The ongoing value of continuing professional development

Undertaking CPD, combined with on the job learning and experience, is essential to ensure our skills and capabilities keep pace with current standards and community expectations.

The Institute of Quarrying Australia, in partnership with a number of national and international providers, has developed a range of professional development products that are relevant to our industry and our members. The rolling out of the IQA Mental Health Awareness Professional Development Programs across all states and territories is a great example.

The IQA, through general manager Paul Sutton, will partner with a number of organisations to prepare and deliver the program to our members and other stakeholders. The IQA educational products and programs can be found on the IQA website.

For a lot of professional organisations, like the Institute of Engineers Australia and AusIMM, CPD is mandatory. Maintaining current knowledge and skills through CPD activities is imperative to ensuring our members continue to be the leading professionals in the quarrying sector. We all have a shared responsibility to promote and enhance the professional practices of the quarrying industry, and to provide increased public confidence in quarry professionals and the quarrying profession as a whole.

At the Institute of Quarrying International Presidents meeting in Malaysia last October, and more recently at the teleconference held in February this year, mandatory CPD was on the agenda.

The Institute of Quarrying UK (IQUK) reported that from the beginning of 2015 it has implemented a policy of 35 hours’ CPD for membership renewal.

All the presidents agreed with the principle of mandatory CPD for members in the future, and each Affiliated National Institute (ANI) would work with its members on an implementation plan.

IQUK has also developed a mobile phone application for its members to easily record and update CPD. This mobile app would be made available to all the ANIs.

Learning and development opportunities exist both inside and outside the workplace. Sources of CPD include PDPs and webinars developed by the IQA or other educational providers, attending conferences and technical presentations, site visits, reading industry journals such as Quarry, participating in industry committees, presenting at conferences and seminars and writing articles for journals.

Numerous activities undertaken during your employment can also be considered CPD. For example, implementing new ways of conducting your quarrying activities to minimise impact on the community and the environment or new ways to achieve efficiencies would be considered CPD. Participation in committees outside work can also give you valuable skills in communication, business management and risk management, and will also help in advancing your actual professional development.

With the structural changes the Australian economy is facing, in particular in the declining manufacturing and mining sectors, CPD ensures we are more aware of the changing trends and directions. It also provides us with the knowledge and skills we need to perform effectively and to meet expectations placed on us by employers and other stakeholders.

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