CAI and RDI-LB to merge?
Following meetings between Tim Jenks and Robert Oliver of the CAI with Martin Smith of the RDI, the CAI may take over the running of the RDI admin after Martin leaves later this year.
Sheila Cassells the RDI-LB chair has given the green light to discussions with the CAI to take over the administrative control of the RDI as an initial step.
Bearing in mind the recent problems the CAI has had with its own administration and the protracted problems regarding its executive, this could come as a shock to those RDIs who chose to opt for the RDI-LB as a Government backed alternative to the CAI as they may find that they are being thrown back in with the "old Guard"
Discussions are rumoured to be quite advanced following an initial meeting last year, both organisations seemingly being concerned that after DSO (Digital Switch Over ) neither will be exactly overwhelmed with members and maybe a tie up between them both will ensure the continuation of both schemes. Albeit run and possibly controlled by the same people
Originally the CAI had expected to be the chosen ones for DSO but that was smashed with the creation of the RDI-LB and the early days saw some acrimony between the two competing organisations, the onset of DSO saw both benefit from a large influx of paying members especially the RDI-LB who went from nothing in 2006 to a potent organisation able to offer a 'recognised qualification' with the benefit of Government ( BERR ) backing, hundreds of installers signed up to the scheme, the CAI for its part introduced various modifications and enhancements including the CAI plus scheme to counter the attraction of the RDI-LB, although many felt the CAI was playing a game of catch up and always lagged behind the field, the CAI managed to increase its members and thanks in no small part to training fees and various benchmark fees greatly increased its income.
With the end of DSO in sight it is not surprising that both organisations are looking at the future with both a bleaker and more practical outlook, with no real prospect of any public funds, the only way to survive is to pool resources, although possibly not fees.
Both management teams will be carefully looking over the figures and working out a way to keep the schemes running and the revenue coming in from the less prosperous membership following DSO.
The CAI already run the admin of the SCTE so adding another tier shouldn't in theory pose any logistical problems, but how well that will go down with those RDIs who opted out of the CAI or were never prepared to join is another matter, the recent past of the CAIs management has hardly been plain sailing and there are many members who having been glad to be out of the clutches of the CAI, the news that they may be put straight back in without so much as a by your leave may not please and could even infuriate some.
It seems that both the CAI and the RDI are set on a path of unity at least as far as the administration goes, it may even be a done deal and that they are just waiting the right day for the announcement.
How that will be viewed by the Members, the authorities or the public is another matter, although they may have little choice.
Update: 31 January 2011 letter from RDI-LB
RE: RUMOURS FLOATING AROUND VARIOUS INTERNET FORUMS
Recently it came as a surprise to hear that 'advanced discussions' about the future operations and direction, of both the Confederation of Aerial Industries (CAI) and the RDI have been sanctioned by the RDI Chair, Sheila Cassells, and that the RDI-LB's Managing Director, Martin Smith, is leaving the organisation.
To set the record straight, the RDI-LB is committed to maintaining a register of licensed installers/engineers beyond 2012 and is expanding both skills and training platforms to support this. Further Martin Smith is heavily involved in leading a development programme, which will take the RDI-LB and its qualified membership far beyond the end of digital switchover. This has the full backing of the Department of Business Innovation and Skills and is the only development project sanctioned by the RDI-LB Board and its Chair.
As you would expect, the RDI-LB consults regularly with many industry bodies, including the CAI, to ensure that the interests of its members and the general public are maintained. The RDI has a strong standing as a Community Interest, not for profit organisation and has no plans to join forces with or become part of any separate organisation.
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It would seem that the RDI-LB (a Government funded company) is to close it's doors in the next few months.
It would further seem that a new Public Limited Company are about to set themselves up and take on the existing RDI's, only this time instead of the RDI being the Registered Digital Installer Licencing Body (a Government funded body) it will just become RDI, Registered Digital Institute, a private limited company where all fees will go to the new Limited Company.
I understand that this is a copy of the email sent out to the RDI's.
I wanted you to be amongst the first installers to hear what exciting developments are taking place at the RDI later this year. For that reason I have attached a link to some information pages. These are temporary and will be replaced with a full website when the Scheme formally launches its blue tick logo in September.
This will be your Industry Body and we would like to have your feedback, so please drop me your comments on the info@ link shown on the website.
I look forward to hearing from you.
PS Existing members will automatically be transferred over to the new blue tick!
Notice on the new website how any reference to the RDI is missing the '-LB' extension.
Clever email and an even cleverer website.
No mention of disbandment of the Government body, and no mention of the formation of a new PLC.
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