveiled Mereway Group (Trend Interiors) as a Sponsor focusing on their bedroom & home office ranges.

BiKBBI CEO, Damian Walters urged tradespeople in July to remain cautious following the easing of restrictions from Monday 19th July in England and Scotland. As the ‘pingdemic’ caused chaos for tradespeople, evidence gathered from an installer survey by BiKBBI showed that shousands of home improvement jobs had been cancelled because of the increase in self-isolation notifications sent by the NHS Covid app. KBB recruitment firm, Foyne Jones, showed support for BiKBBI by becoming a corporate sponsor.

In August BiKBBI welcomed International surfacing solution brand Formica Group as a Corporate Sponsor. CEO Damian Walters also joined Andrew Davies on the KBB Review Podcast. The Summer Edition of the Installer Magazine was released and re-enforced the severity of the skills gap crisis. The Installation Awards  were announced for BiKBBI’s annual conference in 2022.

 

2020

Twenty twenty and January kicked off the New Year with an exciting new sponsor – online bathroom giant Victoria Plum.com and their Trade programme. This wouldn’t be the only exciting collaboration with Victoria Plum for 2020, although of course none of us knew what the year would have in store for us all.

Following the announcement at The Houses of Parliament in 2019, we were thrilled to commence BETA testing of the new ProtectMyInstall.co.uk platform – a revolutionary new digital platform that connects consumers with professional installers. This potential industry game changer works with retailers to help them signpost their customers to a robust installation service.

The Installer Magazine (issue 20) was published and continues to grow in terms of readership. Over 12,000 subscribers internationally!

February saw two new sponsors join BiKBBI, the first was French CAD company, Dassault Systémes. Innovative and versatile bathroom company Showerwall, then joined the institute to back the objectives for the KBB industry. Damian Walters, CEO, penned a letter to the Prime Minister over his concerns following Brexit in 2021 regarding immigration and the effects on the KBB sector.

Forecasting severe social restriction measures as the news of a new global virus hit the media, BiKBBI took the decision to make preparations to mobilise its operational team. Desktop computers were replaced with laptop and new security features introduced to assist it people operate from outside the office.

BiKBBI hit the ground running in March, as the new online campus was launched in association with Cortexa, offering members training and development on products and services to up skill the workforce.

The institute also attended the KBB Birmingham programme driving an iconic double decker London bus into the middle of the NEC Birmingham. March also saw a partnership with Achieve+Partners who are an End-Point Assessment Organisation for the furniture, wood and trade supplier industries to help review and develop the current Level 2 apprenticeship in Fitted Furniture Installation.

This was all to change, as Coronavirus entered our lives. Along with the rest of the UK, BiKBBI Head Office closed, and staff begun to work from home. Our CEO Damian Walters spoke to the industry in what was an emotional address.

Despite the lockdown, productivity didn’t slow as the new BiKBBI Campus offered the entire industry FREE online training course’s during lockdown. The CEO issued a statement in relation to COVID-19 to set out guidance for the British Institute of KBB installation’s members, stakeholders and the public.

BiKBBI welcomed an exciting partnership with the Armed Forces as it signed the Armed Forces Covenant in April, to offer ex-service personnel an opportunity within the KBB sector when returning to civilian life. This continued BiKBBI’s commitment to social responsibility with military organisations, to include the retraining of other industry’s to assist the filling of the UK skills gap.

The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) was launched by Rishi Sunak and CEO Damian Walters was invited to discuss on the first KBBReview podcast.

Victoria Plum entered into the installation market during lockdown to offer bathroom design and installation to their domestic customers.

The spring edition of the Installer Magazine was published focusing on the impacts of Coronavirus and the much-needed support available to BiKBBI members and the wider industry. This was a very special edition of the magazine as it celebrates is 5th birthday!

BiKBBI wrote to all members and launched its Together Stronger campaign, providing links to advice, guidance, support and welfare. The organisation stepped up to the challenge imposed by Coronavirus, which received universal support and praise.

CEO Damian Walters discussed the Protected initiative on KBBReview’s podcast, which received some of the highest viewer rates for the industry magazine.

In May, the Used Kitchen Exchange partnership was announced The environmentally friendly kitchen specialist were amongst the first to adopt the Protected installation initiative.

Following with more positive news, the mental wellbeing organisation, Stress Matters, joined the institute as a strategic partner during times of global crisis to offer support to companies and their employees within the KBB industry. It was clear to BiKBBI that the physical effects of Coronavirus would not be the only threat to people.

The government introduced the bounce back loan scheme in May for small and medium sized businesses to help those businesses impacted by the virus. BiKBBI hosted a webinar to an audience of over 3,000 people! Having worked with several agencies, the topic of the webinar was how tradespeople could return to work safely and in accordance with government guidance.

BiKBBI’s Head Office received a COVID makeover, with the installation of protective measures to expedite its staff’s much needed return. Despite the organisations capability to work from home, CEO Damian Walters knew his team works better when together, so the installation of sanitisation stations, thermal staff scanning, glass partitioning and the introduction of Safe Operating Procedures took precedence.

BiKBBI reopened its doors on the 1st June after a long few months of its team working from home and was introduced as the latest member of FIESTA, to further support the objectives for education and training in the installation sector.

An exciting sponsorship from BA was unveiled as the organisations latest Corporate Member.

The summer edition of the Installer Magazine was published in July, with hot topics including the need for change within the KBB industry, new corporate sponsors, the launch of the protected platform and more support to members on all things COVID.

Luxury vinyl flooring provider, Malmo was confirmed as the latest sponsor of the BiKBBI in August, adding to an impressive list of corporate sponsors for 2020.

A very exciting collaboration was announced with the National Kitchen & Bathroom Association (NKBA), the North American authority on all thing’s kitchen and bathrooms, and its Global Connect Alliance Programme. This international collaboration connects organisations and associations within the KBB sectors to encourage a global exchange of information and insight.

Damian Walters, CEO, called for action from the entire industry in September to support the much-needed apprenticeships within the KBB sector. The shortage of professional installers calls for the industry to unite now or “risk future catastrophe”. The cry for help has received a great response from the industry as 600 businesses had registered their support for Apprenticeships via the support change website.

In more positive news, the British institute of KBB confirmed their sponsorship of Charlton Athletic Women FC for the third year for the 2020/21 season. This strategy in particular is part of BiKBBI’s ambition to create the UK’s first female only KBB Apprenticeship.

In October the three-tier social restriction system was introduced by UK Government to suppress the spread of Coronavirus and to clarify procedures and rules for each local area if implementation of restrictions were necessary; However, this announcement did not affect the advice previously given to people working in other peoples’ homes, meaning installation businesses could continue to deliver their service.

BiKBBI CEO was invited to join the BBC One Wales X-Ray team in Cardiff on 19th October to discuss consumer rights and how people should approach dispute with tradespeople.

The Autumn Edition of The Installer Magazine was published, despite the challenges presented by the global pandemic of 2020.

BiKBBI confirmed its support of the development of the Level Two Fitted Interiors Apprenticeship, working with strategic partner Achieve & Partners to future proof this crucial educational strategy.

CEO Damian Walters joined KBBReviews Andrew Davies on their podcast with advice for tradespeople.

November saw BiKBBI CEO, Damian Walters, comment on the current demand for kitchen and bathroom installations at the end of what has been a very unusual year. Referring back to the shortage of installers discussed back in September, Brexit is now looming and installer availability is few and far between. Tradesmen are quoting jobs for as far away as April 2021… and when there is opportunity, opportunists arrive, which could result in reputation damage for the KBB sector.

There was no slowing down BiKBBI in December, with plenty more to do before the end of the year.

BiKBBI assembled a Trailblazer Group, a collaboration of businesses including B&Q, Moores, John Lewis, Sharpes as well as number of independent businesses to develop the Fitted Interior Apprenticeship.

CRM Software specialist Anthill, the tech team behind the Protected platform, join BiKBBI as a Corporate Sponsor. Massive news was announced as the UK’s fastest growing homeware specialist The Range became a BiKBBI Retail Installation Standards Partner, adopting the Protected initiative for their customers.

Following months of development, BiKBBI launched its latest update to CAMS (Compliance & Administrative Management System). The update provided a greater user experience and allowed members to nominate multiple gas and electrical engineers with a focus on health & safety.

To protect the health of its staff in the lead up to Christmas, BiKBBI confirmed that its head office team would return to working from home.

In what was a BIG NEWS week at BiKBBI, the first announcement confirmed that AO joined as a Corporate Sponsor, adding to an impressive lineup of national and international brands who support the institute and its objectives.

BiKBBI was delighted to announce a new relationship with homeware giant The Range as they become a Retail Installation Standards Partner, adopting the ProtectMyInstall.co.uk platform for its retail customers.

Grafton Groups’ Buildbase join many businesses in the adoption of the Protected platform and become the last business of 2020 to become a BiKBBI Retail Installation Standards Partner. A huge milestone for the initiative, opening a plethora of opportunities for members.

2019

January was a busy month for BiKBBI. We held our Annual Conference at The Houses of Parliament, where we unveiled our plans for positive change via the Protected initiative.

We also announced the arrival of our latest Installation Standards Partner, Homebase.

In February we prepared for the arrival of our new IT platform affectionately named CAMS, short for Compliance and Administrative Management System. The new AI driven system that manages our members compliance information and their digital relationship with us.

March saw the arrival of two new board members, Jon Thelwell and Karen Stanley, who bring a wealth of experience to the organisation and depth to an impressive board.

We also provided an update to the industry on our Apprenticeship programme and an insight into our future plans.

As springtime and April arrived, we invited retailers to express an interest in the new Protected initiative.

May was a busy month as we welcomed new Retail Installation Standards Partner and respected retailer Leekes to the family. Our CEO Damian Walters also welcomed fellow Welshman and respected industry leader David Osborne and his premium Roman brand to the organisation as our latest Corporate Sponsor.

June was very much a mixed month for BiKBBI and its members. Bathstore (Limited) fell into administration, leaving members collectively out of pocket for sums in excess of £3.5m. BiKBBI stepped up support for members during difficult times. BiKBBI CEO worked with national press, including The Guardian to highlight the plight of members.

Buying group KBBG and BiKBBI joined forces to support its retail members and CEO Damian Walters also announced raised support for military veterans as part of a wider initiative to support veterans.

In response to the Bathstore situation, BiKBBI announced their MemberSafe initiative in July. An early warning mechanism to help members identify suppliers, manufacturers and retailers who may be in financial difficulty.

We was delighted to welcome Compusoft to the organisation as a Corporate Sponsor.

The bathroom giants arrived in August! Board strengthening continued with former Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA) CEO Yvonne Orgill joining BiKBBI. International premium bathroom brand Roca joins as a Corporate Sponsor.

During September we began the tough job of judging Installer of The Year for the awards ceremony later on in the year. In October we announced our finalists, representing businesses from across the UK.

November showed no sign of quieting down for BiKBBI.

Worktop Express became a Corporate Sponsor, joining an impressive portfolio of premium industry suppliers and manufacturers to support our objectives.

We welcomed some great new retailers to our Installation Standards Partner initiative. Respected bathroom retailers Fired Earth and Ripples (Birmingham) joined, together with new online business Foam & Bubbles.

Our Installer of the Year, Billy Ashcroft of Ashcroft Installations Limited (Cumbria), was celebrated at the ek&bbusiness Awards & Review in central London.

In December we confirmed our attendance at industry show KBB Birmingham 2020, launching our Get on the Bus campaign.

Right before our Christmas break, we squeezed in one last piece of news as we announced another strategic partnership with Trading Standards. We were delighted to announce that The Secretary of State had nominated BiKBBI for Primary Authority Partnership, managed by Nottingham Trading Standards.

2018

January saw international components giant Häfele become a Corporate Sponsor, as well as the launch of BiKBBI Insurance Services – a relationship with United Insurance Brokers.

BiKBBI also hosted its Annual Stakeholder Event late in January – attended by a number of high profile delegates, members, sponsors and strategic partners.

In February BiKBBI appointed its first Education Officer as Stephanie Gray joined the team to head up our Apprenticeship programme.

Global payment processing specialist WorldPay partners BiKBBI in March, providing payment processing solutions for members. BiKBBI also hosted the new Installation Zone at KBB Birmingham 2018.

April saw another great Corporate Member addition – this time in the form of Turkish based bathroom manufacturer VitrA. Tech firm New Way International joined the Corporate ranks and introduced mobile hardware to members for the first time.

Work surface fabricator Sheridan became a BiKBBI Installation Standards Partner in May, with all installers becoming independent members of the organisation.

Big news in May, as BiKBBI became an approved organisation with HMRC meaning that members could claim a rebate against membership fees. A luges milestone for BiKBBI and a great benefit for members.

In June B&Q announced the closure of its Homefit operation. The department responsible for kitchen & bathroom installation. Despite this being big news, B&Q & BiKBBI work together to create opportunities for staff, installers and future customers. Also in June saw the arrival of our second Brand Ambassador. Experienced KBB specialist Alan Grant joins the team.

Shayne O’Brien joined the organisation in June as Inspection Officer as part of our impressive inspection service growth.

July saw the arrival of another high-profile Corporate Sponsor – Apelson (MyAppliances.com) joined, providing members with access to discounted online appliances.

In a strategic move to promote installation opportunities to different demographics, BiKBBI announced a partnership with Charlton Athletic Women’s Football Club in August. The partnership will see BiKBBI engage hundreds of female players, many of whom are at school leaving age, with a view to promote its Apprenticeship programme.

Caroline Sommerville joined the Head Office team as Compliance Officer.

September saw a historic moment as BiKBBI launched its Apprenticeship programme at PROCAT in South Essex. The first of its kind, BiKBBI plan a national roll out over the next 5 years. Coincidentally, BiKBBI also published its first printed Standards & Guidelines document, sponsored by founder sponsor Classi.

BiKBBI confirmed that it would be holding its Annual Stakeholder Event at The House of Commons in January 2019.

Anna-Marie Belton joined the team in September with an objective to focus on Special Projects. Her first job was to onboard B&Q installers as part of our Homefit closedown support.

In October, BiKBBI shortlisted finalists for the prestigious Installer of the Year Award – part of the ek&bbusiness Awards 2018 – the third year the organisation has supported the awards process.

Again in October, BiKBBI welcomed waste removal specialist Clearabee as its latest Corporate Sponsor and BiKBBI launched its third generation members website.

November saw the arrival of Michael Burke, BiKBBI’s Apprenticeship Ambassador. BiKBBI also judged the third ek&bbusiness Awards & Review and pleased to announce the winner of the prestigious Installer of the Year Award 2018 as Liberty Fitting Services of Dundee, Scotland. A BiKBBI member for a decade!

With Christmas fast approaching, BiKBBI continued its busy year in December with the announcement that it was planning an “extraordinary” Annual Conference, which will be held at The Houses of Parliament in January.

With just a week before Christmas, BiKBBI had one last announcement for 2018 – A new commercial funding solution for members, powered by Funder Finder.

2018 has been an amazing year for BiKBBI – But 2019 will be bigger and better… WATCH THIS SPACE!

2017

In January, BiKBBI agree a Strategic Partnership with AgeUK – the charity working with the elderly in Great Britain. The partnership will see BiKBBI working with AgeUK’s partners, improving standards and protecting the best interests of those elderly consumers who are adapting their living conditions to meet their changing needs.

Also in January, industry work surface manufacturer Wilsonart become BiKBBI Corporate Sponsors.

On Valentines Day in February, BiKBBI CEO Damian Walters confirms their support of Apprenticeships, forming a working group made up from their retail partners. For the first time, these retailers assemble to work on a collaborative approach to training and development.

In April, CEO Damian Walters heads off to China in an attempt to raise funds for The Furniture Makers Company. Whilst his summit attempt is cut painfully short due to adverse weather, he deoes raise over £35,000 for charity and much needed awareness for the industry’s charity.

In July, British shower manufacturer Aqualisa become Corporate Sponsors, adding to an impressive line up of industry supporters. Also in July, BiKBBI confirm their support of The Ideal Home Show in 2018 – The premier consumer event being held at London Olympia.

In October, BiKBBI launch consumer and member financial protection in the form of a strategic partnership with Transpact.com and the provision of escrow payment services. This is a landmark moment as the organisation finds a solution for genuine problem faced by its members and consumers generally.

Later in October and as Armitage Shanks celebrates its 200th birthday, parent company Ideal Standard become the latest industry heavyweight to support BiKBBI’s objectives. Clear demonstration that the organisation is capturing the attention of the industry.

In what was a busy month for the organisation, October also saw the relaunch of bikbbi.org.uk – a modern and respopnsive website that represented the organisation internationally.

In November, Angela Smith is appointed as the first BiKBBI Brand Ambassador – responsible to engaging communities and introducing the organisation to potential stragegic partners. Angela brings a new dynamic to the senior team.

In December, LSI Interiors were announced as Installer of the Year 2017.

2016

In partnership with The Chartered Trading Standards Institute and Virtual College, BiKBBI launched its CPD (Continual Professional Development) portal, for members and non-members. The portal is sponsored by industry giant Blum.

In March, BiKBBI became Corporate Members of The Furniture Makers Company – The industry charity that works on education and welfare. Also in March, the board of directors is strengthened as John Peerless and Vince Linnane join as non-executives.

In April, BiKBBI conducted a survey ahead of the BREXIT referendum with its members – members forecasted a BREXIT vote.

In June, BiKBBI agreed a long-term strategic safety partnership with NICEIC and ELECSA, working together on electrical safety messaging for both members and their customers.

In July, BiKBBI hosted its tenth anniversary reception at The Houses of Parliament – attended by Patron Stephen Metcalfe MP and a host of industry representatives. BiKBBI CEO Damian Walters warned the industry of a pending skills shortage following the government commissioned Farmer Report. Damian called for the industry to collaborate on finding a solution to the challenge.

The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers (iKBBI) became The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) as it receives permission from the Secretary of State to use its new British status.

2015

2015 was a monumental year for the iKBBI. It attracted new Installation Standards Partners Omega PLC and Symphony Group PLC and plans were made for the launch of an apprenticeship initiative targeting the next generation of kitchen, bedroom and bathroom installers.

The 3,800th member was welcomed in the summer of 2015 as well and an announcement was made for a new and innovative accreditation grading system, expanding membership from domestic installers to include contract site installers, appliance engineers, fabricators as well as allowing for recognition of more experienced members with the new ‘Master Member’ grading.

The iKBBI also announced strategic collaborations with some huge brands, including the consumer watchdog Which? and their Trusted Trader division. Collaborations with CAPITA (the business responsible for the Gas Safe Register) and The Furniture Ombudsman (TFO) were also announced in 2015. New sponsors Currys PC World and Trade-Up Kitchens committed to vital financial support.

The iKBBI also sponsored the inaugural Scottish Home Improvement Awards, reaching out to businesses and consumers north of the boarder. Commitment was also made to support KBB Birmingham 2016, as well as Installer Live and UK Construction Week 2016.

The iKBBI Installer Magazine was re-launched in the spring of 2015, with a circulation to the KBB industry of circa 10,000+. The magazine forms part of a wider communication strategy, which included the appointment of a new head office Communications Manager role.

The iKBBI Inspection Network launched in November and will play an important role supporting the Furniture Ombudsman and the newly launched Consumer Rights Act (2015) and Alternative Dispute Resolution. Inspection will also play a huge role in the BiKBBI offering moving forward.

2014

The year starts positively as the owner of websites kitchen-compare, bedroom-compare, bathroom- compare and trade-compare.com confirm their long-term support of the BiKBBI via sponsorship. The iKBBI again exhibited work at the national trade show in Birmingham and pledged to strengthen relationships with The KBB National Training Group on apprentice schemes for kitchen installers.

An appearance on The BBC in April sparked new interest in the iKBBI and the institute received invitations to act as industry representatives on several shows scheduled for 2014/15. Retired Metropolitan Police officer Geoffrey Jackson joined the iKBBI, heading the Dispute Resolution Service for consumers as we step up support to our members and the customers they serve.

The iKBBI recruited its 2,500th member in April as renew rates hit an all time high of 90%. Work on a new Find-A- Member search tool commenced, with its launch planned for the summer of 2014.

2013

European home improvement giants B&Q join the Installation Standards Partnership as hundreds of their installers become supported and accredited by the iKBBI. This was a significant milestone for the iKBBI. B&Q making the decision to fund the accreditation of their installers was a first for the initiative and demonstrated their support to their installers. The restructured Bathstore joined the iKBBI and accreditation of their installation population commenced.

The international brand of Laura Ashley and UK department store Debenhams joined the iSP initiative this year as they developed a new bathroom product for their customers. National waste solutions giant HIPPO became sponsors and the iKBBI worked with them and their members to provide robust and environmentally sound solutions to the KBB industry.

As part of the May Design Series, we exhibited our work at The London ExCeL, attracting many consumer and trade visitors including celebrity designer Linda Barker. We met our latest sponsor FESTOOL (the German tool manufacturing giant) and our relationship grew later this year. iKBBI co-founder Andrew Carter stepped down as Director. Member of Parliament Stephen Metcalfe pledges support of the iKBBI as our second Patron, joining the Right-Honourable MP. Stephen is an SME activist and local MP for the area in which the iKBBI head office is based (Thurrock, Essex).

The iKBBI’s relationship with the BMA strengthened as the institute promotes the association’s diploma in bathroom studies. The iKBBI members receive access to specific asbestos awareness training via a new partnership with a UKATA approved provider.

2012

Our sponsorship programme continues to grow as founding sponsors at Classic Marble renew their support of the institute and our objectives. Industry insurance specialist UK Special Risks sponsor the iKBBI and provide essential support and guidance to members on all things insurance related. The iKBBI attend the industry’s largest trade exhibition with a modest stand at KBB Birmingham – a long standing relationship begins as we share our vision and ethos with global trade visitors. CDUK, exclusive UK distributors of DuPont Corian pledge sponsorship support of the iKBBI as our association with leading global brands continues.

Mark Two Home (acting for Tesco Kitchens & Bathrooms) becomes the first national brand to join the Installation Standards Partnership initiative, although their installers had been accredited members of the iKBBI for some time already. The reputable brand of John Lewis becomes official Installation Standards Partners and our support of their growing KBB operation commence with the accreditation of their kitchen installers nationally. We undertake a holistic review of their operation and provide consultation on future development opportunities.

2011

Our big push for 2011 was the development of the iKBBI Installation Standards Partnership initiative. For the first time we began work on an initiative that brings leading retailers together to work on the task of defining installation standards within the KBB industry. We gained in-principle support from several retailers including the team at Mark Two whom we had supported back in 2009.

2010

New sponsors joined the iKBBI including AnyJunk and Autonet Van Rental. The re-vamped Find-a- Member website was unveiled, helping consumers find and choose the right installer for their kitchen, bedroom or bathroom home project. Our work with The BMA (Bathroom Manufacturers Association) continued this year and we became associate members to help strengthen this key relationship.

We worked with both Channel 4 and Sky TV this year as representatives of the KBB installation industry, appearing numerous times to give advice and guidance for UK consumers. For the first time in modern history, the UK had a coalition government as we bedded into the global economic crisis. Working with our MP patron, we developed a number of marketing and cost-saving initiatives to assist members ride the financial storm.

Our website statistics reached a high, receiving over 1,000 unique visitors each week. The iKBBI joined the National Home Improvement Council this year, working on several topics including the government Green Deal and the Get Britain Building Campaign

2009

Our Find-A- Member website was launched – www.professionalfitters.org in a bid to help members connect with consumers. For the first time in UK history, consumers could find local installers who specialised in KBB installations… a real milestone for the iKBBI. As a direct result of MFI’s collapse in 2008, iKBBI started working with retailers to help members find new work streams. The Big Bathroom Shop and Tesco were the first to support our initiative and we were proud to have helped hundreds of members with new and exciting opportunities.

The iKBBI launched marketing material for members to help them connect with new customers. The “Why Choose a Member” leaflet was born! The iKBBI welcomed its 500th member this year as real time national coverage was received for the first time. The iKBBI Dispute Resolution Service was launched for consumers, providing FREE and independent advice to those consumers who needed a helping hand with their home improvement projects.

We engaged over 1,500 installation businesses across the UK on a national road show, visiting towns and cities from Plymouth to Dundee. We gained lots of feedback and subsequently attracted new members.

A new SMS text service was launched later this year, helping us to communicate more efficiently to our members… a simple breakthrough that allows us to get instant messaging to our members. We were proud to announce our first patron of the iKBBI – the Right Honourable Brian Binley MP (Conservative) – a staunch supporter of the UK SME population, Brian was our link into central government for the first time.

2008

Founding sponsors financially committed to the initiative included the international brands of Blum and Franke, together with BUPA, RAC and Classic Marble. The iKBBI launched its first generation website and commenced the process of accreditation for installers, accrediting its first member in January of that year. John Lewis of Hungerford PLC was the first ever retailer to insist all of its installers become accredited members of the iKBBI.

The iKBBI Consultation Panel was formed; a group of industry professionals whose views would help structure the institute over coming years. The KBB Installer Magazine was developed with DMG World Media (now owned by Taylist Media) and the UK’s first-ever glossy magazine was launched for KBB installers exclusively. The iKBBI also launched an industry training questionnaire that year, for the first time asking the time served professional’s opinion of training.

The collapse of MFI that year was a blow for hundreds of installers across the UK and iKBBI helped many by proving independent advice and support for those members affected.

2007

Following an application to government in April 2007, the iKBBI was granted official institute status from the Secretary of State (Sir John Hutton), with support from industry organisations including the National Training Group (NTG), Construction Skills, CITB and ProSkills. The process to become an institute was a six-month period of due diligence by the government, as institute status is only granted to those organisations of the highest standing. Failure to seek approval from the Secretary of State for use of the word ‘institute’ is a criminal offence.

2006

Founded by three industry experts, Damian Walters, Andrew Carter and Gordon Smith, the formerly named Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers (iKBBI) was soft launched in 2006 with an objective to support installation businesses with their commercial aspirations, whilst defining installation standards and providing UK consumers with informed choice.

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