Terri-Jane Yuzda

Continuing Professional Development: Removing the Confusion

A development plan and properly kept records are important Continuing Professional Development Program components. They also make the regular reporting and random review processes run more smoothly.


Professional Development Committee




The APEGGA Professional Development Committee reviews the documentation that members submit when they have been selected for random, Continuing Professional Development review. Many members have responded well to the requirements of the CPD Program and submit information that's acceptable in all respects.

However, it is becoming clear that many members are not creating a development plan. Some are not keeping proper records, others misunderstand the requirements of the program. As a result, when audited, they change their reported professional development hours on the basis of a more thorough review of the program and their records.

Creating a development plan is critical. And although good records are not the core of the program, going through them is the only way we can audit a member's participation.

The Development Plan
The development plan is the heart of the program and should answer the question, "What skills or knowledge do I need to refresh or develop to maintain or enhance my competence and/or advance my career?" How many items you list will depend on your experience in the position. Here are some examples:

  • Build project management skills by taking a project management certificate program at the university
  • Gain knowledge of seismic anisotropy theory by attending a course at the university
  • Develop effective presentation skills by attending Toastmasters or an APEGGA sponsored seminar and presenting the results of my project to senior management and the wider community
  • Keep current with developments in solder chemistry and wave soldering machinery by reading
  • Meet others and keep current with activities in the field by attending luncheon meetings regularly

Choosing where to get this skill or knowledge depends on the level you require. You'll also need to consider what's available, the time you have and your preferred learning style. In-house structured discussion, seminars, courses, reading material and distance education (including on-line instruction) can all be effective. As you perform the activity, record the dates, descriptions, providers, CPD category, and professional development hours earned.

The Activity Record

The best way to log your CPD activities is to record them in the activity record APEGGA has on-line. You can download it from the APEGGA website. See the information box with this story.

However, any mechanism will do. Personally, I record each event in a monthly planner and I keep the old planners for about five years -- they don't take up much room. When APEGGA requests the number of hours with the annual membership invoice, I review the planner and copy the data into the activity record and the category totals into the annual report form. If I were more diligent and did that every week or month, no additional work would be required.

Further Clarification
My experience reviewing members' activity records suggest that a few other areas require clarification

  • Professional Practice includes performing technical functions, managing technical professionals and "influencing" the professions. If your job has non-technical responsibilities (such as budgeting or human resource issues) which "influence" the practice of the professions, those hours may be included when calculating the number of hours for Professional Practice. If audited, you need to demonstrate that you have given some thought to what percentage of your time is actually involved in the professions. For most members the answer is obvious - 100 per cent. As you move into increasingly more responsible positions, however, the answer requires more thought.

  • A maximum of 20 hours can be claimed in the participation category when your professional judgment or technical skills are required. Volunteering with APEGGA or the technical societies are examples. Only 10 hours can be claimed for community participation in which your non-technical skills are utilized.

  • Only presentations outside your job scope qualify under the presentations category.

  • Keep track of the professional development activities you've undertaken. Record the full date (April 27, 2002 - not spring 2002), topic, provider, CPD category and hours earned.

  • Professional development hours earned in excess of the maximum that can be claimed in each category can be carried forward for two years.

New Guideline
A revised Continuing Professional Development Guideline will be available in 2003. It clarifies the process and includes a number of excellent examples.








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