September, 2000

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No Shortage of Opportunities
For Professional Development

By Sue Evison, P.Eng.

Coming from New Zealand, I had to get used to the idea that September -- not February -- was back-to-school month. Traditionally, in Canada, this is the time of year to return to classes and hit the books.

Continuing education is no longer an option, it's a necessity. The half-life of knowledge keeps shrinking and we're told that the dizzying pace of change and innovation on the Web has some people talking about there being four "Web years" in a calendar year. Not only that, as the term "continuing" implies, learning never really takes a break -- witness the many Continuing Professional Development (CPD) sessions at various summertime professional and technical conferences.

Smart2000 Conference

And while schools and universities gear up for returning students, it's more of the same for the many CPD providers -- APEGGA included -- that combine to offer a rich and varied calendar of fall and winter learning opportunities. I particularly would draw your attention to the Smart2000 Conference and Exhibition, taking place in Calgary Oct. 23-26. The event promises to provide a valuable venue for participants from various backgrounds -- professionals, entrepreneurs, decision-makers and community leaders -- to learn more about how digital technology continues to change our lives in so many ways.

APEGGA Will Be There

I am pleased that APEGGA was an early supporter of Smart2000 and, as part of the conference, your Association has arranged to hold a series of professional development seminars on Wednesday Oct. 25. These APEGGA sessions will serve two important functions. For one, they are a chance for APEGGA members to obtain Continuing Professional Development credits. Secondly, these sessions afford an excellent way for APEGGA to showcase our CPD program to Smart2000 attendees.

Members also have a great opportunity to embrace a conference that extends beyond the traditional CPD format. Smart2000 should remind APEGGA members in attendance that our Association is not in the boat alone. For instance, one of the conference keynote speakers will be John Parboosingh, Director of Professional Development with Britain's Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.

More CPD Opportunities

I hope APEGGA members will avail themselves of Smart2000. However, APEGGA-sponsored CPD opportunities by no means end with Smart2000. APEGGA Director of Professional Development Len Shrimpton, P.Eng., has organized a series of CPD sessions in Calgary and Edmonton, respectively on Nov. 20 and Dec. 6. (Please see notice this page.)

And, of course, APEGGA is not the only game in town when it comes to CPD credit. Edmonton-area members may be aware of the Telus Centre for Professional Development which recently opened at the University of Alberta. (Check an upcoming PEGG for a feature report on the centre and what it offers.) Many members in Calgary will be familiar with CPD opportunities available through the University of Calgary's Extensions Department and know of the excellent work being done by the U of C's Workplace Learning Research Unit.

Technical societies, as noted, are significant providers of CPD courses and seminars throughout the year. (This month's PEGG contains the annual listing of technical societies contacts).

The message should be clear, CPD is a going concern, and we had better get with it.

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