The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has agreed to provide a full secretariat service for the Institute of Builders Merchants (IoBM), in a move that further strengthens the relationship between the two organisations.

The IoBM is the professional body for individuals in the merchant industry. While the BMF represents merchant and supplier companies, the IoBM represents the individuals whose skills and professionalism helps those companies to succeed.

The IoBM has been based at the BMF’s headquarters in Coventry, since September 2013. The latest arrangement means that the BMF will undertake all administrative duties for the Institute including membership renewals, meeting arrangements and minute taking, and promoting Institute events. The BMF will host the IoBM’s AGM on 12 March when Allan Durning will take over as the Institute’s president.

The two organisations will also work together to develop and expand the IoBM’s successful programme of Practical Building Skills Challenge Events around the regions. The Challenge involves merchant teams pitting their building skills against each other, and is designed to offer merchant staff a taste of some of the main building trades – e.g. carpentry and joinery, block paving, plastering and tiling. The event includes instruction by building professionals on each task to develop the participants’ knowledge.

John Newcomb, managing director of the BMF, said: “The IoBM has been based at the BMF’s offices for the last 15 months during which time we have developed a close working relationship. It is clear that our two organisations share common goals and it makes sense to maximise administrative efficiencies to achieve those objectives. We are looking forward to working even more closely and to helping the IoBM provide the services its members require going forward.”

Steve Sellick, IoBM’s outgoing president, added: “We are extremely pleased that the BMF has agreed to provide a professional secretariat for the IoBM, which will help us to better support the needs of our members and to grow our membership.”