New standard for pest control
We started the year by introducing our brand new auditing procedure; British Standard EN16636. With this new audit, every single servicing member can be independently evaluated against a set standard, thereby reassuring potential clients of BPCA Member's professionalism.
We have continued throughout the year to smash the target for CEPA Certified members, and as I write this we've just hit out 75th certified member company - which is fantastic news as we go in to our 75th year!
National and international profile
In February, we packed our bags to represent our members at the Global Food Safety Conference, in Berlin. We spoke to major clients, telling them all about why they should choose a BPCA Member company.
We ended 2016 with an amazing 2,742% return on investment for our PR and marketing activities - more proof the BPCA message is getting out there.
And while we're talking big numbers, we've seen referrals in 2016 go up by 10% to 77,000. That's 77,000 times we've recommended a BPCA member to the general public through our "Find a Pest Controller" function on the website or over the phone.
BPCA across the UK
March saw us run the most successful PPC Live to date. With over 350 people in attendance and 50 exhibitors sharing their knowledge, the Peterborough based event was a fantastic opportunity for pest controllers to meet their peers and hear some great speakers.
On the road, we've continued to engage with members through our successful Regional Forums. With over 400 people attending events throughout the country, we're very much looking forward to building on these successes in 2017.
We also ran 6 CEPA Roadshow events, which helped us reach our ambitious targets and get more members audited to the standard. My thanks to everyone who's attended and contributed to these events.
Award winning training
In response to member feedback, our training portfolio expanded from nine to over 30 programmes. We also revamped the Level 2 "Warwick" course to move away from "chalk and talk" to something completely unique in the sector.
Our online learning centre has grown too - and we even won the MemCom 2016 award for product development in the learning resources category.
Taking over as President
In June, I took my seat as President of the association. I was very proud to be asked to carry on the good work of my predecessors and to continue to drive the core principals of the Association.
From then on it's been a bit of a whirlwind - it's difficult to understand how much the association actually does until you're at the heart of it.
More members and higher retention
We've got more servicing companies in membership than ever before. This time last year we had 411 member companies and at the end of this year we close out with 449.
One of the tests of any businesses success is "do the customers stay with you?". Well, with a retention rate of around 98%, BPCA is in a healthy position. We're not resting on our laurels - we are sending a survey out to all members in the new year to ask their opinion as to what BPCA can do better for them - do take time to complete it, please.
And what does the "Ghost of Christmas Future" hold for us in 2017? Too much to list here, but a few choice ones are: