We’re delighted to announce our Chris has been shortlisted in RCI Magazine’s first ever Pitched Roofing Awards 2018 for the ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Industry’ category.
The winners will be revealed on the 30th November at a celebratory lunch at The Midland Hotel in Manchester.
Around 250 people from the roofing community are expected to gather at the event to recognise the achievements of colleagues. Other categories in Roofing, Cladding & Insulation Magazine’s awards include: ‘Best Flat to Pitched Roofing System’, ‘Roof Tile Application for a Heritage Roof’ and ‘Commercial Building Application Using Rooflights’.
After becoming disillusioned and frustrated with the standard of training being offered in the roofing industry, Chris wanted to re-invest in the industry’s future. Overcoming opposition from established local colleges, in 2005 Chris made sure Ploughcroft became one of the first roofing companies to open their own college.
“Everyone, including my father, said I was bonkers! Training staff to such a high degree so they could leave and set up their own businesses in competition,” Chris explains, admitting that this did happen on several occasions, however, he was spurred on by his passion for creating a better industry.
The training centre proved to be a hit, so much so that it was awarded full accreditation by the awards body, City & Guilds. Thanks to the work and development that Chris put into the centre, Ploughcroft was awarded the National Award Winner for Best Place to work in Construction and the Construction Excellence Award of 2008, along with a range of other accreditations and certificates.
Priding himself on being forward-thinking, Chris spotted the potential solar technology held for roofers long before the ‘solar boom’. In 2006, Chris teamed up with the NFRC and Construction Skills to develop a unique training course to teach roofers the key competencies in installing solar PV and solar thermal systems.
Chris’ work resulted in him teaching the innovative course in colleges around the UK and led to Ploughcroft securing the National Home Improvement Council Award for Innovation in Training in 2007. The solar course is now formally recognised by the City & Guilds C.A.A and is an official NVQ qualification.
At the time the NRFC said: “Chris is a character that pushes training in all forms making it varied, open and accessible to all, and is the first to put his hand up to support industry initiative.”
Following a rough start to the year due to the recession in 2008, a chance meeting helped Chris land a massive solar contract for Ploughcroft, which literally saved the business. After winning contracts with big players like Vaillant, Npower and the Plumb Centre, Ploughcroft became the first roofing business in the UK to achieve MCS accreditation.
Chris’ vision for Solar Systems saw Ploughcroft be extremely active at the Eco Build Exhibitions in 2010, with Chris being asked to give live demos to other contractors on how to install solar panels onto roofs. The biggest crowd-puller of the event, the demos did wonders for propelling the solar roofing industry forward, whilst Ploughcroft gained a CSkills accreditation from the CITB for its Solar PV course for roofers.
Chris also studied hard during this period and trained as a roofing assessor, allowing him to assess students to NVQ Level 3 himself.
In a bid to raise the Solar industry’s profile, Chris took on the challenge of doing battle with the Dragons in 2011, leaving the famous room victorious with an investment from Leo Paphitis and Deborah Meaden.
Unfortunately, despite his promotion of good practice in the roofing and construction industry resulting in him being invited onto the government’s Green Construction Board to represent the interests of small businesses, Chris had to put the Solar side of the business into administration.
Chris attributes the administration to government cuts to the Feed-in Tariff and the explosion in the volume of business that ensued after his Dragon’s Den appearance, an explosion of business that proved challenging to maintain.
However, his passion for roofing remained and Chris took the circumstances as a great opportunity to refocus the business.
An advocate of introducing revolutionary practices into the industry, Chris teamed up with a leading safety manufacturer and invented a new safety device called The Roof Anchor, which is now sold online nationwide.
Designed to reduce the time roofing companies spend erecting scaffolding for small jobs, The Roof Anchor is a harness, roof grab and roof anchor device that attaches to the timber rafters or trusses, fitting any roof type. In most cases, the device saves the money that would normally be spent on scaffolding but still maintains safety.