CPD as an OACETT Member
Continuous learning is one of the cornerstones of our working life. It is the process which guarantees to the general public, employers, government, clients and our peers that we are current with the technologies of our profession and the soft skills needed to interact and communicate effectively. Continuous learning keeps us interested in our work, motivates us to explore new technologies and opportunities, keeps industry competitive and ultimately makes us employable throughout our lives. The importance of maintaining currency in today’s competitive world cannot be emphasized enough; mandatory CPD will be introduced for most members beginning January 1, 2016.
With change coming from all sides, technology professionals need to navigate this change proficiently. Keeping current and having the knowledge and skills to keep at the top of the game is never more important. By engaging in the learning process on a continual basis one keeps pace with change, builds expertise and increases likelihood of success throughout one’s career.
As professionals we have an ethical commitment to the public and OACETT is committed to ensuring that members maintain competence, and abide by our Code of Ethics to:
• “hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public, the protection of the environment and the promotion of health and safety within the workplace.”
• “keep informed to maintain proficiency and competence, to advance the body of knowledge within their discipline and further opportunities for the professional development of their associates.”
By staying relevant, not only are members rewarded with employable skills throughout their careers, they are also taking important steps to advance the profession of engineering technology, and raise the profile and value of our designations. To safeguard market recognition, and to add this value to the designations, OACETT members need to be seen as relevant, in demand and contributing to economic competitiveness.
The tragedy of the collapse of the mall in Elliot Lake and the subsequent inquiry and recommendations reinforce the importance of those involved in the building industry to maintain vigilance in their conduct, and the need for professionals, not only engineers, but also technicians and technologists, to work collaboratively for the protection of the public. The recommendation from the inquiry regarding continuing professional development needs to be seen as an example of a reasonable measure to ensure adequate protection of the public.
Continuing Professional Development Program
The Continuing Professional Development applies to all certified members (working full-or part-time), including Life and Fellow OACETT categories and Associates admitted to membership prior to July 2005 who have maintained continuous membership. It does not apply to students, retired and honourary members.
CPD does not apply to Associates admitted or reinstated to membership after July 1. 2005. These members have been assigned a certification date and must certify to maintain membership. Compliance with CPD will be required after certification is achieved.
Members on maternity/parental/medical leave or who are unemployed are not automatically exempted. They may apply to the Registrar for a limited-time exemption but it is recommended that they maintain their CPD as a means of staying current, building their network and using this time to full advantage. Extensions may also be granted by the Registrar on compassionate or other acceptable grounds.
Complying with the OACETT proposed continuing professional development will not be difficult and many members will find that they will already be in compliance.
The OACETT plan is flexible and it is designed to work with what members may presently be doing to stay current on their own, or for their employer. Many employers include professional development as an inclusive part of the employee growth plan. Such things as in house training, workshops, and health and safety refreshers are just a few popular employer-based PD options that are acceptable activities for OACETT CPD.
Members will not need to spend a significant amount of time or money, travel long distances to college courses or take many courses to meet compliance. Members may choose to take professional development for other associations or from other associations and these too will count towards the OACETT CPD requirements. The program has been designed so members will make it work for their own personal circumstances; for it to be relevant to their careers and to their professional goals.
“Own Your Professional Future”
The benefits of CPD are many. All professionals have a career-long obligation to “own their professional future,” and through CPD, members will be better prepared to do so. CPD delivers benefits to the individual, the profession and the public through improved protection and quality of life, the environment, sustainability, and the economy.
CPD ensures that members:
• remain relevant and up to date in knowledge and aware of the changing trends in the profession. With the pace of change probably faster than it has ever been, members cannot stand still or they will get left behind as knowledge and skills become outdated.
• have a deeper understanding of what it means to be a professional, along with a greater appreciation of the implications and impact of your work.
• continue to make a meaningful contribution to the profession and become more effective in the workplace, which assists advancement in your careers where you can lead, manage, influence, coach and mentor others.
• advance the body of knowledge and technology within the profession and
• increase public confidence in the profession as a whole.
Experience is a great teacher, but it does mean that we tend to do what we have done before. Focused CPD opens up new possibilities, new knowledge and new skills. Members need to invest in themselves, advance their careers, advance the profession and support OACETT CPD to “own their professional future!”
Questions about the CPD program?
Call Sherrie at 416.621.9621, x234 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org