A message from the BCIA President, Terry Sharp

BCIA: Supporting our members through coronavirus


The first half of 2020 threw us a test I’m sure none of us could have imagined just six months ago. Due to the coronavirus outbreak we have all been forced to adapt to new ways of living, working and communicating and we have all been adjusting as well as we can.

Midway through March business employees who could work from home were asked to do so, before the Government imposed a shutdown on all non-essential workplaces, leaving many buildings either sparsely populated or completely unoccupied. A return to something resembling normality is hopefully not too far away and we can go back to a more regular working routine, but it is worth remembering in the meantime that the innovative technology that many of our members provide has been playing a vital role in keeping our buildings operating efficiently during lockdown. For instance, in warehouses or factories where personnel are still satisfying customer demand, the BEMS will be scheduling main plant to only serve the occupied areas and zones – avoiding energy wastage in unoccupied spaces.

A phased return to work could also see occupancy analytics helping many businesses who may have to re-evaluate how they use their spaces.

For our industry to continue to thrive, a professional, knowledgeable and, most importantly, healthy workforce is required. We at the BCIA have therefore done our best to adopt a ‘business as usual’ approach in order to continue supporting our members through an extremely difficult period and remain THE industry voice representing the controls and BEMS sector.

Management Committee

The BCIA Management Committee has been operating as normal, actioning the agreed collective instructions of our Members, communicating via the traditional channels of mobile phone and email and now using Zoom conferencing for Committee Meetings.

Working Groups

The BCIA holds a number of working group meetings throughout the year which are open to all members of the Association. They have continued to go ahead as planned via Zoom.

Skills and Training

Training is a very important part of our industry and the BCIA has long been a supporter of the benefits of continuous training to ensure we are meeting the demands of the industry both now and in the future. We were therefore delighted to announce the launch of online training for our full suite of training courses. This move to online training is just another way that the BCIA is responding to the demands of the industry and the needs of everyone within it.

BEMS Controls Engineer Trailblazer Apprenticeship Standard

To ensure progress is maintained with the development of the additional BCIA course modules required for the new BEMS Controls Engineer Trailblazer Apprenticeship Standard a Leadership Team has been put together. Their role has been to drive the creation of the new course modules; developing syllabus frameworks, identifying suitable course authors and putting in place a review process. They are now working on identifying suitable Training Providers to deliver the apprenticeship standard later this year.

Technical Guides

Our Technical Working Group has continued to work on new Technical Guides, one of which was recently launched. The new Guide, entitled “The Impact of Controls on the Energy Efficiency of Buildings”, focuses on the British and European standard, BS EN 15232-1:2017, which assesses the cumulative impact of building automation and controls – commonly referred to as BACS – on the energy efficiency of buildings. We have released this Technical Guide to help manufacturers and systems integrators understand the Standard better and improve the performance of the buildings they work on. All Technical Guides can be downloaded from the “Resources” section of the BCIA website.

The Technical Working Group continue to work with other external organisations such as CIBSE, BESA, ICF etc, assisting with their programmes of developing relevant standards and guides.

The Group are also closely involved with supporting the BCIA Skills and Training initiatives.


The Marketing Working Group are busy promoting the BCIA and member activities via the various Newsletters and social media channels.

A new BCIA website comes on stream in July with a new look and a greater focus on supporting our member companies and the BCIA activities.


Finally, I would like to extend the thanks of the Management Committee for your continued support for the BCIA and your contributions to helping in this time of crisis. It is important that we keep talking as an industry and looking out for each other. We will get through this together and hopefully emerge in as strong a position as possible.



Terry Sharp