27 Nov, 2019
CPD for Construction Professionals
Within the UK Construction Industry, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is an increasingly mandatory requirement for over 500,000 individual members of approximately 50 construction industry professional bodies and member institutes.
CPD is the means by which construction professionals maintain and enhance knowledge or skills, both formally and informally, beyond any initial training in order to complement both current and future career progression. This article will provide an overview of Continuing Professional Development for Construction Professionals, the benefits for individuals and employers alike, in addition to the main professional bodies and industry requirements.
What does CPD mean for Construction Professionals?
For many years, the Construction sector has worked towards greater professionalism, especially in its growing commitment to ongoing development. Continuing Professional Development has become a vital part of a construction professional’s career, and this is as a result of continuous and accelerating changes in technology, regulations and procurement practices, increasing specialisation and the complexity and integration of the supply chain. It is no longer adequate to obtain a professional qualification at the beginning of a career and then undergo no further learning. Instead, lifelong learning is becoming the norm, with more and more construction professionals taking part-time courses and short courses to understand emerging innovations such as building information modelling (BIM) or taking career breaks and returning to full-time education to improve or develop an aspect of their practice.
Regular training helps to increase confidence and overall capability, and also sets up construction professionals with a desire to progress and focus on self-development and professionalism. New methods of Construction are constantly being introduced and therefore ongoing training and development play a crucial part in the future of the industry.
Without regular construction CPD seminars and training courses, workers not only risk falling behind but also impacting the success of companies. For employers and the construction industry as a whole, CPD is important so that professionals can adapt to new practices in the workplace.
What are the main benefits of CPD for Construction Professionals?
Construction CPD seminars and training courses offer numerous benefits to employees as they are able to proactively increase their understanding of the industry and keep up to date with the latest regulation changes and product developments.
For Construction employers and companies, CPD can:
- Help employers meet business objectives
- Ensure standards across the company are consistently high
- Promote greater work engagement and productivity
- Inspire more commitment to job roles
- Foster an environment of support and development
- Maximise staff potential
- Boost staff morale and company culture
- Provide a useful benchmark for annual reviews
Engaging in CPD seminars, training courses and events will ensure that both academic and practical qualifications do not become out-dated or obsolete, allowing individuals to continually ‘up skill’ or ‘re-skill’ themselves, regardless of occupation, age or educational level. Effective CPD helps maintain, improve and broaden skills and knowledge.
A structured, practical and methodical approach to learning helps employers to keep key staff and develop the skills necessary to maintain a sustainable and competitive advantage. CPD is any learning that is going to add value and enhance professional and occupational competence. Some of this will be structured and some will happen informally in the course of a Construction professional’s work.
Did you know the majority of Construction professional bodies measure CPD?
There are more than 1,000 institutes and professional bodies across the UK using different methodologies for learning, including training workshops, CPD seminars, conferences, events, e-learning programmes, best practice techniques and ideas sharing. Training aims to focus on practical and vocational learning, enabling companies to retain key members of staff, encourage professional development, and maintain an advantage over competitors.
Providing CPD-accredited learning highlights a company’s commitment to innovation, communicating key industry messages and upskilling its current workforce. CPD training also gives staff and customers the opportunity to keep up to date with the latest innovations and products entering the market, ensuring they stay ahead of the competition and drive their product range forward in the marketplace. CPD training strengthens relationships, as customers recognise the manufacturer as a reliable and trusted expert. Working collaboratively with manufacturers provides architects, specifiers and surveyors with additional support and guidance, enabling them to streamline their processes and adapt positively to changes in the workplace.
Who are the Construction Professional bodies and what are the industry CPD requirements?
CPD is crucial to the success of any working professional. One crucial factor that determines the effectiveness of CPD to an individual is the professional body that provides the platform for this learning. The majority of Construction professional bodies, such as the CIOB, are non-profit making organisations that are established to support their members.
Construction Professional bodies aim to assist and direct their members on the road to success. This is achieved by providing the tools to sharpen professional skills and knowledge. Being a member means you have unlimited access to all the educational resources and services needed to continue your professional development. They provide members with information, training, education, tips, advice and strategies to assist them in reaching the height of their professional career. Professional bodies are also there to promote professionalism in their industry and help push members to achieve the standards of excellence associated with their profession.
Professional bodies and CPD Policies
Many of the industry professional institutes require that members undertake CPD as a condition of continued membership (examples include RIBA, CIOB, RICS, RTPI, CIAT, ICE, IStructE), and for some professions, it is a statutory requirement.
In order to maintain membership of their designated professional body, members must demonstrate that they have engaged in a set number of hours (normally per year) for educational activities aimed at improving their knowledge and skill. The activities in which they engage to do this are then CPD-rated and CPD certificates, or ‘Points’, are issued for each activity.
The Royal Institute of British Architects is a professional body for architects primarily in the United Kingdom that aims to support British architects and was founded for the advancement of architecture. The annual CPD obligations as a RIBA Chartered Member:
- undertake at least 35 hours of learning – this equates to only 45 minutes per week
- half your CPD should be structured, unless your circumstances prevent that. Structured CPD will have learning aims and outcomes, and will be taught, face-to-face, online or by distance learning
- 20 of the 35 hours must come from the ten mandatory RIBA Core Curriculum CPD topics: two hours per topic per year. The ten mandatory topics have recently changed
- acquire at least 100 learning points. The points reflect your assessment of what you got out of the activity
- record and keep track of your CPD activities using the RIBA online CPD recorder
The RIBA regularly audits member records to check compliance.
The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) is a worldwide professional body that represents construction and property professionals within the built environment. It is the world’s largest and most influential professional body for construction management and leadership.
The CIOB state that it is your responsibility, as a CIOB member, to undertake professional development activities to ensure that you continue to improve and broaden your skills, knowledge and professional behaviours, that are necessary in your professional duties. However, there is not a set number of hours you need to complete. You are best placed to know what CPD is necessary and relevant to you. The CIOB are looking for evidence that you have gone through a process of assessing your development needs, undertaken the learning, and evaluated the outcomes, ready to begin the process again.
CPD is any learning that is going to add value and enhance your professional and occupational competence. Some will be structured and some will happen informally in the course of your work.
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is the world’s leading professional body for qualifications and standards in land, property, infrastructure and construction. RICS requirements for members
- All members must undertake a minimum of 20 hours CPD each calendar year (January to December).
- Of the 20 hours, at least 10 hours must be formal CPD. The remainder can be informal CPD.
- All members must maintain a relevant and current understanding of the professional and ethical standards during a rolling three-year period. Any learning undertaken in order to meet this requirement may count as formal CPD.
- Members must record their CPD activity online by 31 January each year.
Any CPD activity, whether formal or informal, should be planned wherever possible and be relevant to a construction professional’s role or specialism. Any activity that does not have a clear learning objective that relates to a professionals role or specialism cannot be considered as appropriate CPD. Activities such as networking, social events, informal team building or planning events and involvement on boards, committees or clubs that have little or no relevance to a professional’s role will not count towards CPD requirements.
A full list of CPD activities may include:
- Training events
- Conferences, seminars or workshops
- Short courses
- Online and distance learning
- Training other people
- Industry technical reports
- Reading industry literature
- Researching new professional methods
The professional skills and knowledge required will vary considerably, depending on an individual’s professional role and discipline. Your CPD should reflect both current needs and future aspirations. It is for the individual to decide the areas of skill and knowledge that are relevant to their role. A wide range of activities can contribute to your CPD, however it is not about the quantity of the activities but the quality of the reflections linked to recent learning activities. It is the professional’s role to recognise needs and opportunities both inside and outside the workplace and to take advantage of learning experiences to developing their own CPD programme.
This article begins to outline Continuing Professional Development as a Construction professional in the UK, the governing bodies for the industry, as well as the key benefits of CPD. We hope this article was helpful. For more information please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.