Within the Institute’s Code of Conduct it states that the “members (excluding student members) shall keep themselves informed of current practices and developments appropriate to the type and level of their responsibilities¹; and be able to provide evidence that they have complied with the requirements for continuing professional development (CPD) as published by the Institute from time to time”.
The Institute has also set the requirement that such members have a professional obligation to undertake a minimum of 35 hours CPD in any one year, May to April ¹.
This is for the members’ own benefit, and for that of the Institute, and is embodied within CIAT’s Code of Conduct. Members should also, where possible and appropriate, support the professional development of fellow members and potential members of their profession.
It is worth remembering that any professional qualification gained has a limited shelf life when considered against the length of careers. The knowledge obtained when qualifying does not remain current, but is updated by training and personal experiences, i.e. by continuing professional development.
The Institute defines CPD as ‘the systematic maintenance, improvement and broadening of knowledge and skills for the development of personal qualities necessary for the execution of professional and technical duties throughout the practitioner’s working life’. This definition is shared by other professionals in the Construction Industry Council (CIC), of which CIAT is a member.
Every year CIAT will undertake random monitoring of the eligible membership. Failure to reply to this monitoring could result in members being monitored for their CPD for three years to ensure that they demonstrate their compliance. Any failure to undertake the CPDrequirements could result in referral to the Conduct Committee for breach of the Institute’s Code of Conduct.
The Institute considers that it is the responsibility of the individual to determine the method and content of their own CPD which should be appropriate to their professional obligations. Members are required to develop their own Personal Development Plan (PDP) at the beginning of each year to identify CPD activities they wish to undertake in support of their own objectives. Both the plan and the card will be provided annually by the Institute.
A guide for completion of the Personal Development Plan (PDP) and CPD record card
Your CPD is personal:
- you should complete your PDP at the beginning of each year, this will assist you in determining your CPD requirements which should be relevant in your area of expertise or future career; you are encouraged to consult with your employers when developing and reviewing your PDP;
- you must keep a record of your CPD activity: you should then indicate the type of activity and the number of CPD hours undertaken on your record card;
- CPD hours only include those where professional development has been achieved;
- you should keep a file of all CPD activity undertaken — you can show this to employers and clients;
- unless asked, you will not be required to send your PDP and record card to CIAT.
- use CPD as a necessary (and stimulating) experience to develop new talents and skills;
- identify and honestly appraise personal shortcomings in your role as a professional in the field of Architectural Technology;
- consider interests and responsibilities;
- think about changes which affect you personally or the profession at large;
- appraise present tasks and performance;
- consider career development or transition to a new role;
- consider how you will develop corporate, personal, management and technical skills;
- define priorities — short, medium and long term needs;
- consider time and costs available;
- think laterally — CPD is not necessarily expensive;
- consider networking through CIAT and other professional meetings;
- find practical ways to meet your needs;
- expand on day-to-day maintenance of knowledge and skills;
- record and re-assess your CPD efforts on a regular basis;
- check progress and discuss with colleagues;
- modify and improve your plan as necessary;
- avoid downgrading CPD to a hunt for CPD certificates.
Many employers provide company CPD programmes to ensure employees are kept up to date. Once both your requirements and that of your employer have been identified, your employer should assist, where possible, in allocating time and resources for training.
Examples of CPD activities
- reading of books and periodicals;
- use of distance learning text, DVDs, podcasts and CDs;
- reading and writing articles/technical papers;
- private study including systematic study of literature or even learning a relevant language;
- recording on-the-job research;
- studies leading to a further qualification or academic award;
- delivering/presenting lectures for those in practice;
- practice — for those in teaching;
- examining or tutoring;
- web based seminars;
- committee/community/Institute work which extends peer group learning; or
- CPD clubs.
Organised CPD include:
- in-house seminars;
- joint programmes with other practices;
- local CPD events, arranged by CIAT or other organisations;
- Regional/Centre CPD events, courses and seminars;
- external conferences and courses;
- trade presentations; or
- programmes organised by CPD consultants.
- CPD demonstrates to clients, colleagues and the public the commitment of practising members to be well informed and up-to-date in their sphere of involvement.
It is a matter of record that exercising due skill and care depends upon keeping abreast of developments. Here is a reminder of the key benefits of completing CPD:
- it focuses the individual member’s attention on what is necessary to remain competent by keeping up-to-date;
- it allows the employer to develop a structured training scheme for employees;
- it shows that the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists is promoting competence in its membership; and
- it shows the public that it is served by a profession intent on maintaining high standards.
Further guidance can be received from your Region/Centre CPD Officer.
¹ if a member has fully retired from their involvement in Architectural Technology there will be no “level of responsibility” and CPD would not apply.
However, many members who have ceased to work as a principal (i.e. a member who is a sole practitioner, director, partner or limited liability member of a practice; this includes any member offering and/or providing a service.) or as an employee, or who have changed their career path choose to keep themselves updated for either their personal benefit or because they wish to participate with and assist the Institute in, for example,
- writing articles for Architectural Technology;
- attending Regional/Centre events;
- supporting CIAT at exhibitions;
- promoting the discipline at career based exhibitions;
- responding to consultations;
- acting as POP Panel Assessors;
- acting as POP Record mentors;
- applying/sharing their knowledge and expertise to help develop the profession through their local universities and colleges;
- mentoring through their respective Region/Centre; or
- involvement with their local community.
- In return, CIAT would endeavour to keep the member up to date with the profession and its developments.
Many retired members choose to remain actively involved with their Institute and continually maintain their CPD.
An objective of the Institute is to ensure that all members maintain a level of professionalism regardless of whether they are practising or not.
As well as CIAT representing members, its members represent the Institute and the discipline of Architectural Technology and this must be reflected accordingly.